It’s been felt in recent collections—since his succession of Clare Waight Keller in 2020—that the pandemic robbed creative director Mathew H. Williams of a proper inauguration at Givenchy. Well, just as his recent menswear collection surprised and delighted, the recent Fall/Winter 2023 womenswear show triumphantly cemented his era at the luxury French house.
The first few looks cut a familiar shape with commanding separates. Cinched coats with big shoulders, sizeable box pleats at the back and buttoned pleats running along the front were a nod to Hubert de Givenchy’s taste for tailoring—looks 1-5 were indeed crafted in the couture atelier. From there came roomy leather blazers, trench coats, and layers upon layers of cashmere until all the shades of black and grey were broken up by a pale yellow mock-neck knit dress.
Parisian chic had a presence with undone pussybow blouses loosely tucked into wide-leg trousers and leather pencil skirts before a vibe shift at look 27 welcomes us into Williams’ world. Playing on dystopian themes, we see avant-garde layering; zip-hem mini skirts that sit below oversized sweaters, shredded tweed pants under—what appears to be—slashed-up sweatshirts, and thick shearling coats worth hibernating in. Of course, hardware is a staple with anything Williams creates, and his signature was executed with immaculate constraint.
As dresses take centre stage, we’re served up an array of sheer garments, notably in lilac, slime green, and hot pink—each more red-carpet-worthy than the last. Prints played a small but emphatic role as two dresses boasted a cartoon-like fish print taken from sketches by Hubert himself. One green dress with a floral pattern inspired the daisy jewellery and bag detailings, while leather gloves and silver knuckle dusters brought balance.
Pieces in clothing and accessories are as interesting to take in as they are wearable, demonstrating Williams’ undeniable streetwear prowess that is sure to see Givenchy take on new heights. As we see the collection as a whole, it’s clear that the creative director has found a sweet spot, a way to satiate his appetite and knack for streetwear while doing the heritage of the house justice.