BOTANICAL COLOUR

GIVENCHY HAUTE COUTURE SPRING SUMMER 2020 COLLECTION

Gardens as metaphors. Signposts and signals for lives lived, friendships nurtured, seasons passed. From the walled ‘rooms’ of Sissinghurst to the orchards of Monk’s House and Hubert de Givenchy’s Clos Fiorentina, Clare Waight Keller considers gardens as a tapestry of time and circumstance – a timeless reprise for the Givenchy Haute Couture Spring Summer 2020 collection.

Nurturing the spirit of nature’s ephemeral beauty with human hands, a sapphic romance between women and flowers blossoms in cascading petals around the feminine form. As the bright promise of a spring day fades into moon shadow, allusive structures evoke the proud iris, playful pansy and sprays of delicate gypsophila. From micro to macro, the intricate systems of flora oscillate in delicate, pearl-hung circumferences. Hours, days and decades melt away in a love letter from woman to woman, or man to mentor: from Elizabeth to Orlando, Hubert to Cristobal, and far beyond. Budding in the pure whites of camellia and tuberose, pale shades of the White Garden pervade the collection in the soft lustre of silk mikado tailoring, plissé Vichy checks and a verdant symphony of floral garlands. Later marigold, violet, periwinkle and blushing dragée pinks burst forth before the nocturnal allure of shimmering metallics shade from rose gold to brightest silver. Undulating tiered gowns and operatic capes become landscapes for a minutiae of delicate blooms, from vibrant pansy jacquard and dense cloqué to the sunny dégradé of gypsophila embroidery.

Tracing the line of a millefeuille ombrelle hat, whorls of petal-shaped volume descend from flounced shoulders or gather in parachute skirts from an empire bust, allowing each flower silhouette its own unique symbiosis of botanical colour and immaculate Haute Couture texture. Pearl drops are suspended ‘en tremblant’, organza filament embroideries sweep the floor, and archive guipure lace shivers into the third dimension. A monochrome finale evokes the shadowplay of moonlight, as Elizabethan macramé and duchesse satin is thrown into sharp relief.

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