The only young-generation couturier working in an establishment Parisian house, Riccardo Tisci is growing into his job at Givenchy with increasing confidence. What he's putting out now has a graphic strength and energy that, after many years in the doldrums, is giving the house an identity of its own. It was there from the first look, a sharp black doublet jacket and flouncy circle skirt with a white frilled under-edging worn by his friend and house mascot Mariacarla Boscono. That modernized dance-skirt silhouette, and Tisci's slightly fierce, youthful tailoring gave him a line to pursue—"Gothic Ballerina" is the way he described it in the program.

His slim, long-line jackets—part military, part equestrian—were well-cut elaborations of the look he's been exploring in ready-to-wear. But he also kept up the continuity from his last couture show by doing more with feathered dresses—one, a high-riding ball of ostrich over a simple tank; another veiled in a sheer cage of tulle. No harm in that—every designer needs signatures, and now that Tisci has left behind the contrived conceptual presentations of his early career, what he has to offer is becoming more distinct with every season.