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Chola style and Victoriana are unlikely themes at Givenchy

Moustaches and facial hair are the latest trend in Paris. And while East London can claim to have got there first, Paris fashion week has taken the look a step further – this time, it’s for women.

Each and every model on the Givenchy catwalk was decorated – or disfigured, depending on your point of view – by a crust of crystals or shimmering jet, which almost obscured her features. Vast earrings suspended from the lower, middle and upper lobes swung from each side of the face, while chunky strings of jewels hung across the upper lip, suspended from the septum. Gems the size of drawing pins studded the chin, cheeks and cheekbones. Meanwhile, fuzzy kiss curls were teased out of the models’ hairlines and plastered slickly to their faces.

A model on the Givenchy catwalk

It is some way from Hubert de Givenchy’s vision of chic, as most famously realised on Audrey Hepburn. But then, the current Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci has never been interested in conventional modes of beauty. Tisci has long championed the career of transgender model Lea T; more recently, he became the first top-flight designer to embrace the ample curves of Kim Kardashian, dressing her in full-length florals for a maternity gown at the Met Ball, and in white for the wedding dress that stars in Instagram’s most-liked picture.

The collection was inspired, said Tisci, by Mexican girl gangs and Victoriana. Long, gypsy-style gowns and scarlet velvet flourishes on tailored trousers emphasised the Mexican influences, while Tisci brought a raw edge even to simple Victoriana. A cutaway frock coat, with lavish caped sleeves and a slim torso, synthesised elegance and aggression.

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