Women’s Wear Daily
04.20.2014

Spring Ready-to-Wear 2012

Givenchy

Givenchy RTW Spring 2012 Video

Riccardo Tisci has been letting go of his beloved black lately, and expressed in his show notes a desire to explore "a more romantic side."

Givenchy RTW Spring 2012
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Givenchy RTW Spring 2012

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Having helped point fashion into a print-loving direction, Riccardo Tisci washed his eyes clean of pattern, and dove into the undersea world. It yielded another pulse-quickening collection from the Italian designer, with a fashion message as sharp and penetrating as a harpoon.

Tisci has been letting go of his beloved black lately, and expressed in his show notes a desire to explore “a more romantic side....The general attitude is softer.” The powdery colors, undulating peplums and sheer, frothy fabrics were indeed unmistakably feminine.

But Tisci has an inimitable knack for lacing fashion with danger, so no clown fish in this watery world. Instead, think of fearsome sea wolf markings hand-painted on sequins or leather, and a giant sharks-tooth pendant strung on a chain and banging against the rib cage.

Natalia Vodianova opened this blistering parade in a sleeveless blazer, whose low-slung, peaked lapels at first brought to mind something she might stroll out in chez Stella McCartney. But most of the jackets ended in a short, menacing tail — now a Givenchy signature — and were paired with severe blouses and sexy, scubalike pants.

The tailoring was strong, innovative and varied, with snug jackets sprouting jabots that swayed seductively like seaweed. Skirts, mostly hitting midthigh, had swooping hems or were scooped open and trailing streamers. A few were hiked awkwardly with gold chains.

Building to a crescendo, the monochromatic ensembles became glossier, more intricate and mermaidlike, culminating with leather slashed into fish scales and head-to-toe silver sequins. The final look — short, shiny and algae green — made the biggest splash: It was worn by Gisele Bündchen, still the biggest fish in the modeling pond.

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