Numerous male fashion editors have been spotted wearing Givenchy over the last few months, proof of the growing influence Riccardo Tisci wields in menswear. In only four seasons, and with simple yet relevant gestures, the Italian designer has reached that elusive junction where trendy, chic, classic, underground and mainstream converge. And his first-rate casting of male models with different body types and various ethnic origins has managed to mirror the cosmopolitan world we live in without resorting to threadbare clichés.
This season, Tisci elected to ditch the sportswear that reportedly sells like hot buns to reveal a more monastic side. An ecclesiastical theme produced spare but well-cut tailoring in black, white and navy, while gold appeared as thorny crown-shaped necklaces. The strongest pieces consisted of bib-front shirts, shorts that looked like skirts when seen from the front, black satin tights and shiny black monk sandals.
When seen online, the collection might look plain. Which is a pity, because no computer screen will ever render the emotion elicited by these eerie and engaging outfits, shown in the richly ornamented ballroom of the Sorbonne university, with Ave Maria on the soundtrack and heady incense wafting in the air.