Oddly, it's fashionable to be incarcerated right now. Fashion Week kicked off just as the next series of Orange Is The New Black hit Netflix, much to the chagrin of the industry's TV fans. So it's apt then that Riccardo Tisci was pushing jail birds and criminals for S/S 16. This was about good boys gone bad and bad boys gone good. Sure, the models may have walked through metal cages, peering out at us from behind prison bars, but they were sweet Catholic boys deep down, rosaries close to their heart, Jesus printed bold on their T-shirt, overalls on their back. That duality can be applied to Tisci himself. On the one hand he's the master of dark, gothic, sensual beauty and best pal to the most monied, famous family around, the irrepressible Kardashians - through his association with them he's become a poster-boy for a lavish lifestyle and a more-more-more attitude - but on the other he's just a sweet Italian Catholic boy. He'd reconciled those two identities at today's show - his dark-eyed hunks were repenting criminals, humble in their denim. Some came furnished with longline knit panels over their shorts - a detail that will filter from runway to street style to pavement in no time. While that design addition will appeal to those keen for innovation, for the less experimental shopper, eager for the Givenchy they already know and love, there was also plenty on offer. Printed caps hung from models' back pockets, while the classic oversized tunic tops were there aplenty.
Really, this show was about icons. One wonders if Kendall Jenner has now acquired similar levels of celebrity as Jesus. His face may have been printed on the t-shirts, but she stole the show on the catwalk. In fact, while most the hunky male models looked like they could have been plucked from the street or the jail gym, the female casting was a who's who of fashion's most famous women. Candice Swanepoel, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls and Naomi Campbell all walked in Autumn/Winter 15 couture gowns. They’re idols who are worshipped by their followers for their physiques and lifestyles rather than their piety or holiness - a very new kind of icon. Tisci had decked them out like the fantasies of their male counterparts - all sheer lace frocks, pushed up breasts, visible bums with a cross round their neck for good measure. Even the show notes didn't try to elevate or intellectualise their look, referring to them simply as 'sexy'. It also referred to them as part of the ‘Tisci dream gang.’ How apt is that gang reference when this was seemingly all about prison? But just as you can’t get by inside without a clique for protection, in fashion the most successful brands right now have a posse as well as an aesthetic - see the Balmain Army or the Philophiles. Riccardo Tisci doesn’t need to recruit - he’ll have plenty of wannabe bad boys and aspiring sex symbols banging on his door after this collection.