Riccardo Tisci referenced the past in several ways in his 2011 Cruise collection for Givenchy.
Not only was the designer inspired by the legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo – specifically, her affinity for mixing pieces reflecting her traditional Mexican heritage, as well as her penchant for wearing both men’s and women’s clothing – but the designer seems to have gone back to some reference points that inspired his Fall 2007 Couture collection.
Tisci first experimented with animal prints through degrade pieces that he showed in his 2007 Couture collection, and the peplum-accented looks of the past came to mind when looking at the designer’s pre-spring collection.
Once again, Tisci proved he can turn something potentially tacky into something tasteful, which he did with his gorgeous leopard prints.
The print was fashioned into a variety of pieces, and served as a great reminder that there’s more to animal prints than the va-va-voom Cavalli or Dolce & Gabbana versions we are most used to seeing.
Tisci’s take is light and painterly, and though the designer’s print is bold, it has airiness to it rather than a literal translation of what leopard print looks like. The lightness is especially poignant when worked in with ruffles. The leopard print kept making me think of the jaguar-inspired jewelry that Cartier is so famous for.
It’s a testament to Tisci’s talent that he can make an aggressive print look elegant rather than vulgar, and I’m excited to see how that translates into his Spring/Summer collection.
As for Kahlo, her influence came through loud and clear with tuxedo coats, tailcoats, and a pleated skirt paired with a ruffled top – both of which were done in a black and red color combination. The only notable misstep in the collection were the questionable pants, which were flared and hit just around the ankle, making them look shrunken and ill-fitting.