While once synonymous with an Audrey Hepburn-esque, Park Avenue glam, the recently instated Matthew Willliams is ushering Givenchy into yet another era, as evidenced with the French label’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection. The grunge-goth extravaganza (which included Bella Hadid in all her strutting glory) read like a ‘90’s-inspired parade of moody leathers, ripped faded tees, and distressed denim.
“I really wanted to create a synthesis of powerful, sophisticated femininity, with an interplay of multiple American and Parisian influences, sports and craftsmanship,” said Williams in the show notes. “Next to her stands a contemporary man with an instinct for chic nonchalance. On the runway, both are grounded by a sense of reality.”
The initial procession featured looks straight out of a Nirvana video, with models donning cut-off hoodies, tees ripped into tentacle-like shapes, and oversized baggy denim and leather trousers in cloudy grey, black, and chocolate brown palettes. “Here, Givenchy classicism and radicalism are united in a play on layered volumes and textures,” explain the show notes. “The day-to-day familiarity of washed jersey is explored with a new, intricate, layered rigor where an experiment in graphics and 4D print embroidery is brought to the fore.” Both a sense of structure and color accumulated in the form of floor-length wool blazers and trench coats (Matrix much?) and fitted A-line dresses.
Color could also be found amongst the ash-like palette, with the the aforementioned knee-length bouncy frocks shown in splashes of ivory, marigold, and deep violet, a seeming homage to the label’s softer origins. Also, breaking up the androgynous, moody tone was the always classic slip dress. For this fall staple, Williams created a silhouette that was sheer and second-skin-like at the bodice, but flowed into a mass of ruffles and pleats at the lower waist. “Ruffled wool dresses fuse with sport through spectacular coloring and netting that elevate the everyday and bring ease to evening,” read the show notes. “It adapts to a graceful yet grounded amazon, its sweeping drama enhanced by flashes of bare skin.”
A hint of glamour managed to peek in as strapless gowns covered in black paillettes, latex maxi dresses with peek-a-boo sweetheart bodices, and mini blazer dresses stomped down the runway, accessorized with oversized pearl baubles, thigh-high boots, and dainty wristlet bags which included a new iteration of last season’s launch, the Kenny bag, along with the New Hobo.
As it happens, the latter footwear was seemingly the common thread tying the amalgamation of old and new together. “Leather accessories give a guiding structure to the collection, whether used in luxurious utilitarian outerwear, trousers or skirts or as a sleek second skin under clothing, such as in the signature Givenchy stretch boots, which, quite literally, elevate the silhouette and the wearer,” said the show notes. The wedge boots were paired with shorts, dresses, and everything in-between, proving their versatility and possible status as the new It shoe for fall 2022. Williams showcased the footwear in a variety of colors ranging from neutral black and brown to candy colors like mint and grape.
And rounding out the ‘90s revival was a very prominent denim moment that may be signaling the end of the high-rise, straight-leg era. Low-slung, baggy jeans featuring interesting details of heavy distressing and tiny pearl grids felt like a youthful and light reprieve amidst the chic vampire party, especially when paired with fitted white cotton long-sleeve tees and goggle glasses. “Nothing is overly precious, even when the materials are: worn denim welcomes spectacular sequins and pearls in homage to Hubert de Givenchy’s sense of practical ornamentality,” explains the show notes.
All in all, Williams’ latest presentation felt like an artistic melding of Givenchy’s past, present, and future. See the well-rounded collection for yourself below.
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