Riccardo Tisci is known, among other talents, for having one of the keenest eyes in casting. So when he puts an unexpected face in his ad campaigns for Givenchy, the world takes notice. The new star of the label’s Mert & Marcus-shot campaigns: neo-soul singer Erykah Badu. “Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” Tisci said by phone from Paris. “What I want to do with my advertising campaign is spread the love. Already now it’s been three seasons that I’ve been using people that express something—they are great artists, or beautiful women, or stylish women, or models that I really believe in. It’s kind of a family portfolio.” Tisci had known Badu slightly but had never worked with her. Still, he said, he’d had her image in the back of his mind when he was designing the Spring 2014 collection, a mash-up of African and Japanese influences. “She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” he said. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.”
In a recent V Magazine interview, Badu and Tisci discussed expressing their vision:
V: In addition to being an incredible artist, you’re also quite a fashion magpie. Are clothes another mode of expression for you?
Erykah Badu: It’s all art to me. I just really enjoy expressing myself artistically in any genre. Whether it be music or cooking or hair. Costume, makeup, fashion. It’s just fun exploring all of the little things inside of my head and seeing them manifest. I would liken fashion or styling to putting a lump of clay in the middle of the table and carving away. And there’s something underneath. Layering and silhouettes. A pair of earrings. I think it comes down to my favorite things and how they come together. That’s fun when that happens.
Riccardo Tisci: And this is one of the great things that drew me to Erykah. Aside from being quite talented, and the queen of the ’90s. I was thinking of someone who was quite elegant and urban. She’s always been this way. She has a very good sense of style, she’s great with jewelry. Her look can be quite feminine with the turban and a dress but also masculine with flat shoes or trainers. It all works.
Some of the collections dynamic jewelry pieces on the right, top to bottom; curved pale gold star shark tooth earring, cone stud earrings in pastel pink and orange & studded leather obsidian wrap bracelet in black. Shown styles, along with the handbags and shoes from the collection can be found at SSENSE. The Cannabinoids (Erykah Badus “psychedelic live hip-hop” group) have been tapped for the current SSENSE mix. The Cannabinoids’ set, (mixed by DJ A1) starts off with a rhythmic house edit of Badu’s “Tyrone,” then intersperses remixes from Kaytranada, a lounge cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” and A1’s take on Pharrell’s “Happy.” The collective’s jam sessions provide a seamless finish. Learn more about the group & hear the mix here
Drawing inspiration from a crash between African and Japanese cultures mixed with haute couture techniques, Riccardo Tisci reveals a collection imbued with sensuality and urban elegance. Moving away from prints, he explores a new territory using the simplicity of jersey and intricate embroideries in an explosion of earth colors.
The influence of the refined and elegant Japanese culture gives way to kimono sleeves and fluidity in the way the silhouette is envisioned this season. Matched with the natural draping of African women and the extensive use of silk jersey, shapes show dynamism and femininity. The Massaï look together with the craft of haute couture pleating merge to create elaborate and graceful dresses and tops. The geometry of harness-like tops worn under liquid jersey dresses adds a tough element to the art of draping. A delicate feeling animates paillettes embroidered on silk georgette, thin leather stripes sewn together to form a plissé, condor feathers appliqué on leather and sequins sewn together in a snake-like 3D effect. The make-up masks in multi-colored Swarovski crystals echo the tribal masks embroidered on paneled t-shirts.
The attitude is about sensuality, strength and confidence. That definition of the Givenchy woman is approached this season with fluid dresses, suits and jumpsuits all worn with flat sandals made of transparent plexi, nappa and patent leather with crystal studded heels.
Images and more info: StyleDotCom