On March 7th Matthew Williams showed his second collection as the creative director of Givenchy in an empty Parisian stadium. The co-founder of the fashion brand 1017 ALYX 9SM merged his signature sports aesthetic with the high-end craftsmanship of the Givenchy brand, producing some impressive looks that explored shape, texture, and color.
“In many ways, this collection is about a constant tension between two worlds. It’s about finding personal meaning in difficult circumstances; it’s about sincerity in what we do rather than strategy,” said Williams after the show. “We wanted to bring a sense of lived reality alongside precision, elegance and extravagance in the clothing and looks. Ultimately, fashion for us is a way of being, feeling and connecting rather than a game to be played. It’s almost like monumentalizing the everyday, filling it with emotion – like music you can wear.”
His debut show for the brand had a cinematic quality and a techno soundtrack that was combined perfectly with the drama and sharpness of the clothes. The video began with models in the upper railings of what looks to be an abandoned sound stage. Then, the models sprint to the runway before lights beam down on late Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow Walker, kicking off the co-ed collection.
Among the standouts of the collection are tailored monochromatic suits, massive furry mittens, oversized parkas lined in shearling, and shell-like slip-on sneakers. Tailoring was also impeccable throughout the show. Some looks showcased slim designs and others, like the ones below, showed oversized items. These looks gave different and interesting interpretations to the classic suit and even gave them a sense of androgyny.
Experimental use of texture was a big part of the pre-recorded show. Layers were the most common way to do that – take the look to the left below, layers go from fur, cotton, silk to sequins. The use of texture also provided an incredible effect on the runway with a dress for example featuring a stunning colorful cascade to the hem full of feathers.
As for the collection’s more controversial elements, the cup-less bras used in two looks and extreme nudity in others received criticism. Fashionista’s Tyler McCall called out the collection on Twitter stating, “I am not a prude and I don’t mind nudity but this is just getting tits out for the sake of seeming ~edgy~ or ~interesting. It’s a completely empty gesture. Just like these absurd shoes. What relevance does any of this have?”
The cup-less bras and transparent dresses seemed controversial just to be controversial. Considering that this is a winter collection and most of the looks included layers, coats and even parkas it seemed rather out of place. If the purpose of this collection is to get dressed for winter weather, what is the point of including these semi-nude looks? Is it practical or just for show?