For the menswear collection presented by Givenchy this January, Riccardo Tisci’s inspiration was unmistakable: basketball. Thugs, b-ballers, gangsters; these were the characters crowding Tisci’s vision, walking straight off the court onto the spot lit runway enclosed by a metal fence.
Avoiding the obvious choice of sportswear, the designer preferred to redefine tailored attire, dressing up the athlete in a suit of his own. A resolutely bold designer, Tisci very much sticks to a theme in his collections, assiduously exhausting his influence to the extent of impassioned brilliance.
This collection brought together an unexpected combination of cuts, fabrics and prints. Fitted shirts were paired up with baggy trousers and bright white basketball sneakers. Fur shawls hung around the models’ necks like sweaty sports towels thrown onto perspiring and panting professionals. Other luxurious materials such as leather came into play, declined into long coats and complete suits. Players’ jerseys were rendered in woolly fleece, as if the collection was drawn to lusciously envelop well-deserving muscles.
The curved lines of basketballs were like a golden thread through the collection, appearing across torsos, spiralling from pockets and outlining shoulders. Tisci swayed between crisp minimalism in contemporary fabrics and Bauhaus inspired imprints. Dashes of colour and geometric shapes resembled the likes of Kandinsky and Mondrian. Like a wink at the evolution of artistic techniques and practices, Tisci pasted photoshopped rectangular blocks of colour across his designs. Indeed, every era has its own manner of reinterpreting similar influences.
The boys' faces and slicked back hair were completely covered with black nets, reminiscent of both basketball hoops and surprisingly unglamorous hairnets. Like a veil of security for the urban boy, they seemed to both contain and outline individual facial features. Exuding a singular and confident persona, Riccardo Tisci’s conception of the Givenchy man is one that all, no matter their position in the game, would be enticed to adorn.