Has Givenchy found the perfect fit for a mashup of Japanese and African culture and adornment in Erykah Badu!?
Riccardo Tisci is no stranger to controversial decisions in the fashion industry. He has been trying to shake us up, wake us up, and make us take notice to all the non-traditional and nonconformist beauty in the world. He extends this trend to his Givenchy Spring 2014 line and campaign, faced by none other than the beautiful and edgy Erykah Badu and other notable models of color including Maria Borges and Asia Chow.
In an interview with style.com Tisci defines the Spring 2014 Givenchy line as a “…car crash of the two cultures, the fragility of Japan and the draping of Africa.” And that is a perfect description of this line. The mixing of feminine and harsh, fluidity and sharp lines, and matte and gloss encompasses all of the differences we might think about between Asian and African dress. The embellishments range from pleats to sequin and from leather accompaniments to tribal and pastel embroidery. The line is a mash up of transformation and evolution, with even the runway show featuring garments that seemingly change like a caterpillar to butterfly.
I can’t think of another musician, artist, or woman of color who matches the definition of this line more perfectly than Erykah Badu. As her music has transformed from Baduizm to today’s New Amerykah, so has her style, and her presence.
Even before knowing that she would be involved in Givenchy’s spring campaign I was able to look at the line and see her form filling out more than one of the garments. I could see the draped hips of look one of the collection flung around her like some sort of modern day Isis. I could see her in look 32 with her infamous wide brimmed hat and full finger ring. Erykah Badu is the quintessential African American goddess that could pull of any of these looks with grace, effortlessness, and a little bit of kick ass thrown in for good measure.