On Sunday, one of the most highly anticipated debuts of Paris Fashion Week took place — Matthew Williams at Givenchy, as a sampler of what’s to come in this exciting new chapter for the French luxury house.
Beginning in the midst of the pandemic and completed within the two months, the debut collection intermingled both elements of the French house’s archives with a distinct futurism, morphing it in black-clad elegance, from casual to formal wear.
Hardware was key here, combining William’s penchant for utility with the luxury of the French maison, with a genderless approach towards jewellery and accessories. For one, the Lover’s Lock, a unisex object of utility, decoration, commitment yet emotion, an also a playful symbol of Paris, is punctuated throughout the collection, as both decoration and fastening.
"You find the pieces of the puzzle for a collection, building it from symbols and signs, but never forgetting the reality of the person who will wear it and bring it to life," Williams said, in a statement. "The women and men should be powerful and effortless, equal and joyful, a reflection of who they really are – only more so. It's about finding the humanity in luxury." A tailoring-driven approach was taken, reflecting the modernism associated with William’s 1017 Alyx 9SM brand, and Williams' penchant for cutting-edge craftsmanship.
There were also nods to previous designers of the houses, including Hubert de Givenchy’s looped drapery, linear necklaces and ‘Jour’ open backs, to the McQueen horn, and a new rendition of Givenchy’s iconic Antigona bag, coming in elongated straps and a more streamlined élan, and an overall play on fabric and textures.
William’s vision for Givenchy and his fierce urban sensibility certainly ushers in a new era for the French luxury house. Check out all 54 looks from the Spring-Summer 2021 collection here: