Riccardo Tisci invited guests into a world filled with new technology well past its prime. Vintage arcade games (Atari, Pac-Man, pinball) as well as ancient keyboards, computers and other old-school electronics outlined the fall/winter 2015 Givenchy runway. A nostalgic graveyard that subtly underlined how quickly the new and latest can become outdated.
However, both Tisci and, by extension, this collection remain steadfastly relevant and revelatory. A fact made abundantly clear by the designer's lineup of A list front row guests that included not just the ubiquitous Kim Kardashian and Kanye West but also Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried and Katy Perry.
Just like with his menswear show, the satellite adornments of hair and makeup that revolve around Tisci's world help to telegraph his sartorial message. Pronounced septum rings and even more striking bejeweled beauty marks adorned the face. The hooping nose rings were echoed by kiss curls framing the models’ visages and looping braids at the back.
These were what helped give the show some street cred, while the outfits themselves harkened back to silhouettes from the Victorian era. Rich black tail coats, peacock feather-printed silk dress gowns, turn-of-the-century wallpaper patterns worked into velvet tops and sculptural jet-beaded evening gowns all put the designer’s couture-level talents on fine display.
But as Tisci has a well-documented love of gothic and things that go bump in the night, this collection had a darkness staining its soul. Vanessa Ives, the character played by Eva Green in the television series “Penny Dreadful,” would be well served by all of the ensembles in this show.
However, it won't just be fictional characters possessed by the sinister and sensual allure of this fine show.