Claire Waight Keller’s couture gowns blossom into a ‘tapestry of time and circumstance.’
Claire Waight Keller regards the garden as a highly metaphorically-charged site, representing a “tapestry of time and circumstance.” It is only fitting, then, that for Givenchy’s Couture Spring 2020 collection, she showcased the gradual blooming of a vibrant, variant garden. To resonate with people beyond the level of fantasy is a unique predicament facing couture designers. Keller accomplished this by emphasizing the potency of change. Not only did she trace the color gradation of the garden from lily-white to midnight black, but she also drew from an array of avant-garde silhouettes, nodding to the history of couture. Each look was distinct in style but consistent in spirit—much like a flower in a garden or the seasons of life we move through.
Of course, most of our lives do not look quite as fabulous as Givenchy’s collection. Voluminous and cascading gowns articulated the architecture of a diverse selection of flowers from tulips to irises, while also generating its own species. Multi-tiered, empire waist, and hourglass silhouettes were adorned with organza, feathers, and tulle and dripped with glistening pearls and intricately embroidered lace flowers. Sweeping the floor and arching above hears, the models convincingly transformed into surreal “signposts and signals for lives lived.”