Clare Waight Keller’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection for Givenchy channelled a “nocturnal allure” – this gown, hand-sewn with crystals, shows the designer’s knack for breathtaking beauty
Clare Waight Keller’s collections at the Parisian house of Givenchy – where she is the first female artistic director – have been marked by a rigorous, near-surgical precision and focus, out of which moments of sheer, unrestrained beauty leap forth like a dream. In her couture collections, perhaps the most crystalline of a designer’s vision, she does this to staggering effect, shifting from authoritative, razor-sharp tailoring, to explosions of taffeta and feathers; crystals and bugle beads.
Such pockets of breathtaking beauty make their way into her ready-to-wear collections, too. Her Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, shown in a vast mile-long tent in Paris’ Jardin des Plantes this March – out of the clear ceiling you could see the verdant garden’s tallest trees – was one such example. Titled the Winter of Eden – a play on the creation story’s allegory of forbidden desire, but also in reference to the physical sensations of a garden on a winter’s evening – it married sculpted tailoring and severe, cinched-waisted outerwear with free-flowing plissé gowns, decorated with flowers, in various iterations. This was her marriage of tailoring and flou – that indefinable fluid, feminine lightness which those in the business of haute couture strive to achieve.
To end, she sent out a series of gowns dotted with crystals, intricately hand-sewn to resemble tendrils of ferns. In the evening light, they glimmered: Waight Keller called it a “nocturnal allure”. One such gown, primed for the imminent season of evening-time soirees, is captured here by photographer Maxime Imbert and AnOther’s junior fashion editor Rebecca Perlmutar.
Hair: Kei Takano using Bumble and Bumble. Make-up: Fiona Gallagher. Model: Tao Quan at Wilhelmina. Casting: Julia Gilmour.