PARIS, Aug 12, 2008 / FW/ — Madonna and Givenchy, two iconic names, their potency being doubted by pundits. Entertainment writers claim that Madonna is now ‘regal and part of the establishment’ instead of the rebellious singer/artist of ‘Like a Virgin.’ Givenchy, fashion’s poisoned cup that sent John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Julien Macdonald on a revolving door of designers.
Enter Riccardo Tisci with his dark and almost gothic vision of high fashion. Fashion pundits are still debating whether he will be Givenchy’s salvation. The detractors are saying that Tisci does not have the ‘light touch’ that Hubert di Givenchy has, while Tisci’s supporters are saying that it is actually his strength.
Here comes Madonna, her talent for reinventing herself over and over again had kept her on top of the entertainment charts for over two decades. A collaboration with her is always high profile, guaranteed that at least one million pair of eyes would see.
Haute couture, definitely on an ebb tide, with approximately 200 clients worldwide according to latest reports, down 87% from 1500 at the turn of the century, and a mere 1.33% of the 15,000 strong of the 1960s.
But, the recently concluded Fall 2008 haute couture season indicated that it might be on a revival, as the spirit of Carla Bruni Sarkozy, France’s First Lady and former supermodel permeated at the shows.
The timing is right, and the leading character – Madonna is someone who could pull it off. Put Givenchy on the map again, presenting it to a well-heeled audience who could and would appreciate Riccardo Tisci’s new vision of haute couture, and thus continue the momentum that started in Paris last July.
Will they make it? Perhaps. With names like ‘Gangster Pimp’ and ‘Gypsy’ for the outfits, it will definitely raise eyebrows with the established haute couture clients but also catch their interest.
A two-piece set, ‘Gangster Pimp’ presents a frock coat in black stretch satin that is trimmed with pleated black silk organza embroidered with jet beads. The other half of the outfit is a waistcoat in black stretch satin trimmed with black silk fringes embroidered with jet beads and laced up corseted back.
‘Gypsy’ is mysterious with its long hooded cape in black silk taffeta, lined in fuchsia silk taffeta and embroidered with jet stones that hides a dress in black stretch chiffon trimmed with multicoloured ribbons and fuchsia coloured metal chains worn with a matching necklace.
Illustrations by Riccardo Tisci courtesy of Givenchy