Givenchy 22 Pre-Collection

Matthew M. Williams riffs on his journey from America to France
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 2 July 2021

“I wanted to bring together my American roots and my brand new life in Paris,” said Matthew M. Williams of his debut pre-collection show for Givenchy. “There’s an energy of striking out for a new adventure,” the designer continued, “of drawing on something familiar yet creating something completely new.”

This tale of Williams’ recent move from the US to Paris is portrayed at the start of the Jasmine Loignon-directed collection video, with Paris’ own Lady Liberty replica “beckoning” the Givenchy cast through a trainyard towards the city streets.

GALLERYGivenchy Spring 22 pre-collection

The trainyard setting is cited as being in dialogue with Seattle-born, Mexico-based artist Chito, who collaborated with Williams this season. Using his unique colour development techniques, Chito developed new hand-crafted airbrush graphics that swept across the muted palette, decorating pieces with surreal dog faces alongside his work Truehearted, portraying a girl and a heart, and Givenchy’s 4G monogram.

Williams’ sharp tailoring was prominent, defining a structured silhouette that the designer built upon via super padded puffer jackets, oversized knitwear and distressed workwear. Chito’s clowns duplicate into thick prayer necklaces, as crystals became delicate body harnesses. Models wore rucksacks across their chests – close at hand – while a spider-web motif was introduced through an open-knit wool jumper that hung across its wearer. Elsewhere, Williams’ signatures came strong: those trademark horned caps were styled with added bandana spikes, while minimalist hardware punctuated suiting and clipped onto bags.

Parisian classicism – US streetwear; Williams is in the middle, pulling the strings as worlds collide.

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