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Givenchy Spring 2009: Gothic Urban Cowboy

Givenchy Spring 2009

Givenchy Spring 2009

PARIS, Oct 6, 2008 / FW / — In a collection entitled ‘Western Bondage’, Riccardo Tisci moved away from the Givenchy DNA as far as possible with the hopes of creating a new signature for the venerable French maison and also making the brand attractive to a younger generation.

A little of cowboy chic courtesy of the chaps, a little of gothic courtesy of the black leather cutout top; and while you’re at it, add S&M on the list, again courtesy of the said black leather outfit.

There is even a little bit of the young Riccardo Tisci when he was still showing in Milan as seen in the vest jacket with long puff sleeves and adorned with flat black crystals laid out in a geometric shape.

As for the light and airy touch usually associated with Givenchy, it was seen in the mini tunic dresses in beige with a transparent inset from the bustline all the way to the upper thighs to show yellow lace inside.

With Riccardo Tisci having creative control on almost everything at Givenchy – womenswear, menswear and accessories, the Italian designer’s need to revitalize the brand as fast and as soon as possible is crucial.

So, he is taking more risks, wherein the payoff is higher if hits the mark but losing means hitting rock bottom.

This collection is a little bit of both. Tisci’s take on the urban cowboy will catch the eye of the ever individualistic eyes of today’s young generation. They don’t want to dress their mother, but want the prestige that designer’s name brands give. So, the underlying gothic / bondage theme incorporated in an urban cowboy setting is good.

Still, Tisci took a chance in losing the very loyal Givenchy clientele who had stayed with the brand whether the tide is rising or ebbing. Perhaps, Tisci is thinking that they have stayed this long, they will still longer and understand what he is doing.

Whether or not Tisci played his cards right to get a winning hand, we will find out in six months when the collection hit store shelves. Will they sell like hotcakes or stay in the clothes rack? Only time can answer that.

[MARI DAVIS]

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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2009