PARIS, January 31, 2006 - On the morning that Coretta Scott King passed
away, Ozwald Boeteng made his way down the catwalk at the end of the
Givenchy Homme show. His arrival at one of the most venerable of Paris
labels is in itself a victory for a man with humble roots in the Ashanti
tribe. Givenchy Homme was also notable for casting models of color, be that
mocha with dreadlocks, or Asian.
The truth is the collection didn’t so much rock as it sedately reached out
to the sophisticated international gentleman. With a cut meant to
accommodate, these clothes were notable for their immaculate Savile Row
tailoring and fastidious detail. The low-cut stone washed jeans meant to
add a note of youth wound up looking like weekend attire for a Fleet Street
tycoon. Wasn’t it Charles Dickens who once wrote that the English had the
uncanny ability to make young men look old? In a milieu that worships
youth, that may seem something of an oddity, but at Givenchy it works,
especially from a marketing prospective.
Among the beautiful knits, a series of fleece lined parkas and leather
pieces stood out. The somber palate of winter gray was spruced up with
shades of emerald (including a faint verdant tinge in a Prince of Wales
check suit), arctic and electric blue.