Clare Waight Keller had quite the task ahead of her when taking over the creative reins at Givenchy. Coming from a largely womenswear background with a penchant for the romantic, being the successor to Riccardo Tisci's often gothic and graphic-heavy aesthetic for Givenchy had her in the spotlight. How would Givenchy look like after such a relatively commercially successful 12 years?
Spring/summer 2019 marks her seventh collection (including non-runway pre-seasonal collections and couture) for Givenchy, and is quite possibly her best menswear collection yet. It's a given now, that the Givenchy of Tisci's era is long and gone. Waight Keller's vision is more in tandem with what the late Hubert de Givenchy would have created for the fashion house. There's a renewed focus on elegance, tailoring and sleek silhouettes.
With the spring/summer 2019 collection already in boutiques, we highlight the five reasons why this is the best Givenchy menswear collection by Clare Waight Keller yet.
It's tailored to the T
It's 2019, and it's refreshing to see a luxury fashion house present a collection that's not completely riddled with streetwear-inspired pieces. While Givenchy has a slew of creations meant for stomping the street with (the chunky JAW sneaker immediately comes to mind), there was nary a sneaker shown on the runway.
That's not to say that the collection is great because of its forgoing of streetwear. It's great because at a time where other luxury fashion houses are still putting out their own iterations of street culture, Waight Keller has decided to push for a more elegant vision that's truly Givenchy.
These are not your typical suits
Sure, there's a focus on tailoring. But these are definitely not the usual fuddy-duddy styles. There's the pastel lavender set in look 19, the chaotic and edgy suit of look 26, and the sleek collarless version of look 48 that's paired with a silk scarf-shirt. It calls to mind the many times that suiting has been accused of being stuck in the past. If Givenchy has its way, suiting could very well be de riguer again, and in a more contemporary fashion too.
But these are not impossible looks
Sure, it's luxury fashion. But the beauty of Givenchy's spring/summer 2019 collection (and since Waight Keller's creative helm) is that the clothes are not difficult to wear. Instead of reimagining a Givenchy man that's out of reach for the common stylish man, each men's look is attainable yet still has a sense of fashion-forward attitude.
The subtle details and adjustments made, give each look a fresh perspective on how a man should dress. Givenchy's version of cargo trousers in look 17 for example, are—aside from being tailored—void of bulging patch pockets. Instead, the cargo pockets are designed to be fixed internally, with a pocket flap to still give the appearance of a cargo trouser. It's all in the details, folks.
The accessories are no after-thoughts too
Waight Keller offered a range of leather accessories, such as the leather bum bag in look 23 that seem to camouflage with the blue leather vest and trousers combo. But the key bag for spring/summer 2019, is the Tag cross-body bag. Crafted in full leather, the bag is designed with a strip of leather at the bottom that's branded with Givenchy. This allows the bag to be carried quite haphazardly (you know, for those moments where you just don't want to deal with a strap) by the bottom, while also show-off that Givenchy label. Genius.
At the heart of it, Givenchy is a couture house. Waight Keller employs the house's couture capabilities with mirror embroidery—small metallic elements are sewn onto some of the pieces in the evening portion of the collection. Featured on a blazer and trousers, they are embroidered to replicate the look of the classic herringbone pattern in menswear. But of course, modernised to look futuristic and incredibly luxe.