#GivenchyGirls: The Magical Muses of Riccardo Tisci

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Givenchy - FW16-1
Givenchy A/W16Photography by Evan Schreiber

Ahead of the brand's S/S17 show at Paris Fashion Week, we celebrate the powerful women who inspire its artistic director

Scroll through Riccardo Tisci’s Instagram profile, and you’ll find an effusive montage of candid and editorial images celebrating the women who most inspire him. From a September 2015 Le Figaro cover portrait of Tisci and Joan Smalls, to a tongue-poking selfie with Bella Hadid, Tisci’s #givenchygirls snapshots are accompanied with sincere (and reciprocated) hashtags of affection, like #gangofmuses #love and #family. "It’s a real relationship. I have what Hubert [de Givenchy] used to have with Audrey [Hepburn]," Tisci told W in September 2010. Here we take a closer look at five modern muses who form what Tisci collectively dubs the "Beauties and the T"…

Yasmin Wijnaldum
Current AnOther Magazine cover star, Wijnaldum made her Givenchy catwalk debut wearing A/W16 couture. A design inspired by the Hubert de Givenchy archive, the 17-year old Dutch-Surinamese model sported a delicately beaded khaki gown with a flat bow at the waist, and walked alongside longtime and emerging favourites like Kendall Jenner and Natalia Vodianova (who Wijnaldum also starred with in Prada’s S/S16 campaign). Styled by Carine Roitfeld, she also featured in Givenchy’s A/W16 film, striding from revolving doors in regimental tailoring. In August, Wijnaldum posted a portrait of Tisci on her Instagram with the caption "Thank you for everything Amore, love you!!"

Mariacarla Boscono
The face of Tisci’s first 2011 Givenchy fragrance Black Dahlia, the pink pepper and amber notes of the scent are an olfactory echo of Boscono’s darkly ethereal femininity. "We loved each other the moment we met", Boscono explained of her and Tisci’s relationship in the S/S14 issue of Dazed. Having met while he was studying at Central Saint Martins, Boscono modelled in Tisci’s graduate lookbooks and early eponymous guerilla shows in Milan, before appearing in a trailing gothic gown for his debut A/W05 Givenchy couture show. For Givenchy’s S/S13 campaign, Boscono was shot with her four-month-old daughter, a symbol of Tisci’s Catholicism and his familial focus. He names her on Instagram as "MY FRIEND MY WIFE SISTER MOTHER MUSE=MY EVERYTHING."

Bella Hadid
Affectionately terming Tisci 'Riccy', Hadid’s first A/W16 runway outing for Givenchy, championing bleached eyebrows and an all-black ensemble, was a runway exclusive. A contract renowned for propelling blossoming models into stardom (Joan Smalls, Ming Xi and Lara Stone were once Givenchy exclusives), Hadid was announced as the face of Dior Beauty in May, before scooping GQ’s Model of the Year award last month. Clad in a brocade military jacket, her razor-sharp cheekbones accentuated by slicked hair, Hadid also stars in Givenchy’s latest A/W16 campaign. Lensed by longtime collaborators Mert and Marcus, Hadid is shot in centre, alongside Lily Aldridge, Irina Shayk, Maria Carla Boscono and Yasmin Wijnaldum.

Lea T
"We did it in a really honest way. You know, very naïve. Like two friends loving each other," Tisci told Details in March 2015, of his decision to cast his transsexual friend and personal assistant Lea T in Givenchy’s A/W10 campaign. The first transgender model to front an advertorial, Tisci cast the now renowned Brazilian model when she was considering prostitution to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Shot with flowing bubblegum pink hair and in a mannish overcoat, Lea T not only embodied the contrasting masculine and feminine tropes in Tisci’s designs, but also bought conceptions regarding gender to the forefront of the fashion industry. In August, Tisci posted a selfie of himself and Lea on his Instagram with the caption, "I am the happiest man in the world today." That evening she became the first trans model to opening the Olympic Games, introducing the world to Team Brazil.

Joan Smalls
An exclusive in its A/W10 couture show, Smalls made her Givenchy debut in a provocative cut-out bra and flamenco ruffled silk skirt, inspired by erotic silhouettes in Hubert de Givenchy’s archive. "Her character was so Latin, so Puerto Rican and I even went to Puerto Rico to meet her family", Tisci told WWD in March 2015. This sensuality was highlighted in Smalls’ first A/W10 Givenchy campaign, shot in all red tailoring with a vampish pout and surrounded by suited male models (she credits this campaign with the launch of her career, and posted it with the comment "THANK YOU for making my dreams come true Riccardo!"). She is also the face of Tisci’s third NikeLab collaboration, appearing alongside Travis Scott in kaleidoscopic floral print leggings and lace-up stilettos, naturally.