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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Givenchy’s Not So Old Time Religion

Godfrey Deeny
June 26th, 2010 @ 00:57 AM - Paris

If Givenchy’s talented creative director Riccardo Tisci had not ended up in fashion, he maybe should have considered a career in the church, so important is the influence of religion in this designer’s oeuvre.

Dark priestly clothes that look like vestments, crosses and saintly images have rifled through his men’s and women’s collections for many seasons, and appeared in his latest menswear show staged Friday, June 25 in Paris.

This time, his spiritualism came with a Victorian spin, as everything from shoes to bizarre Venetian masks were finished with 19th century spirals and filigree.

Tisci has always been a darkly edgy designer and he was again his season. His menswear might have priestly references with their somber clergyman’s air, but the message is always subversive. One outfit topped by a reverend’s jacket was finished with a shirt-dress. His remarkable white shirts were a cross between an altar boy’s smock and an English lady’s lace century picnic dress.

“In a sense it’s my usual obsessions, religion and sexuality, but with a big Victorian moment, which I found pretty religious too,” Tisci said post show.

To drive home the point, DJ Frederique Sanchez’s soundtrack featured music from the masked ball scene of Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” which was based on the Romanian Orthodox Divine Liturgy, recoded backwards.

Staged in the chandeliered glory of the Intercontinental Hotel, the show also took a detour into Africa, with striking leopard print frock coats, tuxedos, shorts, leggings and even some fantastic shoes – certain must-haves for fashion insiders. The same fabric also appeared on several female models that toured the twisting runway of this hallucinatory collection – a marriage of unlikely elements that nonetheless was something of a triumph.

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