When Matthew M. Williams, the creative director of GIVENCHY, recently found himself in Tokyo, his designer’s instinct led him to an enchanting boutique in Koenji brimming with vintage military garb. The entire collection was a showcase of meticulous craftsmanship and functional design that could only be described as a designer’s wonderland. As he stood amidst the forgotten gems of sartorial history, he found himself drawn to the fundamental aspects that make clothing unique – the fabric, fit, and the minutiae of design details.
Matthew Williams is not just a fashion designer; he is an artisan who appreciates the complexity of clothing production. “The creation of clothing is influenced by numerous factors that make it unique,” he said, musing over the myriad of elements that impact the production process. The origin of fabric, the yield of raw materials, the shifts in weather, the unforeseen breakdown of machines, or even the closure of factories — all elements that add to the distinctive value of each piece.
Williams’ curiosity led him to discover why many hold a special fondness for ’90s concert T-shirts. It’s not just the nostalgia, but the unique fit that comes from tubular knitting, a technique typically used for mass production, which subtly differs from the standard side-seamed tees. This exploration underpins Williams’ approach to his collections, which emphasizes evolving brand codes and product design precision over storytelling or fleeting trends.
Despite his eye for the intricate, Williams also champions the beauty of simplicity and the challenge of finding the perfect basics. “There’s something inherently captivating about the elusive everyday pieces that fit just right and feel just so,” Williams expressed. At GIVENCHY, this perspective has shaped his philosophy of balance: combining high fashion with practicality, and timeless elegance with the unexpected.
In the GIVENCHY Resort 2024 collection, this approach is evident. Matthew Williams expertly marries the extremes of fashion with the staples of everyday wear. His designs encapsulate a spectrum from avant-garde silhouettes to a basic black stiletto or a well-fitted T-shirt. “Ultimately, I want people to wear what I create. So, it’s essential to strike a balance in the collection,” he articulated.
Williams revealed that his own attire demands flexibility. He designs and wears tailoring that is adaptable, embodying timeless sophistication without succumbing to boredom. “Navigating this delicate balance between timeless and contemporary is a constant challenge,” he admitted.
The GIVENCHY Resort 2024 collection, under the masterful hand of Williams, epitomizes this ideal balance. It is dressier and more decadent than usual, sprinkled with practical and industrial elements. Yet it effortlessly maintains its foothold in the realm of luxury streetwear, showing that fashion can, indeed, walk that fine line between the classic and the contemporary. The collection, thus, signifies a celebration of harmony in contrasts, guided by Matthew M. Williams’ distinct ethos.
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