Riccardo Tisci’s anniversary fashion show for Givenchy in New York


To celebrate his 10th anniversary as head of the house, Riccardo Tisco offered up a majestic view into the heart of his world imbued with dark romanticism, up on the New York rooftops.

Some were expecting a retrospective. Instead the Spring-Summer 2016 Givenchy show, marking Ricardo Tisci’s 10th year at the helm of the label, manifested a distinct authority. Taking place in New York to celebrate the opening of the new flagship store on Madison Avenue, the show unfolded in proportions clearly adapted to suit the Big Apple.  On the docks as the sun set, an impressed public were confronted with scenography by a Marina Abramovic: the Bulgarian artist and eternal accomplice of Riccardo Tisci who notably conceived a magnificent installation for the Opéra Garnier’s Boléro with costumes designed by Tisci. This time the décor with its extravagant dimensions evoked a temporary habitat, a shelter or favela, somewhat in the manner of Thomas Hirschhorn. At the top of the iron and wood scaffolding, performers invented unspecific rites caught somewhere between Christianity and paganism: it reminded us of the tribalism so often explored by the artistic director of Givenchy as well as the religious symbols that proliferate throughout his work. It was an unswerving view into the very heart of Tisci’s world, and above all an efficient synthesis of the ecumenical reflexions that occupy him: the designer dedicated this show to absolute, universal love, one that goes beyond any differences in race or religion.

Never has a Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy collection been so romantic: in white or black, as a baby-doll nightdress or top, mixed with beautiful draping, lace was largely dominant. Fluid silks were also very present, particularly with the tuxedo-pyjama suits, playing that masculine-meets-feminine card in no uncertain terms. Later on the designer seemed to retrace his own steps both claiming and highlighting his ten-year legacy: face jewellery and lace masks, ruching effects cascading to the floor on a couture dress worn by Joan Smalls, and sculptural, asymmetric basques...  While Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian might not have fully appreciated the Tibetan, Bulgarian, Indian, Hebrew and Arab chanting (delete as appropriate) that made up the show’s sound track, there was more than enough eye candy to devour in this pure Tisci extravaganza.


By Delphine Roche