Clare Waight Keller finds her footing at Givenchy with a dark and glamorous ‘Night Noir’ collection

After Clare Waight Keller’s debut collection for Givenchy last season, many people were left scratching their heads wondering where the house was headed. However, after presenting her fall and winter 2018 men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections on March 4, that fashion crowd will likely be reaching for their wallets.

Presented at the Palais de Justice, the “Night Noir” collection had some of that dark romanticism that Waight Keller’s predecessor Riccardo Tisci — who, coincidentally, was recently tapped to be chief creative officer at Burberry — made Givenchy’s signature. The collection was filtered through inspirations that included film noir and the social scene of Berlin circa the early 1980s. (The huge ’80s trend coming out of New York has been in evidence here but not quite to the same extent.)

A look from Givenchy’s fall/winter 2018 runway collection presented on Sunday.
(Thibault Camus / Associated Press )

Color-wise, the collection was heavy on black and white, with tobacco browns and oily shades of green and purple the notable exceptions. The last of those has turned out to be one of Paris Fashion Week’s surprise accent colors, and its use at Givenchy on a tiered plissé soleil dress whose rigid ruffles called to mind ribbons of film stock undulating as if unspooling from a movie projector.


Silhouettes ranged from razor-sharp tailored pieces and body-hugging, lace-trimmed slip dresses to an eye-catching assortment of body-enveloping faux fur coats with generous lapels. Patterns included animal prints (a zebra patterned on a slouchy turtleneck and leopard spots on fur coats and vests); hound’s-tooth checks (memorably on a robe-like, strong-shouldered dress with notch lapels); and a black-and-white men’s turtleneck that combined zebra stripes, an exploded hound’s-tooth pattern and stripes.

In addition to the aforementioned plissé soleil dress, standout looks included a voluminous khaki-colored cape (hey, even vampires go on safari, right?) for women and a white puffer trench for men.

Our hands-down favorite look was as simple as it was stylish. It was a strapless black cocktail dress adorned with an enormous and luxuriously languid bow at the sternum. It’s the kind of dress that I could easily see becoming a go-to little black dress for years to come.

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