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Crisp Elegance from Givenchy Homme

by Timothy Hagy

PARIS, July 5, 2005 - It was no wonder that Ozwald Boateng saluted Yves Carcelle during his runway appearance at he end of the Givenchy Homme show for Summer 2006. Carcelle, the amiable president of Louis Vuitton, has long been one of the designer’s biggest supporters and was, in many ways, responsible for his appointment to the House of Givenchy when it decided to launch its first ever men’s line.

Three seasons in Boateng seems to have settled comfortably into the task of inventing a wardrobe worthy of a French gentleman. He’s developed a set of codes that work, and while they may not have the ethnic mix that he gives his eponymous label, they sing with Parisian chic. What was presented on the catwalk, was a solid, risk-free collection notable for its sharply tailored suits and form fitting shirts.

A vest was opened in a giant V to display an ornate shirt with rounded collar. Shimmering suits gave way to a bronze lamé sleeveless jacket; tops became transparent and sweaters were cut with oversized oval necklines.

The crispness of cool grays and whites contrasted with shades of pale sea foam, which was even used to mold a magnificent tuxedo. Elsewhere poppy-red and goldenrod splashed brilliant color along the catwalk.

Carcelle said before the show that his wife, Rebecca, was on the boat in St. Tropez, and it looked as if the entire Givenchy Homme collection belonged there with her.

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