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Paris Fashion Week: Givenchy goes for Rottweilers on the runway

January 22, 2011 |  7:20 am


Even accounting for Fashion Standard Time, the Givenchy runway show was late out of the gate; the first model didn't hit the runway until an hour and 22 minutes past the scheduled start time. At the one-hour mark, folks with clipboards started circulating through the room to explain to the increasingly impatient crowd that the delay had to do with the electricity supply to the building. After at least one false start and an additional 20 minutes of waiting, even the most patient of the fashion flock started feeling like an angry, caged animal.

One can only imagine that Riccardo Tisci must have been feeling something similar when he came up with the snarling, teeth-baring dogfight of a menswear collection he sent down the runway for fall and winter 2011. And I'm using those descriptors literally.

Snarling Rottweilers were the central visual motif; they appeared an angry pack at a time on baggy dress shirts and shorts, they were appliqued solo onto baggy sweatshirts (above the capital letters RTTWLR and between the words "est." and "1955") and were even employed as an all-over print across the yoke and down the arms of a shirt.

Outfits were accessorized with dog-collar and dog-leash belts or dog-harness backpack straps, but the most curious items were the hats -- in brown or white, the round domed hats each sported a small visor in the front and a pair of dog ears up top (like those Goofy-eared hats you can buy at Disneyland but with smaller ears instead of long, floppy ones).

When I first read the show notes that described Louis Vuitton's collection as Amish meets David Lynch, it sounded like a "Bruno"-worthy prank. But once it unfolded, there was a method to the collection's madness. By comparison, Givenchy felt like a "Zoolander"-level fashion show parody with no payoff.

There were some interesting pieces in the show -- jackets with zip-in vests and a three-quarters-length fur vest layering piece, but the disconnect itself was the scene-stealer. This is the House of Givenchy, after all, and not Ed Hardy Tattoowear.

But Tisci seems to be wholeheartedly dedicated to moving the brand forward, even if it's not necessarily in the direction that people expect. And with that kind of (dogged) determination, it's just a matter of time.

After all, what's the saying? Every dog has its day?

-- Adam Tschorn in Paris


Photos: Looks from the Givenchy fall and winter 2011 men's runway collection, shown on Friday during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times