Givenchy Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Riccardo Tisci always seems to have an animal in mind when he’s designing a collection for Givenchy. Cranes, rottweilers, panthers – they’ve all made it down this runway. This season, he’s gone anthropomorphic. Surfers and mermaids helped drive Tisci’s under the sea story, whose allusive treatment made the season’s best case for the ubiquitous trend.

Natalia Vodianova opened in a soft pink tailored jacket and skin-tight leggings that flared at the ends in a soft undulation. Second look out, the aquatic touch hung from the neck in a super sexy shark tooth pendant. The shorts and suited blazer look suggested safari in the olive pieces. But before the looks closed with green, they came in black, some with structured peplums that bloomed out of the tops in layers that recalled waves, or dorsal fins. The touch was adventurous, but still remained more accessible than anything he has ever done, even though everything came covered or lined in a Tiscian artisanal of exotic fabrics like sea serpent, eel, stingray and something called sea wolf. Still, the best of the peplums was the black number that came covered in lasercut leather cut-outs – perhaps Tisci’s answer to scales.

The biggest show-stoppers, a trio which came midway with Mariacarla Boscono, Fei Fei Sun and Kinga Rajzak, were completely silver-sequined, like fish spangling in light as they jump to the surf. They would’ve stolen the show had Gisele Bundchen – the supe to end all supes – hadn’t closed it. Last time Gisele surprised the crowd it was at Balenciaga, where she also ended up shooting the campaign. Watch out Mariacarla. Your days as reigning muse at Givenchy may be numbered.