First, there was the announcement earlier this summer. Then, there were the mysterious pictures of locks by Nick Knight. Then, those locks were photocopied to the squeals of Playboi Carti. Then, in September, we finally received what we had all been waiting for: Matthew M. Williams’s first ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy, data-dumped onto the world in the form of 54 lookbook images.
Two months later, the collection is ready to drop — parts of it, at least. An edited selection (dubbed "Teaser"), which you can see in the gallery above, will arrive online and in select Givenchy stores from tomorrow, Dec 1, until the 22, before the full range lands in February.
So, if you were planning to cop, or just want another excuse to check out the new collection, allow us to fresh your memory with our recap below.
Up until his recent move to Paris for the Givenchy gig, Williams was based at the seat of his ALYX atelier, which is located at the heart of Italian textile manufacturing in the medieval city of Ferrara. As such, the designer has developed an ultra-sophisticated approach to materials that is clearly on display in his Givenchy debut.
Without the benefit of observing it swish down the catwalk, this approach rang loud and hard through Look 41, which features a shiny patent shoe, a crocodile apron, a hand-dyed pant, a camp shirt, and what looks to be a semi-transparent long sleeve in the vein of a classic Jean-Paul Gaultier “tattoo” shirt. Some would say “kitchen sink,” others would say “go awf.”
When it comes to commercial success at a luxury house, securing the bag requires securing the bag. And it’s clear that Williams’s debut stepped up to the plate with a lot of new signatures — including a pointy pocketbook for men and women, a couple big and baller crocodile totes, as well as a shoulder-strapped water bottle that is very reminiscent of Kim Jones’s country-gent antics at Dunhill.
Plus there’s a couple of chest packs in there for all you archive kids!
While the women’s sandals in the collection — especially when styled with a wool three-toed tabi sock — deserve accolades, as a hometown hero of the streetwear world, it’s inevitable that Williams would come through stepping with some god-tier men’s footwear concepts. The mega-soled crocodile boots clearly deliver some '70s swag, as well as a running silhouette, also with a croc upper, from Look eight deserves some closer examination. But the slides in the collection are something else. Few could have guessed just a handful of moons ago that the star footwear of Givenchy SS21 Ready-to-Wear would be a leather remix of a chunky Hoka One One recovery sandal designed by Matthew Williams. But such is the power of 2020.
As with all Herculean efforts, there’s always an Achilles heel. In the case of this collection, this fatal flaw comes in the form of a devil-horned leather baseball cap that appears across multiple looks in the collection. But the SoundCloud rappers need something to go home with too…