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Matthew Williams returns to Givenchy’s historic codes for SS24

Matthew Williams dug through the house’s archives to re-imagine the pieces that laid the foundations of Givenchy.

Matthew Williams returns to Givenchy’s historic codes for SS24

Since the arrival of Matthew Williams at Givenchy in 2020, the Maison has abandoned the Haute Couture line and concentrated on ready-to-wear. However, for the SS24 collection presented at École Militaire, Williams returned to the brand’s historical codes.

Givenchy‘s history dates back to 1952 when French fashion designer Hubert Givenchy founded the iconic house, which he defined as a symbol of elegance and luxury in the world of fashion. Following the arrival of Matthew M. Williams as creative director of the brand in 2020, a new era began for Givenchy. Gone are the elegant gowns that Audrey Hepburn loved so much, to welcome the quiet luxury that Matthew is so famous for.

For SS24, the creative director dug through the house’s archives to re-imagine the iconic suits and dresses that cemented the foundations of Hubert’s Givenchy. Matthew M. Williams offered a romantic vision of the brand based on elegant tailoring and floral motifs. An unprecedented air to date, as the house in the hands of the designer had opted for the use of metallic applications with an industrial air and treatments with hard materials.

“The new elegance”, as he calls it, is the new Givenchy romanticised. “It may come as a surprise to you, but it’s actually something that comes very naturally to me. I spend a lot of my free time gardening. I’m passionate about flowers. It’s my biggest hobby. If we extract the common denominators of elegance, the flower is inescapable. I thought it would be interesting to develop a floral language that reflects both the maison’s archives and myself”.

Williams drew on the floral archives of Hubert de Givenchy, another keen gardener, and reworked and adapted them in the form of hand-painted and embroidered motifs on the dresses, printed like porcelain on the finest fabrics and accessories. The florals brought a sense of lightness and optimism to the dark, austere sophistication that defines Williams’ Givenchy wardrobe and testified to the designer’s continuing creative evolution.

Skirt suits took on a contemporary twist; lace ruffles protruded from the necklines of dresses, sashes wrapped the bust and dresses and skirts were intervened with pearls, crystal and glass. These elements were in dialogue with more realistic pieces that laid the foundations of the collection. It was more than evident that tailoring was the protagonist, both in sharp, sculptural silhouettes and in double-breasted, soft, oversized jackets. Coats also came in the colours of flowers.

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