Matthew Williams’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection united the French house’s soft heritage with cutting-edge tailoring, leaning on the flower as a conceptual bridge

Elegance was the key word for Matthew Williams this season, as he dove into Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. On a bright-white runway at Paris’s École-Militaire, he presented garments stark and sleek, united by a romantic, somewhat surprising motif: “When you look at the common denominators of elegance,” said the creative director, “the flower is inescapable. I thought it was interesting to develop a floral language in a way that reflected both the Maison’s archives and myself.”

Williams is an avid gardener—a passion he shares with the French house’s late founder, Hubert de Givenchy. The reference, then, was a natural fit, as the designer sought to unite his sophisticated creative vision with the warmer side of the label’s rich history.

Models donned sheer skirts and gowns, decorated with printed violets or daisies, or rose-like twists at the hip. Gauzy lace and silk contrasted leather and hardware and power suiting—elements that have, thus far, defined Williams’s tenure at the helm of Givenchy. The creative director’s softer edge was thoughtful, and plain to see: a metallic, beaded skirt worn with an off-the-shoulder, puff-sleeved top; a formal trench coat in pastel yellow; a handbag with a chain strap, paired with a gentle slip.

“[The collection] is a dialogue between contemporary manifestations of elegance and the heritage of Givenchy, which in many ways helped to define our understanding of what that words means,” Williams concluded. “In that sense, there’s something very instinctive about elegance when it comes to Givenchy. I want to apply that instinct to today.”