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A year ago it was panthers. Now horses have captured the imagination of Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, whose show Sunday presented a highly charged and at times fetish-ized take on equestrian riding gear.

Jodphurs in black and sable brown shaped the silhouette of the collection’s first half, with oversized earrings like horse-blinders complementing high riding boots.

As ever with Tisci, there was a sense of danger at all times with chokingly tight neck scarves, loud, troubling music, and even one skintight leather piece _ based on a sporting polo _ that looked like bondage gear.

Intentionally crude stitching in one leather dress was followed by a series of intense-color slip dresses with clashing belts _ harking back to the palette of British glam rock.

Indeed, associations with rock music have been a key factor in keeping Givenchy on the public radar in the past year.

Madonna’s widely viewed performance at the American Super Bowl football championship last month was a marketing coup for the house, the singer dressed head to toe in Tisci’s couture.

With P.Diddy and Alicia Keys on Sunday’s front row, it’s clear that Givenchy’s a ticket the music stars can’t resist.


The young girl next door with a pretty red bow: that was the inspiration for Alexis Mabille’s fall-winter collection Sunday, which reworked the youthful bow in every imaginable way.

Girly tied-lace belting shaved years off the look of a flounce dress with chestnut bow embroidering, while diamante bow earrings put the icing on the cake of the carefree, chic gamine look.

This insouciance translated to a short skirt wardrobe. It was a blatant “sticking your tongue out” at the normal autumn covered-up look, with pleated miniskirts and short dresses in plum and black exposing yards of leg.

Just in case spectators still didn’t get his point, the funky soundtrack blasted out a chorus of “mini mini mini mini,” to chuckles on the front row.

In the more wintery part of the collection, he showcased a series of plumed pieces. But at times the texture-mixing looked like he was trying too hard.

One jacket embroidered entirely with messy, wild feathers and fox fur looked almost like a vixen had raided a chicken pen.


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