“My work is my body, my body is my work” – Helena Almeida

The body language of powerful women intimates mysterious expressions of sensuality. It provokes a chain reaction and stirs a symphony of characters. Designed by Clare Waight Keller, the Givenchy collection for Autumn Winter 2020 carries a silver screen allure: harking back to the imperfect beauty of an elusive arthouse heroine.

From the actress’ sultry gaze to the bodily gestures of human sculpture, lines are drawn between the gritty heyday of French cinema and musings on performance art. The collection punctuates Givenchy’s sartorial canon with a distinctly graphic story in a Mod palette blocked out in black, white and cherry red, tobacco, carnelian and cobalt.

Raw cut and collaged fabrics liberate masterful volumes with an untamed elegance, as shirred blouses and knife-pleated shifts are bonded with mulberry silk crêpe, and pagoda shoulder cape and coat styles are cut in fine double-faced Melton. Tailoring is languid: high-waist flares piped with contrast tones, peak lapel blazers, and a reversible duster coat lined in smooth leather. Sculpted knits and plush faux furs hug the body in shadowy folds. Riffing on the apostrophe, the stripe and the square, patterns and embroideries adorn mid-century shapes in cascading pleats and embroideries, from liquid silver sequins to showers of plumage, tinsel, tassels and bugle beading.

The Autumn Winter 2020 accessories collection sees a slim wedge or sandal laced up the ankle, and the Haute Couture ‘ombrelle’ hat return in soft felt. Articulated mobile pendants and pearls hang as body jewels. Designed by Clare Waight Keller, the GV3 returns in glossy spazzolato leather or tri-colour suede, and the Antigona Soft bagappears in its signature colors, wrapped in archive print silk foulards or inflated as a zipped and pleated pouch.

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Timotej Letonja