“In many ways, this collection is about a constant tension between two worlds. It’s about finding personal meaning in difficult circumstances; it’s about sincerity in what we do rather than strategy. We wanted to bring a sense of lived reality alongside precision, elegance and extravagance in the clothing and looks. Ultimately, fashion for us is a way of being, feeling and connecting rather than a game to be played. It’s almost like monumentalising the everyday, filling it with emotion – like music you can wear.” Matthew M. Williams, Creative Director, Givenchy

In Williams’ Givenchy, there is a mix of lavishness and austerity, together with the imperfect beauty of humanity. It invokes the distinctly emotional side of the business of luxury and fashion – for both maker and wearer – something once again utilised and celebrated by Givenchy.

The nexus of utility and luxury, protection and comfort, is at the heart of this clothing, infused as it is with the isolation and poignancy of the past year. Yet at the same time, it is a collection that is at once monumental and intimate, giving the wearer presence and audaciousness, yet still with a sense of a person at its centre with a to- hell-with-it attitude. Ultimately, it is an offering that transcends troubled times.

Bridging the classical, radical and practical, the silhouettes for both men and women explore the tension between extravagance and discipline. Sensoriality and voluptuary prevail in the use of materials, particularly faux fur and real shearling – materials that almost swaddle the wearer, enveloping and cocooning. Volumes are explored through layering, quite purposefully emphasising a more exaggerated and monumental winter silhouette. Here, feelings of comfort and protection, ease and extravagance all come into play for the wearer. In contrast to this ‘macro’ line, there is the ‘micro’ – the tension explored between the two, often appearing in the same silhouette. Here, long, lean lines are contrasted against short, taut crops or expansive, voluminous, draperies and embroideries. Outerwear is oversized, yet tautness, discipline and rigour underpin all, particularly through the tailoring traditions of the Givenchy atelier. Strong shoulders and sleeves display an architectural approach to tailoring. At the same time, sculpted, fine knitwear emphasises freedom of movement and the liberation of the body, with particular concentration on the waist.