Givenchy Won’t Do a Runway Show for Couture

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Photo: Imaxtree

Exciting reminder: The fall 2010 couture collections begin July 5, which is only two weeks from today! And a little bit of a downer, but easy to get over once you understand the reasoning: Givenchy won't show its couture collection on the runway. Also, their new collection will only consist of ten looks, less than half of the label's spring 2010 couture collection, which included 22 looks, described by Suzy Menkes as "a wild rave of evening clothes." Instead, the label will invite editors and clients to view the collection — which will include no black, Tisci says — in private appointments beginning July 6, held in a fabulous eighteenth-century townhouse on the Place Vendôme in Paris.

The new format is not to save money, Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci explained to WWD in an interview with Pierre-Yves Roussel, chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s fashion division. "I want to make couture even more special than it is, and not just another catwalk show," Tisci said. "People can really experience the couture moment: See it, touch it." The presentation, Tisci and Roussel explained, would likely cost about 35 percent more than the runway show. And the format makes sense, after Menkes called Tisci's last "wild rave" of a couture show "frustrating as just 22 models whizzed by in high speed." This way, she can see each look up close at length, on top of models like Lara Stone and Mariacarla Boscono.

While the presentation seems like a less ostentatious method of unveiling a small lot of some of the globe's most expensive clothes as the world crawls out of a terrible economic downturn, Tisci and Roussel also have their bottom line in mind.

The designer noted Givenchy’s most devoted couture clients, including assorted royals, do not attend the shows for reasons of privacy and security. And roughly 70 percent alter designs in some way, meaning that a smaller collection and scaled-back theatrics pose no obstacles to a strong season. Couture represents a “special, high-level service,” which the new format reflects, he said.

Of course they don't want to bother with the scene of a fashion show, waiting for Ciara to arrive 40 minutes late, pushing over the "normal people" to get to their seats, possibly not being able to see a shoe here and there. Rather than watching the show like any old concert, the wealthy clients can feel like they have a backstage pass.

Givenchy Bids Goodbye to Couture Runway [WWD]