Clare Waight Keller gave formal tailoring her own feminine touch in Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2020 offering at Paris Fashion Week. The French luxury maison stayed true to founder Hubert de Givenchy‘s bold use of colour, particularly in the 50s, that resulted in an overall graphic slant. Black, red and white dominated the collection with plenty of colour blocking, polka-dots and stripes seen in silky chiffon dresses and tops. The colours chosen by Keller highlight the severe yet refined silhouette, which was loose yet structured with an emphasis on shoulder details. Voluminous sleeves and straight shoulder pads were seen throughout the collection, making this a more formal take on ready-to-wear compared to her boho-inspired show last season.
Keller loosens up the serious overtone slightly during the evening wear portion of the show as feathered skirts, gowns and tops floated down the runway. These pieces also incorporated sheer panels that contrast well with the very opaque and severe caped coats that were seen at the beginning of the show. The softness and ethereal qualities of these sheer panels and feathers act like lingering girlish fantasies that remain in woman who has been hardened through life. At times, women entertain these fantasies, dressing in frivolous and feathered garments for a night out.
However, Keller intrinsically knows that these factious pieces are often covered up with more sensible, almost corporate outerwear such as her caped overcoats in order for women to be “taken seriously”. This dichotomy of severity and softness is precisely why the Givenchy woman should never be underestimated.