AGAINST the grey skies and twisted metal work of an abandoned train yard, Matthew M Williams, the creative director of Givenchy, presented his first pre-collection for the brand via a film that saw American and Parisian sensibilities collide.
Shot by Jasmine Loignon and streamed across Givenchy’s website and social platforms, the grunge-infused video expanded on the strong, new attitude Williams has established for the House since taking the helm in June last year with a celebration of two cultures — the West Coast of American, Williams’ homeland, and France, where the designer now calls home.
“In my collections, I always speak to lived reality,” says Williams. “For Spring 2022, our first pre-collection runway show, I wanted to bring together my American roots and my brand new life in Paris. There’s an energy of striking out for a new adventure, of drawing on something familiar yet creating something completely new.”
With an emphasis on gender-neutrality and the Creative Director’s signature hardware embellishment, the attitude-packed line-up debuted Williams’ first-ever artistic collaboration for the House with Seattle-born, Mexico-based artist Chito, best known for his distinctive, graffiti-inspired designs.
Putting a bad boy spin on the House’s signature motifs, the artist’s maximalist graphics appeared airbrushed onto relaxed unisex pieces, from slouchy graphic T-shirts and nylon windbreakers to stonewashed pullovers and wool slacks. Elsewhere, new styles of hardware adorned crystal-laden harnesses and signature Givenchy bags in a glittering chain, bead and bandana form.
A style lesson in tonal colour-blocking and experimental texture, the Givenchy SS22 pre-collection hits stores on November 5, just in time to upgrade your cold season wardrobe with some Matthew Williams edge.
by Joshua Hendren