Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino

Matthew M. Williams is inspired by the masterful work of Hubert de Givenchy, and brings to the stage a cultural exchange between the dress codes of American and French cultures.

The old continent welcomes Givenchy’s spring/summer 2023 collection, a meeting of urban and cosmopolitan looks. The setting is the Jardin des Planes, a place of reference for botanists around the world since the 17th century; here, just as in the mechanisms of nature, a metaphorical graft comes to life. A global and comprehensive clothing, on the one hand the classic chic stille of Paris and on the other the urban trend of American casual cool. the starting point in the development is workwear, typical of the city environment, versatile and iconic. Streetwear revisited in a sophisticated, delicate and feminine key. Hubert de Givenchy’s archives have been a great resource for the designer to draw on, always with his “adopted Parisian eye, but equally instinctively American”. Parisian sophistication has always influenced the American concept of elegance, just as nowadays one finds, for example, American music among the inspirations of young French people. This is how Williams describes the continuous cultural exchange between cultures and generations.

“This collection is an exploration of the dress codes that bind us across trends and individual continents: two wardrobes that have been transformed into a truly universal look for a global, generational community. I wanted to communicate this interaction with a new clarity and free the final expression from any complexity.”

– Matthew M. Williams

Prominent among the pieces in the collection are elements that around the world represent typical American workwear along with patterns and lines that are part of the classic or even military men’s wardrobe. Trench coats, bomber jackets, bicker and trucker jackets, cargo pants in mini or maxi versions. All these elements are distinguished by minute external decorations, such as zippers, or made with tweeds and weave materials typically part of the Parisian aesthetic. The fashion house’s historic technique can be found in the gathers of dresses, skirts, and blouses; iconic black garments, on the other hand, are modernized by asymmetrical, draped stole panels. Suits and tailored garments return to the waist with square tweed and bouclé jackets with accentuated shoulders and narrow waists; classic blazers with slatted corsets, along with bras and suspenders that come together to form almost nonexistent mini tops. Denim pants, ripped and mended, are embellished with crystal bangs. Urban dressing thus becomes a concept of extreme modernity. Accessories deepen the narrative of this fusion of worlds. Knee-high boots and ballet flats made of technical knit, tweed or leather, pointed mules with etched metal heels come into perfect harmony with the new “Voyou” bag. The shoulder strap and V-shaped silhouette interpret the versatility of a casual woman with a biker spirit. It is made of tumbled calfskin with acid-etched finish, and presented in different color variations. Jewelry is made of transparent resin, pearls and beads create cool necklaces, bracelets and rings. Sunglasses blend elegance and sportiness, wrap around the face and are often paired with zippered opera gloves. The Givenchy woman is contemporary and chic, careful to take a global view of the hustle and bustle around her, and multifaceted in her choice of aesthetic. In creating his collection Matthew M. Williams wanted the silhouettes to fully embody the exchange between two different ways of dressing. Through the study of the elements that we conventionally make belong to one aesthetic and the world in which these same elements result in contrast, a full integration without boundaries emerges. 




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