Well, that was fun: another Fashion Month has come and gone. Now that we've had time to regroup, it seems like this one was a lot more eventful than seasons past. Certainly a lot of the excitement had to do with the new arrivals at Dior and Saint Laurent, but those weren't the only happenings that caused a stir this month. From the critic who got into public spats with two high-profile designers to the most recognizable accessory of the season, we examine the reasons why the Spring 2013 collections will stick out in our minds for years to come.
Riccardo Tisci's Catholic upbringing is usually present in the clothing he creates for Givenchy, but his Spring 2013 show for the house telegraphed it in a number of literal ways. He took some of Hubert de Givenchy's '60s couture flair — primarily in the form of sculptural ruffles and beautiful materials like taffeta and duchesse satin — and poured them into dresses that referenced nun's habits with the addition of wide collars typically seen only in convents. (For good measure, the show was set to live organ music by Mathias Lecomte and DJ Discodromo.)
Even when the clothes weren't cut from slightly sheer fabrics, they looked light as air. This may have had something to do with the color palette: beige, white, black, and a flattering pale blue dominated here. It also is partly attributable to the chaste way Tisci chose to expose skin. A lot of the pieces had one sleeve (accented by those ruffles) or none. Even the strictest nun would approve.
Though his work at Givenchy gets rave reviews and is credited with saving the house financially, Riccardo Tisci says he wasn't sure why he was selected for the job.
"When you come after such genius, it's hard," he said. "For a very long time I didn't understand why they took me."
Tisci became the youngest designer entrusted with a couture house in 2005 when, at age 30, he replaced Julien Macdonald. Last year, he revealed that he only took the job to save his family from financial ruin.
"I was going to say no," he said. "But the week before, my mother called me and said to me, 'I am going to tell you something I haven't even told your sisters: I think I am going to sell our house because your sisters are struggling, they're having children, they need the money. I will go to a retirement home.' When I heard that it was like a knife in my heart. I felt like such a failure, that my mother had to sell the house of my father whom I don't remember. And then I went to Paris, and they showed me a contract with all these zeros on it, and it was like help from God. I thought 'If I sign this, my mother will never have to worry again.' So I signed it."
Photo: Rooney Mara and Riccardo Tisci walk the red carpet at the 2012 Met Gala.
Riccardo Tisci fused Hubert de Givenchy's clean-lined '60s silhouettes with an eclectic, bohemian gypsy vibe when he created his Fall 2012 Couture collection for Givenchy. The 10-look offering is as much a "collision of contradiction," as the house called it, as it is a study in how to take luxurious materials out of their own comfort zones. Nappa leather, for example, was cut into a fringe that got bonded back together to form the bodice and sleeves of one dress. The same fringe was also used to create a floor-length cape. When they were done cutting leather into strips, workers in Tisci's atelier turned their attention to creating a sort of mink lace — pieces of the fur were shaved away to allow for beadwork to shine through, then formed into coats with short kimono sleeves. Another cape spun from a red-and-black beaded fringe only displays its intricate pattern when it stands still. And that's where the contradiction in this collection is at play: the dresses that rely on movement and color to make statements blend perfectly well with beige wool column dresses that look forceful and powerful when they stand completely still.
Riccardo Tisci was inspired by the idea of a "traveling, nomadic woman" when he designed Givenchy's Resort 2013 collection. "She's a gypsy, really," he said — and a very modern gypsy at that. Tisci took red, blue, and gold paisley prints from the Givenchy archives and covered them with black-and-white squares and triangles. This created a graphic statement that he then applied to evening gowns, skirts, accessories, and the sarouel pants he's now known for. Much of the rest of the collection comprised solid black and white pieces, including sculptural T-shaped jackets and lacy gowns, but all of the garments allowed for the kind of sporadic movement necessary for modern life — nomadic or otherwise.
>> "Horse riding, Guy Bourdin, and Paris in the '70s," were Riccardo Tisci's talking points for Fall 2012 Givenchy. The horse-riding influence was present in the form of equestrian jackets, slouchy jodhpurs, and chap-like knee-high boots. But this wasn't your average English countryside jaunt; there were also ruffled peplums and undulating bustles, lacy boudoir slip dresses, ruffles of scarlet chiffon, and an eye-popping amount of slick black leather. The tough sexiness? Part of it was the Guy Bourdin '70s bit, sure, but mostly it was all Tisci.
For Givenchy's Fall 2012 collection, Riccardo Tisci showed a strong lineup of equestrian-inspired looks comprised of structural leather dresses, luxurious over-the-knee riding boots, and sexy lace. Precision-cut jackets were paired with jodhpur trousers, and full pleated skirts were styled with cropped caplet jackets, driving home the riding theme. Tisci's signature hard-edge style was present in every look; dresses ranged from architectural leather renditions to embellished boudoir-like slip dresses showing sexy slits and sheer detailing. For added texture, Tisci showcased sumptuous two-tone short-sleeve jackets and tricolor vests. There were also a bevy of leather pants dipped in bright red hues and our favorite: a standout pair of black quilted trousers. More highlights from the collection below.
- Trends: Leather dresses, structured coats, over-the-knee boots, jodhpurs.
- Colors: Red, black, brown, camel, tangerine, purple.
- Key Look: We loved the structural leather pieces and tailored blazers.
- Accessories: Over-the-knee boots, wide belts, leather gloves, silk scarves.
- Who Would Wear It: Girls who crave dramatic fashion-forward looks like front-row attendees Alicia Keys, Leigh Lezark, and Cassie Ventura.
>> Although there were rumors that Gisele Bundchen shot the Spring 2012 Givenchy campaign last month in Jamaica, it seems that was not the case. Bundchen was snapped with Riccardo Tisci earlier today, shooting the campaign on the beaches of Barcelona. We've got a few snaps from the set; this may not be the end of Bundchen's Spring 2012 campaign streak — the model, who is already headed home to Brazil, is also said to be in the upcoming Versace campaign.
Riccardo Tisci's Spring '12 collection for Givenchy drew upon oceanic influences in a modern, unexpected way showing eel skin, sequins, shark tooth necklaces, and clothing cut to look as if they'd grown a fin. There were no prints like there were for Fall; rather, the focus was on texture and cut, delivered on top supermodels like Gisele, Natalia Vodianova, and Karolina Kurkova. Sharp, sexy suiting played a big role in the collection for Tisci showing a varied mix with scuba-like pants paired with sleeveless blazers, peplum jackets, and dramatic statement blouses made to look like gorgeous underwater fins. Exotic skins such as eel, shark, or stingray further played into the underwater theme. For eveningwear, Tisci created dazzle with head-to-toe metallic sequined suit sets and dresses fit for any jet-setting, party-hopping queen. Read more details from the collection below.
- Trends: Sexy suiting, peplum, short shorts, sequin/shimmer.
- Colors: Off white, olive green, black, light pink.
- Key Look: The head-to-toe sequined looks and the exotic skin embellished dresses and skirts.
- Accessories: Sexy ankle strap sandals, chain waist bags, small metallic clutches, skinny leather belts, oversized shark tooth necklaces.
- Who Would Wear It: Girls who crave edge with a soft touch like Diane Kruger and Kate Bosworth.