Givenchy To Halt Couture Runway Shows

In what initially seemed like a the-way-we-live-now sort of move, Givenchy has decided to give up its couture runway presentations. Instead, the company that made the purple cloud of expensive Zoe Saldana wore to the Oscars will start inviting clients and editors to individual appointments on July 6.

But leaving the shows behind isn’t going to save the Givenchy’s couture arm any money. In fact, the house’s couturier Riccardo Tisci and his boss Pierre-Yves Roussel told WWD that the change would cost them about 35 percent more than staying with runway presentations.

That’s because Tisci wants to distill his couture collection into 10 looks to be displayed on live models (like Lara Stone and Mariacarla Boscono) and mannequins for clients at Givenchy’s couture salons on Paris’s Avenue George V — and of course, those need to be renovated first.

Roussel, who heads the fashion division at Givenchy’s parent company LVMH, and Tisci also said they would add couture jewelry, but they didn’t say whom they’d be partnering with to create their new arrangement of baubles.

The private shows could very well be the beginning of a trend for couture houses. Roussel says the economic downturn inspired Givenchy to try to bring back the private and exclusive nature of couture clothing, instead of splashing it around for the world to see.

“After a crisis, a new era always starts,” [Tisci] added. “It’s going to be a very good moment for creativity. For couture, it’s going to go back to being very exclusive.”

Oh, well. So much for the democratization of fashion.

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