September 11th. Lower Manhattan. The mesmerizing twilight sky outlining the Freedom Tower. An exquisite delivery of "Ave Maria". The emotion all but overwhelmed.
Few expect a fashion show to be a contemplative experience, yet this is what they got from Riccardo Tisci on the night he brought his Givenchy show to New York City, coinciding with the 14th anniversary of 9/11. With the aid of performance artist Marina Abramovic and a staggering sunset across the Hudson, Tisci approached the show as a moment for reflection. He acknowledged the resonance of September 11th not by drawing inappropriate parallel to fashion, but by noting the importance of fashion as an expression of self and an outlet for emotion.
There was also a serene sense of celebration. Tisci marks his tenth-year milestone at the house of Givenchy and a Givenchy store opens in New York City.
The show’s major themes were lingerie and tuxedo dressing, often worn in resplendent contrast, and always with lyrical grace. The play of feminine against masculine.
White laces and silks wrapped, tied and floated over fluid black trousers, some looks finished with languid robes and others, mannish tails.
Tisci incorporated sensual couture gowns with intense constructions and surprised with a significant showing of men’s wear.
Tisci subscribes to the value of ritual; the religious references in his work are well-known. He also revisited last season’s facial decoration, now more exaggerated and ritualistic.
A different kind of performance art unfolded during arrivals, a dazzling celebrity showing — Julia Roberts, Christina Ricci, Steven Tyler, Liv Tyler, Nicki Minaj, and of course, Kim and Kanye. Representatives of New York fashion turned out as well: Michael Kors, Tory Burch, the Proenza guys, Alexander Wang, Joseph Altuzarra.