Givenchy’s latest collections show us that there’s no limits for inspirations, nor social parameters of who should wear or should not wear a designer piece. If you look deeply at the cast of models being included on those runways, you will notice the peculiar decision of Riccardo Tisci to include guys who look as if they were streetcasted from a bunch of legit thugs.
The references of those sects are so shocking nowadays, even when we have past examples like Gaultier, Westwood and Yamamoto, who took inspiration from gangs, ritual practices and Catholic art. But Tisci has his credit for “starting from scratch” after the saturation of Madonnas, Rottweilers, sharks and birds of paradise that would become instant icons for the maison.
The new beginning dates back to his spring 2015 menswear collection, when he (Tisci) depurated its aesthetic and went in favor of classic tailoring with solid fabrics, mostly black coloured, and the use of more basic patterns like pinstripes and less loaded floral prints. But at the same time, we still found some sporty clothes, like windbreaker anoraks and jackets.
Then, Givenchy fall 2015 went to scene in a more sinister mood; continuing the tailoring guidelines established in the past collection, Tisci began implementing Satanic and African motifs like voodoo rites such as Candomblé, which we can see from the palette contrasting red with black, as well as makeup on some models which reminds us of African masks.
As if it were a kind of story divided into three parts, this trilogy could be told as follows: purification of man to its origins; then, the corruption by their darkest desires; and ending with sentencing, trial and imprisonment, taking Jesus Christ as prime inspiration, who is known as the most famous prisoner ever.
Givenchy’s latest collection is about life in prison, a vindication of the incarcerated men as potential muses. From denim overalls, striped loose fitting shirts and simulated ID cards printed on oversized t-shirts, to the constant religious imagery of the passion of the Christ, everything has a consistent approach.
With Givenchy’s past three shows, Riccardo Tisci definitely proved that topics like segregation, vandalism, religion and the occult can be hell for some, and to others, a source of great inspiration to create characters, rather than just outfits, who embody a reality lurking out there.