The accomplished creative director melded her beginnings at Calvin Klein with her current position at the center of French fashion.
by Juliette Gour
For Givenchy’s Spring 2020 collection, creative director Clare Waight Keller explored the crossroads of two of the world’s most prominent fashion capitals. Earlier on in her career, the designer had worked for Calvin Klein during the height of its minimalist allure in the ’90s, also building her skills at Ralph Lauren before heading back across the Atlantic for a career that’s included positions at Gucci, Pringle of Scotland, and Chloé. Now, she has spent nearly a decade as a creative director in Paris, and her work at Givenchy has led to an Audrey Hepburn homage of a couture collection, Meghan Markle’s royal wedding dress, and award-winning acclaim.
Thus, it was the perfect time for Waight Keller to find the language of her new collection where the Parisian house’s couture heritage meets the modern urban influences of New York City. Creating up-to-date silhouettes that accentuate the waist, the looks combine floral prints and recycled denim, sometimes raw, sometimes frayed—a successful blend of downtown bohemia and French-girl je ne sais quoi. Once again, Bermuda shorts make their way into this collection, confirming their triumphant return to our closets. From casual suits to sophisticated evening dresses, the house offers a variety of looks that adapt to all hours of the day. Additionally, the collection revealed a brand new handbag for Givenchy. The leather bag, featuring triple pouches and adorned with charms, is a new staple piece ideal for hot summer nights by the sea.
Together, all of the above created a picture of modern femininity, embracing the various cities that have brought Waight Keller to industry prominence as well as the increasingly diverse silhouettes that convey an empowering style today. When Kaia Gerber walked the show, she wasn’t wearing anything particularly avant-garde or maximalist—instead, her look comprised a satin, deep-V crop top and leather midi skirt—but the way her effortless cool captivated the audience said it all. Amidst the range of aesthetics within today’s fashion sphere, almost nothing seems to beat an outfit that takes an empowering backseat to its wearer, and Waight Keller is a master of this.