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Givenchy: Rottweiler Grunge Dandies

Godfrey Deeny
January 22nd, 2011 @ 00:19 AM - Paris

One could never fault Givenchy's creative director Riccardo Tisci for lacking chutzpah when it comes to inspiration, especially this season when he based the latest menswear collection in Paris on Friday, Jan. 21, around a novel fashion wellspring - the rottweiler.

Images of the German cattle breeding dog growled from black T-shirts, leapt across to-the-knee shorts or fought it out on silk bomber jackets with Tisci's now signature Romanesque trim.

The designer even had his models wear felt hats with dog ears pinioned down on top, just to make the message clear. One sweatshirt with a sketch of the hound - a breed used by ancient Roman armies to herd the cattle needed to feed troops - appeared with the phrase "Est. 1952," referring to the year of the couture house's foundation.

Tisci combined his canine conception with a whole grunge element, specifically faded plaid shirts, many over printed with more rottweillers, in an ideal outfit for a revival concert of Nirvana.

Under this designer, Givenchy always dabbles with a diabolical element and did again in this show, which featured Black Magic insignia of tough chic belts. Plus, the show contained some great new bulky footwear, a sort of Timberland meets Paris dandy look, sure to be highly influential.

Whether or not many men will wear all this rottweiller imagery with thick shorts, ribbed woolly leggings and hefty boots next winter, remains to be seen. But the clever cool classic pieces mixed into the collection - like beige cashmere jackets with zips down the spine, or the padded down jackets with over-sized fur collars - will find plenty of fans.

"I was inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis, and I wanted drama and elegance," explained Tisci, referring to the '50s rock 'n' roll singer, a bit of a rockin' rottweiller himself.

Such was the quality of the ideas, that pretty well no one leaving the event moaned about a broken main fuse which lunged the hall into darkness and led to a 70-minute late start for the show, which is quite a compliment in itself.

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