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Matthew Williams Honours the Old and New Through his Givenchy SS21 Ready-to-Wear Collection


Givenchy SS21 Collection images via Vogue Runway

Arguably, one of the most awaited fashion moments of this season was presented on the second to last day of Paris Fashion Week. Matthew Williams made his debut as the new creative director of Givenchy during the Paris Fashion Week with his ​Spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection.

The 34 years old Californian designer is often considered as a modernist, which is undeniable due his past collaborations with Kanye West and his own label Alyx. However, even if his modern touch and futuristic outlook are noticeable in his work for Givenchy, he managed to create a balanced interdependence between the old and the new, respecting and honouring the work of its founder and past creative directors.


Givenchy SS21 Collection images via Vogue Runway

This collection made it clear that however modern and diverse Williams’ style may be it won’t discard the history and iconic elements of the French brand. As noticeable in every single one of the 54 looks, he incorporates hints of the past in his casual yet groundbreaking creations, as for example the open backs that clearly reference Hubert de Givenchy’s signature style and distinctive patterns reminding us of Lee Alexander McQueen's work.

Givenchy SS21 Collection images via Vogue Runway

The main inspiration, as explained by Williams himself, was “hardware” which represents both elegance and pragmatism. The strong accessories, oversized bags, and structured staples were inspired by the idea of the “Lover’s Lock” that can be found in Paris. The stronger details incorporated by the American designer can be compared to the keys that overwhelm the famous “Pont des Arts” and that complement the river Seine, which have become a modern urban symbol that now forms part of a long-lasting history. Quite like this new collection.

Givenchy SS21 Collection images via Vogue Runway

It wasn’t just any other collection, it was a sample for everything that’s about to come. This new creative input was judged by many, but we at Voir have nothing but love and admiration for the new designs. They represent a challenging new path for Givenchy, they represent trust in younger generations and this is something that many brands are starting to demonstrate.


Another curious aspect particular to this collection was its delivery; a digital lookbook made of 54 still images taken by photographer Heji Shin. At first, you may think that it lacks that human connection present at a live show, but it's the contrary. As explained by the designer himself it allows to transmit the essence of the people wearing the clothes, since according to him that’s what makes it so special. “Never forgetting the reality of the person who will wear it and bring it to life. The women and men should be powerful and effortless, equal and joyful, a reflection of who they really are – only more so. It’s about finding humanity in luxury.” Words by Chiara Ferrari

Graphics by Frances Scott


#givency #matthewwilliams #frenchfashion #parisfashionweek #fashionweek #daretobedifferent #daringtobedifferent

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