On Saturday, the attention of the fashion world was focused on the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. It came as no surprise then that the posting on Friday of Givenchy’s Resort 2019 collection went by almost unnoticed. Now the stunningly simple Givenchy couture dress designed by Clare Waight Keller is known around the world and has raised the visibility of Waight Keller’s tenure at Givenchy. But will the notoriety of the dress influence her role as creative director of Givenchy?
The dress was not a universal hit, with opinions running the gamut from sublime to boring and ill fitting. I take issue with the claim that the dress did not fit. It was not tight fitting, which many had mistaken for not fitting. The fit was flawless and well suited to the silk satin fabric. The simplicity and lack of adornment on the dress itself was, in my opinion, a powerful statement by the now Duchess of Sussex. It was a confident choice, which exemplified her elegance and sophistication. She looked completely modern. Though there was much talk of the veil, which was exquisite, I felt the magnificent diamond tiara was not given enough note. It complimented the dress and veil perfectly, rendering embroidery on the dress superfluous.
Resort 2019 marks Waight Keller’s fifth collection for Givenchy. It appears that she has now settled into her position with a sense of purpose that was lacking in her first two collections. Looking back it’s evident that the Spring 2018 couture collection was a turning point for Waight Keller with the introduction of a notably pared down aesthetic. In Fall and Pre Fall there are elements of Waight Keller’s Chloe signatures, oversized shapes, pleats and cascades but again a new restraint is present.
It remains to be seen if the wedding dress and all the attention it has brought to Waight Keller will have a lasting influence on her work at Givenchy. My hope is it will. It’s time for fashion to shed the nostalgia for past decades and the more is more attitude that has prevailed. The wedding dress served as a much needed cleanse for fashion that has become bloated with excess. But as demonstrated in the photos here and the now famous wedding dress, simplicity can make a powerful and lasting statement.
Spring Couture 2018