It might just be his strongest collection for the house yet.
Spring 2023 turns a new page in the Matthew Williams era at Givenchy — this much was teased in a widely-discussed New York Times profile of the designer by Jessica Testa, published on Saturday, ahead of the brand's show. It's a worthwhile read, especially as a supplementary text for the collection: She writes about speculation regarding Williams' contract with LVMH, the reception his work for the brand has gotten and, crucially, its plans for a turnaround.
The direction for spring, Testa explains in the piece, is "more svelte and sexy — or 'feminine and sophisticated,' as Mr. Williams said — with less of a tough New Yorker girl vibe and more of a new-to-him Parisian chic... as if his intensity has been plugged into Google Translate. (Or as if he suddenly got more female co-workers.)" The show was styled by Carine Roitfeld, which added another very specific sensibility (and female POV) to the whole collection.
Surely enough, the spring show — held at Paris' Jardin des Plantes, not long after the skies opened up and rain poured over guests looking for their seats — evolves some of the codes Williams has introduced since he took over Givenchy. There's still an edge (as seen in leather harness bra tops, sharp-shouldered gloves shirts, low-slung bottoms), but the pieces feel like they could fit into a woman's wardrobe very easily: a flounce hem slip that can be styled with a blazer or worn on its own, tweed separates that fit a variety of occasions, dresses with a touch of something but still look and feel uncomplicated.
Part of Williams' appeal as a designer has always been his ability to read the zeitgeist and understand what customers are gravitating toward — in the case of this collection, we see plenty of Y2K-referential looks that feed the hunger for nostalgia (think low-rise cargo shorts and long denim skirts).
It'll be interesting to see how Givenchy's Spring 2023 collection translates in retail — what sells, what people respond to and what it might tell us about the future of the house.
See the full Givenchy Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.
View the 51 images of this gallery on the original article