Givenchy AW23 – Paris Fashion Week
Amy Pateman looks back at Matthew M. Williams' new collection for PFW
For Paris Fashion Week, Givenchy AW23 looked to re-contextualise archetypes and create an elegant yet contemporary study of glamour and feminine allure. The collection skilfully investigated the concepts of generational sophistication rendered through re-evaluated classical compositions. Artistic director Matthew M. Williams continued to pay homage to Hubert De Givenchy’s definitive principles, while establishing with confidence an effortless, modern-day wardrobe of empowerment.
There was a new elegance weaved throughout Williams’ latest study in clothing. The balance between his version of the old and the new manifested themselves in fresh silhouettes, intricate constructions and styling informed by the past, yet reinvigorated for the present. Oversized proportions, tailored cuts and, of course, performatively imposing shoulders worked best with nipped waists and short hems, while longer hems swept the floor on column dresses and spectacular evening gowns.
Black coats developed in the haute couture atelier were crafted in satin, tricotine, cashmere and mohair and never ceased to amaze. Suit jackets structured in the same silhouette appeared with sheer underpinnings, while the colour palette stretched all the way from black to black with electric greens and vibrant yellows and purples dotting the journey along the way.
The study between the old and the new was not the only dialogue to be had on the catwalk. Parisian chic and Williams’ American cool brought a different kind of subtext to the story. The easy body language of traditional sweats, workwear and denim pieces formed fluid new structures. Layering became a crucial element to the sense of depth and character developing to the narrative. And, sophistication underwritten by contemporary cuts and expressive lines created the kind of chic and desirable aesthetic the famous Paris House is renowned for.
Williams’ modern vision of these past glories led us to the kind of wearable versatility demanded by be even the most fashion-conscious partisans. Mysterious yet relatable. Old yet new. Givenchy AW23 stands ready to challenge fashion culture with a new sartorial reality.
To read our review of the Alexander McQueen show from PFW, click here
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