Deep Purple by Givenchy

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Published January 27, 2010

The lights of the Imperial Salon were so dim it was surprising leather-clad Peter Marino, his arm cast coordinated in a matching black leather sling, didn’t stumble over Kanyé and Amber, or Bettina Grazziani, the celebrated Paris couture model from the 1950s.  This is the same long, narrow gilt-on-gilt room that Yves Saint Laurent used to show his couture every season, but back then the lights were bright (I guess Yves wanted to make sure everyone saw the clothes) and the room overflowed with so many flowers it was sometimes difficult to breathe.  
 
Riccardo Tisci has two sides—he can be quite dark, or rococo bordering on the razzle dazzle. What was striking about this collection was how young it looked, almost like little girls playing dress up in their mother’s closet.
 
Tisci began with tuxedo suits worn with blouses covered in ostrich, vulture and nandou feathers.  He even did a pair of tailored feather shorts! Then he did dresses with couture finery and ruffles spilling over them in a calculated haphazard fashion. And some of the girls wore lace hats that looked like cropped lampshades. The workmanship was intense, strange and passionate and not like traditional couture; more like an eccentric tapestry. Wrapped duchess satin skirts with transparent bras were provocatively half dressed and then there were jumpsuits beaded from head to toe that looked like a rock court procession inspired by the 70s glamrock wardrobe of Renato Zero, Italy’s answer to David Bowie. Running throughout was a wild shade of deep purple which had the savage quality of a carnivorous plant.

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