The noose-inspired necklaces featured by Givenchy at Paris Fashion Week have critics at the end of their rope.
Accessories modeled after hangman’s nooses undermined both the seriousness of suicide and the hateful history of lynching on the runways of Paris this week, according to fashion watchers who had strong reactions to the inflammatory fashion statement.
University of London media professor Angela McRobbie told the Guardian she couldn’t decide if the chains were a cry for help on the designers’ part.
“I’m not sure what to say here, given the tired and weary ‘desire to shock’ or the absolute thoughtlessness,” she said.
Either way, McRobbie wondered if the sort of people responsible for these kinds of decisions keep their jobs. She also wondered if the dumbfounding designs were part of “a cynical agenda to shock” people for media attention before withdrawing “the offending piece” for more attention still. Burberry saw similar criticism in 2019 when it debuted a hoodie that featured a hangman’s rope.
Fashion site Diet Prada first drew attention to Givenchy’s noose and also wondered what the French designer was thinking and referenced the Burberry debacle.
“Really makes you wonder how no one noticed, but alas… history repeats itself,” the site wrote on Instagram.
Lisa Roxby of the suicide prevention group Papyrus told the Guardian that people who witnessed Givenchy’s controversial runway show or saw images from it could be unexpectedly reminded of loves ones they’ve lost to suicide. The hanging deaths of top designers L’Wren Scott and Alexander McQueen are still fresh to many people in the fashion business.
Chicago native Matthew M. Williams became Givenchy’s creative director in June 2020. In a March interview with GQ, Williams said his designs reflect the kind of things that appeal to him personally.
“I’m designing for me and what I want,’” he explained. “I wear them, I live in them, to understand them.”
Givenchy told The Guardian that the fashion house would not be commenting on the matter.