Matthew Williams of Givenchy unveils his collection – the Hollywood reporter
The renowned house of Givenchy staged its first physical show under the direction of creative director Matthew M. Williams since the famous Californian and streetwear designer began running the fashion house in June 2020. Williams has reversed the sartorial narrative for which Givenchy is known and which its predecessor was known to have created modern and avant-garde collections intended to reach humanity. Filled with streetwear influences and punk ceramic art techniques – Williams, born in Illinois, grew up in Southern California and was drawn to skateboarding culture from an early age – the spring summer 2022 Givenchy collection, presented at La Défense Arena in Paris and produced in collaboration with American artist Josh Smith, is unique to the house.
Entering the arena, there was a straight line of men serving Givenchy black lemonade. Set in an egg shape with a sculpted circular shape suspended from the ceiling, the white floor track and overall vibe put the arriving attendees – which included celebrities such as Tommy Dorfman, Tyga and Offset – in an eager mood to see what Williams was going to unbox for his first show in real life. The track’s soundtrack musical selections were made by Atlanta-native Young Thug, a Williams favorite rapper, and included previously unreleased material and unreleased tracks from his upcoming album, Punk, which will be released on October 15.
“For the Spring / Summer 2022 collection, I wanted to build on the tradition of Givenchy’s story while really looking to the future,” Williams said, in the house notes. “To do this, I have worked with people I admire from different disciplines and who have truly unique perspectives, including artist Josh Smith, whose iconic work is incorporated throughout the collection, and musician Young Thug. , who created the entire score for the show. The collaboration and this collection give people a remarkably immersive and special experience.
Williams’ aesthetic for the Parisian house was modern, and deciding to work with Smith, who is known for his ceramic sculptures and colorful harvester paintings, was a breath of fresh air and inspiration for the creative director. “Matt showed up to my studio and we started cooking together. We did some delicious things. We burned stuff and it was good too. Matt brought a take-out bag to Paris and shared it all with his sharp creative team. This collection is a miracle. Sky is the limit. Thanks for taking a look, ”Smith said in the show’s notes.
The collection had many more colors than fashion enthusiasts are used to seeing in Williams’ designs, from reds and lavender to yellows, greens and oranges. The use of jersey fabric gives a lot of movement to the pieces in the collection, a popular element to emerge from the pandemic. But Williams has managed to bridge the gap between classic looks and radical, practical silhouettes for men’s and women’s clothing.
For men’s pantsuits, Williams created long, matching jackets, with the pant hemline reaching above the ankle. Fine leather and non-leather pants combined with long shirts and jackets complete the collection. Even Smith’s Grim Reaper art prints are added to shirts and pants. Colorful wedge shoes in the shape of a bright yellow, green and blue moccasin are among the shoes shown. For feminine looks, Williams and Smith created deconstructed silhouettes, lingerie-inspired belly pieces and shorts paired with long leggings.
The designer’s use of contrasting fabrics is a trend from SS22 catwalks. For her part, Williams has tied traditional masculine couture fabrics – think mohair wools, Napa leathers, cotton herringbone, and Prince of Wales checks – to neoprene, giving them a sculptural shape. Stepping into the house’s archives, Williams took Hubert de Givenchy’s iconic corsets and basques and created shorts and minis.
Hollywood fans of Givenchy under Williams include Laura Dern, Kaia Gerber and Kylie Jenner, who has been seen wearing the mark on date nights.
The presence that streetwear has made in the world of haute couture and Parisian houses is notable. “What Matt Williams was able to do is incredible,” says fashion expert Fonzworth Bentley. “Williams, and others like Virgil Abloh [at Louis Vuitton] and Demna Gvasalia [at Balenciaga] now run major fashion houses for the biggest brands around the world.
Elsewhere in Paris in recent days, the entertainment world was present on the catwalks.
For Balenciaga’s SS22 collection, Gvasalia teamed up with the Fox show The simpsons on an animated short that saw Marge and Homer wear the brand, while cartoonish versions of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Justin Bieber sat in the front row.
And Parisian house Lanvin has teamed up with DC Comics, with creative director Bruno Sialelli printing large images of Batman, Catwoman and Robin on men’s jackets and silver evening dresses for women. These comedic collaborations seem to be the way for Parisian houses to say that it’s good to have fun right now.