Givenchy's fall presentation took place in an hôtel particulier on the Left Bank, right next door to Lagerfeld's pad. Red velvet curtains, black-draped antiques, faded grandeur—talk about atmosphere. And to their credit, the 21 outfits weren't completely lost in the shadows. Designed by the Givenchy studio and styled by Panos Yiapanis, the collection straddled a challenging divide of chunky shearling outerwear and pared-down, twenty-first-century boywear.

The obvious news was a trouser silhouette that was capacious enough around the waist to encourage a paper-bag effect once belted. Also noticeable was a lack of conventional detail—other pants had no belt loops, and there were shirts with no buttons (they slipped over the head). Such streamlining also applied to the color palette (essentially black, navy, and white), and to the leanness of the knitwear. The shearlings, however, were anything but, which makes one wonder in which direction this collection is headed. After all, the name of Givenchy hardly evokes a hardy outdoor type heaving through sub-zero temps. Still, anything is clearly possible with this house.