Givenchy Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection
In January, Matthew M. Williams will present his first haute couture collection for Givenchy. “He was drawn; we just started the webs, ”he revealed during a preview of his first live show with an audience since joining the house at the start of the pandemic. Supported by her couture aspirations, her third ready-to-wear collection is like an outing of grandiose proportions: a massive explosion of ideas and ambitions locked in for too long, until finally, the stopper jumps.
Inside the gargantuan La Défense Arena, Williams erected a proportionately giant oval light structure in which some 70 models crossed and passed each other with military panache. Immensity was Young Thug’s idea. He recorded a soundtrack for the show (quite catchy), and only a stadium experience would do. “The fact that everyone sees it in real life has definitely informed what you’re going to see today,” Williams said, and his intentions were clear.
Tackling an amplified 1940s figure – sculpted shoulders, pinched waist – he worked the fabrication and decoration of the surface of each garment to inextricable degrees, increasing the impact factor of the looks so you could literally see details on the other side of the arena. Skinny bloomers erupted into unyielding ruffles, columned dresses were encrusted with thick, rustling mega-sequins, and reinforced bolero jackets took shape through dense micro-pleated structures.
“The pieces are really, really worked and intricate,” said Williams, his mind clearly already in the world of tailoring. In many ways, the collection felt like a precursor to the idea of sewing. It manifested itself in a zealous design value, which often resulted in stiff and constraining constructions like domineering hoof boots up to the knees or fitted neoprene jackets fitted in deconstructed corsetry or implanted with purposeful peplums coming out of their hips. .
Williams collaborated with New York artist Josh Smith, interpreting his semi-abstract paintings through his own textural lens, working container designs painted with clowns and words on the surface of his signature vulcanized jeans, or those of scary balloon smileys in torn leggings. “Josh has a very different aesthetic than mine: lots of color and light. It was a great opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and explore a new space, ”said Williams.
The creative dialogue between the two was most eloquently expressed in a series of paintings by Smith – which Williams says depicts the Grim Reaper – adapted in intricate knits and leather tops, some layered in sheer fabric filters. printed with similar patterns, creating a kind of illusion in the style. These looks were “only” streetwear, but they represented Williams’ passion for texture in its most compelling aspect. In an age when streetwear designers are becoming dressmakers, Williams will do well to use her tailoring shops for a balanced experimentation like this.