The theme of Givenchy spring-summer 2020 couture collection, shown during the Paris fashion week, is a love letter written by a woman to a woman. Creative Director of fashion house Clare Waight Keller based her new collection on reading the passionate love letters between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. In the beginning of XXI century, these letters became the real manifesto of freedom and rocked the conservative secular society.
This love story inspired Woolf to write her time- and gender-traversing novel Orlando. Several years ago, Clare Waight Keller visited the garden rooms planted at Sissinghurst House by Vita Sackville-West, and created a collection based on admiration of the flowers, shape of petals and gender equality, which was so important to Wolf. It can be seen in the mix of the tailored pants forms and lush, layered elegance.
Waight Keller said, “my own love letter to Hubert de Givenchy, because I went into the archive for this collection, and looked into the history of the house from the very beginning.” Photographs of the pristine flowered-lace gowns he made in the era he was designing for Audrey Hepburn were pinned to her inspiration board. Hubert, as it happens, was dedicated to garden design, too.
In contrast to soft ruffles and skirts-cylinders, reminiscent of flower buds, Clare uses strict and hermetic forms of trapezoids and triangles, inspired by the sculpture and urban architecture. The colors are gentle and pastel, dominated by peach, purple and pink. To modernize the collection, she offers to combine a voluminous blouse with simple trousers, or complete the lush layered skirt with simple tank tops or t-shirts.
As Virginia Woolf’s novel "Orlando" was named the Met Gala 2020 theme, the stylists are already suggesting that the dresses created by Clare Waight will be popular not only at the Academic Awards ceremony, but at the ball, organized by the Costume Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For years, spring collections at Givenchy were the place for girls to come seeking wedding dresses. Waight Keller finished up her show by sending out Kaia Gerber as the ultimate fantasy bride in an off-the-shoulder cut-lace white chemise, and a hat so huge it almost formed a canopy under which to take her vows.