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Givenchy’s Hard Core Chic

Godfrey Deeny
March 04th, 2012 @ 3:07 PM - Paris

If one had to pick a designer who is setting the fashion agenda above any other this season it is very much Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy.

His sizzling, hard-core chic, fall 2012 collection staged in a college in north Paris Sunday night, March 4, also announced the comeback of a triumphant sexuality in today's fashion.

Opening with tough, cool, all-black lambskin leather cocktails and striking redingotes finished with superbly cut masculine tailoring touches - tails, reverse lapels and back pockets - the show was a hit from the get-go.

Tisci injected all his signature references - religious insignia, military boots, dramatic earrings and a certain Renaissance flourish - into some fantastic looks.

Beautifully cut coats came with multiple panels - worsted wool, chiffon and sleek silk - often finished with mink sleeves or elbow femme fatale high gloves. Done up with dark brown eye shadow and dark mauve lipstick, the models strutted with tremendous self-confidence down the catwalk, illuminated by three huge fluorescent rings hung from the rafters of the high school gym.

No other designer is more clued into current club culture and kids than Riccardo Tisci, who took his bow dressed like an uber-cool street tough-nut himself. Just back from a trip to club capital Berlin, where he visited the legendary Panorama Bar, Tisci inserted a tough and dangerous vibe into his clothes as in his dragoon's leather boots and dessert plate sized earrings. Influences one only sees in an after-hour club where the prevailing message is that anything is possible. In Tisci's able hands this feeling turns into actual clothes and merchandise and his multi-colored fur bombers, always including his signature red, and lace-trimmed dresses will be sure to lead a generally luxurious and mannishly tailored season into a darker and tougher direction.

"Guy Bourdin, equestrian and late Berlin," explained Tisci to FWD in a packed backstage, referring to the legendary surrealist French fashion photographer.

Before the most celebrity packed front-row of Paris so far, it felt like a defining moment for this designer. Suddenly, Givenchy is the hottest act in town.

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