Highlights from Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2021 RTW Collection

Matthew M. Williams showed his second co-ed collection for Givenchy in Paris, which included plenty of looks for the discerning gent

Givenchy Creative Director Matthew M. Williams presented his second collection for the house after his appointment to the position just last June. The digital presentation, laid out on a dark set and a minimalist catwalk, follow the models as they strut towards the spotlight up through the end of the runway. In this co-ed show, Williams made a statement that it’s a new era for Givenchy.

“In many ways, the fall/winter 2021 ready-to-wear collection is about a constant tension between two worlds. It’s about finding personal meaning in difficult circumstances; it’s about sincerity in what we do rather than strategy. We wanted to bring a sense of lived reality alongside precision, elegance and extravagance in the clothing and looks. Ultimately, fashion for us is a way of being, feeling and connecting rather than a game to be played. It’s almost like monumentalizing the everyday, filling it with emotion – like music you can wear,” said Williams.

There’s a mix of lavishness and austerity, together with the imperfect beauty of humanity in William’s Givenchy. They managed to create a sartorial story that combines the classical, radical and practical and silhouettes for both men and women that explore the tension between extravagance and discipline by creating volumes with layering. With the use of materials such as faux fur and real shearling, it almost feels like swaddle the wearer, enveloping and cocooning. Volumes are explored through layering, quite purposefully emphasizing an exaggerated and monumental winter silhouette.

A sense of friction is also in place, through the juxtaposition of ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ line. For instance, long, lean lines are contrasted against short, taut crops or expansive, voluminous, draperies and embroideries. Outerwear is oversized, yet tautness, discipline and rigor underpin all, particularly through the tailoring traditions of the Givenchy atelier. Strong shoulders and sleeves display an architectural approach to tailoring. At the same time, sculpted, fine knitwear emphasizes freedom of movement and the liberation of the body, with particular concentration on the waist.

This tension of extremes continues in the collection’s accessories, where hoods, caps, gauntlets and gloves provide a sense of drama as well as armor. The signature motif of metal hardware as unisex decoration continues, featured most prominently in the monogrammed chains and locks of the 4G bag. The high, Marshmallow sole metamorphoses to become the foundation for a multiplicity of shoes in the collection, utilized for both men and women. At once monumental, playful, light and comfortable, footwear grounds as well as elevates the silhouettes – in both senses of the term – becoming at once alien and yet viable for the everyday.