To talk about Givenchy's pre-fall collection, you have to start with the footwear. After seasons of ankle boots, Riccardo Tisci's knee-high boots with heel-covering sheaths are automatic silhouette changers (not to mention instant collector's items), adding a cool edge to pencil skirts, shirtdresses, and jodhpur-style pants.

Tisci said he was thinking about the 1950's silhouettes of Bettie Page (already familiar to fans of his Spring 2011 collection), as well as 1970's French horseback riding. The Givenchy woman, he explained, "wants a strong look for pre-fall; it's no different than the runway collections." The strongest looks here had to be the jackets. Showing off some of the construction techniques he's picked up during his four years designing menswear, they came with black chiffon insets at the sides that revealed the real camelhair fabric underneath used to keep the jackets' shapes. Menswear wasn't the only element he mined for ideas, though. Curvy polo dresses were pieced together from seven years of prints, and his Spring 2012 iridescent paillettes became another print on a sweatshirt fabric sheath. When your brand is as hot as Givenchy is, recycling pays dividends. Still, Tisci keeps innovating; his killer new boots are proof of that.