In his brief tenure as Givenchy‘s creative director, Matthew M. Williams‘ own narrative has become intertwined with that of the fashion house; Givenchy now is inseparable from Williams and vice-versa. The Fall/Winter 2021 collection was a manifestation of that perspective, realizing a a comprehensive assortment of apparel that aligned with and expanded upon motifs popularized by the 1017 ALYX 9SM founder.
Scored by techno innovator Robert Hood, Givenchy’s filmed runway presentation — Williams’ first such work for the house — took precedence over still imagery. Shown in motion, the knit dresses, sculpted tailoring and and enshrouding leather layers made an imposing impact, streaming past the camera as chunky boots churned up a thin layer of water that covered the “catwalk.”
Womenswear was comparatively more revealing than menswear, utilizing opaque Givenchy-branded bodysuits, barely-there bras and braided fabrics to highlight the human form. These silhouette-hugging proportions contrasted against the oversized shapes provided by faux fur capes, giant shearling jackets and generous puffers, exaggerating the models’ forms to create disparity.
Knit balaclavas, furry gloves and plentiful accessories laden with chunky chains, locks and zippers — Williams’ signature — were styled atop oversized work shirts, voluminous parkas and hoodies, mostly rendered in black and often accented by their own glistening metal hardware. The utilitarian cues came through even stronger later in the presentation, realized by way of velcro-laden anoraks and padded vests, but there was also an additional air of comfort reinforced by gently-shredded cotton sweats and colorful beanies inset with spiky, bandana-printed crowns.
“In many ways, this collection is about a constant tension between two worlds,” Williams said in a statement. “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.”
Before Givenchy offers a closer look at Williams’ latest seasonal fare, recall his Spring/Summer 2021 debut, hitting stores now.