By NIKKI H. HUANG
The Givenchy and Alexander McQueen AW’19 Runway shows happened on March 3 and 4, respectively. Having been fortunate enough to have front row seats at both shows, I find it only fitting that I tell you about these for my column today. To do so, I’d like to emphasize a trend I believe could—and should—take Manila by storm: Women’s suiting.
DRESSED LIKE WONDERWOMAN AT GIVENCHY
Givenchy’s presentation was set at Jardin des Plantes. A charming garden during the day, the location turned into a stunning, ethereal set full of smoke, mirrors, and disco lights by sleight of the French brand’s hand. Most iconic was the entrance to the show, where Givenchy was spelled out in giant black letters nearly six feet tall, with smoke swirling around its base, making for a powerful first impression.
This entrance foreshadowed the likewise powerful lines of Givenchy’s autumn/winter collection, which featured sculptural tailored suits, luxurious knitwear, and floral pleated dresses.
As my dad and I made our way to our seats, we were greeted by Givenchy’s COO Ramon Ros. I retook my seat as the men made conversation and kept my eyes fixed on the entering guests. At a show like this, I was sure the guest list would be special. Only a few minutes in, Gal Gadot stalked past, her beauty absolutely magnetic. She was in what seemed to be a Givenchy jumpsuit, and I was struck into silence until I remembered: “Dad! It’s Wonder Woman!”
Two seconds too late, my dad looked into the crowd. He lamented narrowly missing Gal, stating that “she could karate kick me in the face and I’d still love her.” Wow. I think. That’s real love. My dad normally doesn’t even like being hugged too hard, lest my sister or I wrinkle his shirt.
After Gal, Sam Smith, and other A-listers took their seats, the show finally began. The models strutted into heady electronic music—so loud the audience’s senses were consumed—and our focus was trained on the clothes.
BOLD SHOULDERS AT MCQUEEN
A simpler show in terms of set, Alexander McQueen relied solely on incredible tailoring, leather, big shoulders, and lots of texture to create an impact. In sharp contrast to the darkness that shrouded Givenchy’s show, McQueen’s elevated wooden runway and bright overhead lights showcased all the detail and texture of the collection.
I find that incredible tailored suits and coats are debuted on both Givenchy and McQueen’s runways. While Givenchy’s were chic and more subdued, McQueen’s were studded, sexy, more out-there— quintessentially rock and roll. The padded, sculptural shoulders of the blazers push the definition of wearability for corporate settings.
The suits appear in blacks and gingham and other autumnal colors for Givenchy, and the masculine black, bright pink, and red, and broad shoulders of McQueen’s pieces are offset by tiny, cinched waists.
There’s something about this silhouette on a woman that I absolutely adore: Clothing that broadens the shoulders of a woman and tapers into an emphasized waist highlight femininity in a way that portrays women as strong, in-charge, and still sensual.
MORE COMFORTABLE THAN A DRESS
Both these collections represent a truly empowered, modern woman—one confident in her ability to be dominant, independent, and maintain elements of her feminine sensuality all at the same time.
While Manila’s climate may not exactly be suited to heavy jackets and thick suits, it is my hope that Filipinos further explore female suiting.
A chic suit inspires a woman: It encourages her to push gender roles, explore her more masculine side, but likewise own her womanhood should she wish to feminize a traditionally male garment.
A suit can likewise be more comfortable than a dress, encouraging those who loathe more “fashionable” pieces for how they restrict movement or limit comfort to still express themselves with style.
THE MANY WAYS TO WEAR A BLAZER
Like my favorites, I find jackets and blazers are truly versatile for women. Wear them to brunch at Wildflour with your friends with jeans and sandals, or change your jeans to slacks and have an outfit for your next interview or major presentation. To make a statement the next time you find yourself at Revel, throw your blazer over a tiny crop top or bra. Bonus points if you have matching separates.
You’ll find your blazer to be the perfect balance between edgy and elegant, sexy and simple. Play with variations of this staple piece: Do you prefer one that is single-breasted or double-? Plain or printed? Long or short? Oversized or skin tight? Your options are endless.
Whatever your wants and needs, oh woman of Manila, rest assured that there is a blazer—or an entire suit—out there for you.