Clare Waight Keller loves a divisive female heroine, and the Givenchy SS20 collection spun a mythology fit for the big screen.
Givenchy’s Spring 2020 collection featured high-fashion Bermuda shorts, a killer denim button-down dress, florals galore, and a hearty tribute to fashion’s favorite New York moment: the 90’s. Clare Waight Keller’s latest collection acutely fused her experiences in Parisvis-à-vis her time at Chloé with her origins in New York fashion at Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren in the early ’90s. The coalescing of the two almost opposing sensibilities made for a compelling Givenchy woman, showcasing her fluid ability to reconcile masculinity and femininity. Waight Keller loves a complex feminine heroine—her muse for Spring 2019 was an androgynous beauty who spent her life dressing and acting as a man, wooing women whilst married to a man.
The designer herself described her energy when she first arrived in New York as a stylist for Calvin in the ’90s as tomboyish. While at Chloé, Waight Keller adhered to a softer, more overtly feminine interpretation of the intrépide muse but nevertheless toyed with tailoring and fit subverting predisposed gender roles. This season’s collection featured both the masculine and feminine—whatever those words have come to mean—with exaggerated deep V-cut blazers paired with matching knee-length shorts, leather, slim-fitting tube tops balanced by relaxed-fit trousers, and wildly colorful floral print dresses offset by their oversized, engulfing tailoring and floor length.
In fact, most of the silhouettes this season were loose and forgiving, supporting a more casual vibe in opposition to last season’s structural, strong suit silhouettes that more closely resembled Riccardo Tisci’s dark and sensual Givenchy girl. Denim was incorporated into various looks such as an acid-washed midi skirt paired with knee-high black boots and an oversized blouse ruched at the shoulders. One of the last looks featured a satin, collarless, double-breasted two-piece suit perfectly cinched at the waist. Waight Keller’s Spring 2020 collection felt like a moment of release—as if the androgynous beauty from last year had finally come to complete self-realization and could freely navigate both themselves and the space between the binary.