Riccardo Tisci always wanted to be a surfer when he was a kid. He could never have known that the biggest luxury conglomerate in the world would one day wave its wand over his wish. And so it came to pass that Tisci got to create a collection of clothes that turned his childhood fantasy into an elaborate, provocative reality.
That's been the story of Tisci's life since he was taken on by LVMH six years ago to reanimate Givenchy. Fairy tales do come true. And truer. After establishing himself as the embodiment of fashion's dark night of the Catholic-Gothic soul, Tisci has gone into the light with his new menswear collection. It was dawn in Givenchyworld—tropical-flower prints, crystals and sequins sparkling like dew on leaves, and white so much white, banishing every trace of the black that has been Tisci's trademark up to this point. More to the point, it was a triumph.
Who knows why all the elements that have looked so contrived over the years of Tisci's stewardship of Givenchy should suddenly fall into place as logical, seductive revisions of fashion orthodoxy? Perhaps everything looks better when the sun shines. Maybe when it was dark and serious, it somehow seemed like a big old fashion-student cliché. Whereas here, it was simply unabashed and celebratory. Men in skirts? Get used to them. It's warriorwear from years back. Besides, Tisci wasn't about to get so literal with his Hawaiian subtext that he was going to show grass skirts.
Common sense dictates that it's a rare retailer who'd be moving substantial amounts of Tisci's pleated little numbers (even if, in white, they looked like Wimbledon wonders). But the upbeat energy of the collection animated its more sober components. Team Tisci's sporty staples—the bombers, baseball jackets, sweats, tees, and shorts over leggings-were juiced with the bird-of-paradise prints. And his tailoring looked fresh in ivory and army green. That freshness was all promise, but everything about an exuberant post-show Tisci suggested he was ready to deliver.