Givenchy is getting out of the couture show racket for a little bit, beginning with the next round of Paris shows scheduled for January.
The news about this is a little confusing, because there's some reason to believe that designer Riccardo Tisci will resume press showings of Givenchy couture at a later date, and this is just a temporary hiatus. The French fashion house confirmed to WWD that it "does not rule out couture presentations in the future." Here's the mystery: Why, exactly, did Givenchy make this decision now and what would need to happen for the brand to resume its participation in Paris' Haute Couture fashion week?
To be clear, Givenchy will not stop making couture, the brand will just stop showing it. There'll be lots of couture-y goodness to be had on red carpets near and far, particularly as Tisci is co-chairing the Met Gala next year, and so we can look forward to lots of Givenchy one-of-a-kind gowns at the so-called "fashion Oscars."
This latest development is in line with Givenchy's previous decision to shift away from the more traditional runway show and to a smaller, presentation-style format for its couture line in 2010. Despite all the fuss people are making about Raf Simons' efforts to develop a "new couture" at Dior, couture has held a precarious position in the fashion industry in recent years. Couture is expensive, time-consuming, and skill-intensive to create — and with fewer and fewer clients for the custom-fitted clothing, the collections have indeterminate value for modern fashion houses struggling to adapt to a new economic climate. Givenchy's move to cut its presentations is sad for anyone that likes looking at the pictures that come out of Paris during couture week, but it's a smart decision — and maybe a harbinger of what's to come.
Image via IMAXtree
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