Riccardo Tisci had fashionistas eating out of the palm of his hand with Givenchy's equestrian-themed Pre-Fall collection drawing from the brand’s archives. They were in an uproar for the Rottweiler graphic tees, panel coats and boxy wool jackets, antler pendants and especially the knee-high leather boots with heel-covering sheaths. Luckily, Tisci wasn’t quite done with the horseback-riding concept yet – or the sheath boots – and continued it into the Fall 2012 collection. This time around, though, the designer envisioned a darker, more erotic version of the idea.
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Presented at Paris Fashion Week, Tisci’s collection revolved around leather ensembles in well-tailored, fitted silhouettes. As in Pre-Fall, there were jodhpurs and cutaway coats – and lots of them. Jodhpurs in silk, wool, velvet and quilted leather were stuffed in the delightful hoofed sheath boots and provided the perfect accompaniment to elongated, nipped-waist leather blazers, double-breasted coats and cropped fur jackets. Outerwear took center stage with a menswear influence in the front and feminine details of peplums, tails and bustles in the back.
Leather also made for severely edgy, skintight turtleneck dresses and halter, flared A-line shapes. Knee-length pleated skirts had a fluid-like appeal and were contrasted with embellished short fur jackets. As the main material, leather brought a sense of power and mystery to the collection.
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Dramatic as it was, Tisci wisely cut through the dominant looks with a feminine offering of electric-colored, lace-embroidered lingerie dresses completed with the thinnest spaghetti straps possible. The dresses featured pleated skirts with lace trims, deeply cut necklines and jeweled adornments. Not straying too far into girly territory, Tisci paired the delicate ensembles with the knee-high boots, long leather gloves and skinny scarves wrapped around the neck like chokers for contrast.
By this point, Tisci must have exhausted his horseback-riding creative juices. The collection undoubtedly took equestrian where it has never gone before and, if you didn’t want those boots back in Pre-Fall, you probably do now.