Everyone’s favourite designer, Ricardo Tisci, has held back and pushed forward for AW13, moving slightly away from the iconographic collections. Of course there were still the religion-inspired printed images on shirts and sweatshirts but what they showed held the message in the clothes. From the grainy style.com photos, there seems to be a angel shrouding its face on the garments, something sad and sombre as well as the candle-lit 360-degree runway. The clothes adhere to this theme but had apocalyptic, darker connotations with the entire collection presented in grayscale, black and white colours, mixed and interpreted into intensely sleek and fashionable pieces. Mr. Tisci reduced items to their bare necessities and made others into armor, ready for war. Crombies, blazers, military jackets and other outerwear had no collars and gave room for the simple shirts to peek out. The military duffles were long and short and gave an impression of the ancient Terracotta Army but much less frivolous. A plastic/laminated sheen was present on those items in addition to some shirt and trousers, updating the look to the 21st century. Look 20 on Saskia De Brauw really epitomised the armor theme with leather shoulder patches, technical material for the body and many buttons and zips. The introduction of women into the collection really stresses the importance of what he’s trying to get across, supposedly war or a tasteful representation of it, to both genders by making them both more strong and making this collection more versatile (looks 29 and 30 for example) . I don’t know if the look on Saskia De Brauw will be available for men but I sure hope it will (the men of fashion week and Kanye will wear it either way).
But Mr. Tisci, for all the change in this collection, did not forget what brought him to fame in the first place, the interesting pieces no one else could design and the sportswear influenced items reworked into sexualised, ‘high-fashion’ pieces. The deconstructed/reconstructed football gear into armor was the most intriguing selection of pieces in the collection , made into 2 bomber jackets and a sweatshirt. They look like Tommy Ton magnets. The sportswear was abundant but more restrained and was not the base of the collection, like past seasons. Leather puffas were tied around the waist, which gave the more sartorial looks a street smart edge (this tye-item-around-waist look is 90’s might I add). It looked best in the looks with the short leather shorts, creating a slightly feminine silhouette while juxtaposing the masculinity of bare thighs. Sexuality is a recurrent theme in Mr. Tisci’s shows, and as he explained in this fairly recent interview:
“Men want to be sexy now,” Tisci says. “Before it was only gay people going around like that. Today it’s mostly straight people.”
Mostly because of his designs has this new wave has come about. Velvet, added to the compulsory black leather, was the main metaphor for sexuality in AW13 with detailing on shirts, full velvet sweatshirts and suits. Zippers open and closed, alluded to an out-of bounds area of masculinity, Cuts close to the thigh but slim on the ankle also enhanced this feeling.
This was a much harder, darker collection at Givenchy, an designer’s answer to the apocalypse (that didn’t happen), and more metaphor oriented than past collections. A 360-degree runway represented a 360-degree perspective change (I was getting quite tired of the animal+sheer+kilt = loved by everyone repeats). It is certain that more of these more design-oriented/experimental clothes added to his street-culture influenced aesthetic will lead to more exciting and successful collections, as anything that Ricardo Tisci touches turns to gold.
UPDATE: There is some rock ‘n’ roll influence too in the looks with the collarless jackets
Selected looks from the collection (better images should be uploaded tomorrow, these are quite grainy):