Monday 8th March

| BY Paul Toner

Givenchy: Ready-to-wear AW21

Matthew Williams’ vision for Givenchy is defined by spectacle. His bold vision, grounded in clothes that scream to be seen, deserves to be unveiled in front of a live audience. While the American fashion titan might have to wait a little longer till he can make his proper Paris Fashion Week debut for the house, his cinematic AW21 presentation showed true star power.

“In many ways, this collection is about a constant tension between two worlds,” wrote Williams in his show notes. He brought his sophomore Givenchy collection to the vast Paris La Défense Arena, where models trudged through water; their every move stalked by beaming spotlights.

The eeriness in the air was met with clothes that teetered between elegance and radicalism. Whether that’s smart suiting worn with swollen Marshmellow platforms, woollen vests paired with fuzzy mittens or a whole host of crowns, hoods and crocheted, horny balaclavas – this is a collection designed to infiltrate the gram.

Though, there’s a protective element to these garments, in particular heavy outerwear which cocoons the frame of the wearer. As models strode in choreographed formations, it appeared as they were commuting to a dystopian future, where their clothes served as armour in tackling the everyday. Emerging into the outside world post-pandemic, this mood feels more intuned with reality than sci-fi fantasy, and Matthew Williams is prepared to dress the unknowingness of tomorrow.

Photography courtesy of Givenchy.