Archetype Anarchy

Givenchy SS23: logo balaclavas, neon bondage pants and water-walking models
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 23 June 2022
Photographer Emily Malan

Across a tranquil pool at the historic École Militaire, a training ground founded by King Louis XV in 16th century France, ripples of crystalline water rebounded from lacquered wellington boots and chunky, holographic running shoes. The collection was another chance for Matthew M. Williams to unite the house’s decades-old brand codes with the immersive technology that inspires and forms his contemporary fashions, and his debut standalone menswear collection at the house.

The designer started with the conventional staples of any American wardrobe: logo t-shirts, embroidered jackets and shirts. Then, he tore sleeves from squeaky clean cycling jackets, cropped dark denim into lengthy cargo-shorts and referenced punk in skin-tight leather bondage pants, swarmed by strips of silver teethed zips. His latter design introduced an array of flashy, glowstick hues into the fold, in logo-printed balaclavas and shell-suit jackets, before moving on to the abstract camo prints that adorned the house’s rigid blousons and utilitarian army pants. 

“This show is a reflection of myself and the men who surround me, from my close friends to the artists who inspire my work,” said Williams of the mixture of archetypes that swarmed the runway, from the collegiate codes that curled varsity monograms over salmon track-tops and double-waisted sweats, to the ornately tailored dusters and layers of frayed jersey. “It’s a dialogue with the time and culture that shape the way men dress today and tomorrow: the way new generations embrace and evolve the archetypes and dress codes of the past through their own progressive outlook.”

GALLERYCatwalk images from Givenchy SPRING-SUMMER-2023