Tuesday 25th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Givenchy: Ready-To-Wear SS19

A laser beam of light lit the way into the Givenchy where Clare Waight Keller focused in on her vision for the house. For those who thought gender fluidity was a 21st century concept, she offered as a muse the Swiss writer and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who from childhood dressed and acted like a man and lived and loved both women and men, over a century ago. It was a neat thread to tie her men’s and women’s collections together.

But whilst her men mostly wore suits (lilac and skinny with white Chelsea boots) her women had a broader wardrobe that took in a cerulean blue dress with a dramatic fan of crisp knife pleats over the bodice, rugged leather shirts tucked into army trousers, and red carpet worthy gowns printed with a starburst of florals and worn with little capelets. After her years at Chloe, where floaty dresses rules, the designer has become a mistress of flou.

There were some beautifully constructed bias dresses with modern cutouts. Waight Keller is fast establishing Givenchy as a hot accessory house (the number of women wearing her zip-front boots on the front row suggests it’s working). Be prepared to lust after her low-slung silver slingbacks and mules, spangled shoulder grazing silver earrings and soft leather pouches.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.