“Pure and light, I went back to the roots of the house.” said Riccardo Tisci backstage at his transcendently chic and controlled Givenchy show. “and worked on the sixties of Hubert [de Givenchy]—which was the best period for me.” To this, Tisci added his passion for the furniture designs of the enigmatic creative force Carlo Mollino—“the geometry and the lightness of the shapes in wood and the metal”—and blended in the sobriety of nuns’ habits.
Tisci’s Catholicism turned up in other ways, too: in the priest collars on his sixties shifts; in the voluminous bishop sleeves on a striking black jacket; in the split skirts worn with crisp, dry blazers and pants, like church vestments. Given the nature of his fixations this season, and the super-controlled way he executed them (earlier this week at Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière also taught us that ruffles can be minimal), the collection didn’t deliver the sexual-depth charge that Tisci is so capable of. A quick look at the gold chokers and the Carlo Mollino-inspired Plexiglas, plastic, leather, and nailhead heels, though, confirms that it didn’t lack for eroticism, either. Not for nothing did one of Tisci’s faithful greet him backstage with the phrase “I’d like to be a Givenchy nun.”