Just beautiful. Riccardo Tisci's Givenchy show tonight was one of those fashion moments that true believers slog through four weeks of shows for. It gave you goose bumps. Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, a longtime friend of the designer's, performed three songs, establishing a mood that was heartfelt and tender. He opened with "You Are My Sister." Tisci, of course, is the youngest of nine children, all the others girls. This collection was the Givenchy frontman at his most personal and romantic, riffing on pieces from his eight-year history at the house, the faint whiff of nostalgia balanced by its fierce nowness.

Swarmed by friends and fans backstage, he said, "I always go to the Givenchy archives. By accident I was in the room with all my stuff, and I found things I did when I was younger that I did here in different ways. It's eight years this season that I've been at the house. I was like a gypsy—you know, gypsies are always recycling old clothes. It was really one of the most fun collections I've done in my career."

Fun for the audience, too, who checked off the references as they came strutting by on striped snakeskin boots. No one is more responsible for fashion's current fixation on the sweatshirt than Tisci; acknowledging the fact, he opened with a new one, its front emblazoned with Bambi, more Disney-cute than his previous prints. A grunge element came through in plaids and leathers, and oversize sweaters got a fair share of his attention, too; one was paired with a sheer tulle ankle-length skirt embroidered with purple and yellow flowers that called to mind the designer's panthers and lilies collection.

As boyish as the sweatshirt is, one of Tisci's big ideas this season put the accent on the feminine. A significant number of the looks were cinched at the waist with Perfectos whose tops had been shorn off—glorified belts, really, that created a provocative, peplumed silhouette. And let us not forget the flowers and paisleys, which bloomed and swirled on butch jackets and sheer femme skirts, in lush contrast to the monastic whites and blues of Spring. The models wore matching bracelets from which dangled big, engraved medals. A fitting accessory for what could very well go down as the show of the season.