Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci has struck a commercially viable rhythm in his current menswear design M.O. – we’ve now repeatedly seen the red/black/warpaint-brown color combos, the five-point stars supernova-ed across collars, leather and skirts (and leather skirts), and of course, dogs. Pre-fall 2013 basically mashes up everything from this street-style friendly formula, pulling references from as far back as fall/winter 2011 (where we first met the now-infamous house Rottweiler – though Tisci has since graduated to the leaner Doberman).
There are, however, less obvious codes inherent in pre-fall as well. For example, Tisci has reinterpreted an array of masculine tartans and plaids, and certain silhouettes (like slimline paneled coats and cutaway bombers) are back in play. He’s also still applying bands intermittently; sometimes on the arm, sometimes across the chest. Refreshingly, there’s a more kitsch-than-Kanye vibe in the collection’s accents – the back of one particular jacket is emblazoned with the word “PERVERT” in full-on varsity lettering, and the Derbies are gold-studded and patterned. These are small details on a larger vista, but they may indicate a softening shift away from Tisci’s glossy and heavy-handed compositions of late.
Curiously, the press notes mention “iconic motorcycle looks and meatpacker’s imagery,” but if anything, the impression is more urban lumberjack than butcher – another proven aesthetic in the vein of mass appeal. But it begs the question of salability versus originality, and it poses the risk of turning away those who were at first wildly impressed by Tisci’s tough-luxe approach. Take for example the canine motif. Nary a week went by without Tommy Ton posting some lithe “candid” of that omnipresent snarling Rottweiler sweatshirt, whereby Givenchy then started applying it universally on everything from iPad cases to filler merch between mainline seasons. Now they’ve got the Doberman, and while the execution of the theme is technically fine (namely on a texturized, all-over print crew-neck), it reads as… tepid rehashing, perhaps for the sake of people late to the game but with money to spend. It’s vaguely similar to Alexander McQueen’s skull scarf. Yet with that being said, the skull scarf is still a cash cow for McQueen, and with the increasing commercialization of high-end fashion (cough Wanglenciaga cough), it makes perfect sense for Givenchy not to shoot Old Yeller.
Click on the slideshow to see images of looks from Givenchy’s pre-fall 2013 collection.