Her second season in and with a lauded couture collection under her belt, for Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy, Autumn/Winter 2018 saw the designer picking up pace in her vision of the future at this iconic house. As with many runways this season, to look ahead there must be deference to the past – the '80s to be exact – but a literal representation this was not; in fact, for the designer, the era served as a jumping off point from which to codify new modes for the Givenchy woman in seasons to come.
Looking to films The Hunger and B-Movie: Lust & Sound In West-Berlin 1979-1989 as her source material, infused with Film Noir tendencies, the expansive collection seduced big time through its sense of a grittier side to glamour, playing to the tensions between the rougher and smoother sides of both the times and, indeed, the city. Take for example those powerful opening exits – "sleazy fur" as the designer explained – '80s in inception, yet contemporary in that they were faux fur: a statement speaking to changing times for the house and the designer steering its course.
Next up, it was all about the sharp shoulder, making its point through precise cuts and compounded by cinched waists, outerwear pieces were styled over suiting, in checks, houndstooth and heritage fabrics, while a trench-cape seemed to give a nod to the Philo-Céline school of in-garment layering. For the night scene, dresses with ruffles, fringing and bows in mostly monochrome contained elements out of the Hubert de Givenchy playbook for sure, while slip dresses with negligée lace panels added a little more sass to the occasion. A heady mix of pragmatism and vigour, this is glamour for the new era of Givenchy.