Wednesday, 26 January 2011

givenchy's striking vikings

Taking a break from this term's reading of Chaucerian literature, I turned to Vogue's round-up of the Paris couture shows and was dazzled by the chivalric, Arthurian legend vibe of the Givenchy collection:

Long, rapuzel-like chair? Check.
Grand palatial setting? Check.
Layered, flowing gowns? Check.
Knight in shining armour's helmet? Check.
Medieval modesty? Um, perhaps not.

Think damsel in distress donning helmet of heroic knight, asserting female strength through warrior-inspired clothing and flashes of bare flesh. A radical revival of medieval myth? Not so, brave knight. Saucy Chaucer's women weren't afraid to bare all either:
I wol persevere, I nam nat precious.
In wyfhode I wol use myn instrument
As frely as my maker hath it sent.
If I be daungerous, God yeve me sorwe!
Myn housbond shal it have bothe eve and morwe...
Admittedly, Tisci's collection isn't exactly aimed at modern-day Wives of Bath, but I've no doubt that she would have approved of his defiant styles back in the day.

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