Bleached Canvas: Givenchy’s Modern Approach To Haute Couture

Bleached Canvas: Givenchy’s Modern Approach To Haute Couture


Making another bold statement in the fashion industry is Givenchy’s Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller.

After her stint creating a silk-cady gown with graphic open bateau neckline to cater Megan Markle’s portrayal of a modern monarch, Keller is back with another modern take. This time, it’s in Paris Haute Couture week.

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Since Givenchy’s S/S ’19 Haute Couture collection is called, “Bleached Canvas,” Keller got the perfect location to unveil her latest collection. She held it at the galleries of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris which is home of renowned works by Matisse, Braque, Dufy, and the Fauves.

The collection was an ode to the natural world, defined by Keller’s singular couture vocabulary. Her vision was one of powerful femininity, calibrated through architectural volumes and graceful lines with deft handling of texture and light.

So as the setting was steeped in diffuse light, it impeccably created a three-dimensional white cube framing the silhouettes on the runway. It was an exercise in the purity of shape and line, rendered in black, white and pops of color like cobalt, Vermillion, bright yellow or ultraviolet. 

This is also the first time of Keller since she became the artistic director of the label to explore mini-volumes, juxtaposing them freely with oversized looks and flowing, flared constructions. Sculptural curves meet the rigor of line in draped tailoring with visual lightness and apparent simplicity that belie their technical intricacy.

The transparency of tulle and organza finds a counterpoint in chiseled peplums and flowing capes or liquid satin. As for the organdy petals, they were pleated like origami. Traditional laces such as guipure or Chantilly are modernized with lacquer finishes, articulations, and embroidery in relief.

Judiciously placed tube beading, paillettes, trompe l’oeil, tremblants, feathers, fringe and crystal embroideries illuminate silhouettes, while jeweled parures and precious bows were both striking and functional.

With Bleached Canvas, Keller only furthered her philosophy of modern couture. It broadened the distinctive Givenchy signature with an of-the-moment aesthetic that is hers alone.

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