United States of Givenchy

Givenchy’s much-heralded American debut was never going to be about the clothes. The combined 88-piece spring collection played out like a retrospective précis of Riccardo Tisci’s first ten years at the French label (although it was surprising that one of his more enduring themes, the Stars and Stripes, was a no-show). No, this extravaganza was about his view of America and how he’d translate it — with the help of his friend, the artist Marina Abramovic — into a spectacle worthy of one of Europe’s great heritage houses.


Like the twin rays of light in the distance to commemorate of 9/11 on September 11, Tisci’s view of America appears to be twofold. One the one hand, it resembles a Brazilian favela, another of his recurring themes, which Abramovic recreated here using all recycled materials. And on the other hand, it has a lot to do with celebrity. Seemingly no bold-facer was left behind. Julia Roberts, Courtney Love, Nicki Minaj, Catherine Deneuve, Erykah Badu, Kimye, Liv Tyler, and many more heeded the call. What about Madonna, you ask? She just launched her world tour, silly.


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