Givenchy’s fresh take on models at their fall winter 2008/09 couture show

As the Haute Couture season rounded to a close on Friday, it has become even more apparent that there are only a handful of models who don’t fall into the category of starkly pale and/or Eastern European. Chanel Iman and Ai Tominaga are two beauties who are frequently seen, but designers seem to only favor the white waifs for the most part. While Lacroix and his compatriots held shows without any diversity, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy did something exciting and strikingly different. He gave the opening three slots of his show to the “minorities”.

Tisci used new house favorite Lakshmi Menon as his opener, with Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez following. Perhaps this is Tisci’s way of acknowledging the move made by Anna Piaggi at Vogue Italia to feature all black models in the exciting August issue, after all Dunn and Lopez make appearances on the fold-out cover. Tisci quickly reverted back to the fashion norm and used white girls for the rest of the show, but hopefully this points to a new trend among designers and editors alike to include beauties of all ethnicities in their work.

Meanwhile, the Givenchy fall winter 2008/09 Haute Couture collection itself was inspired by a trip to the Andes that Tisci is hoping to take in the near future. From luxe bomber jackets to traditional Incan patterned knits, the paired-down collection was very much rooted in the culture of the land, and possessed a more utilitarian vibe than most Haute Couture; you could wear these clothes in everyday life quite easily. He ventured a bit further afield with fluorescent pink pieces and sheer lace gowns topped with leather motorcycle jackets, but the air of adventure and intrigue remained.

— Laura Wasson