Riccardo Tisci’s Masks


When it comes to Riccardo Tisci’s aesthetics I tend to lose myself in the visuals, in awe by the other-worldly beauty of his masks and ornaments. They bring back memories of youthful twenties spent in smokey goth clubs between Amsterdam and Los Angeles, where similar facial ornaments were worn gracefully by many of the beautiful Victorian-esque girls.

The Italian-born designer has brought a distinct beauty aesthetic to Givenchy since his reign as the Maison’s iconoclastic creative director. Obsessed with beauty and ornamentation, he draws inspiration from his mid teens as a goth (Ow yes!), from Africa and any religion and culture where it is custom to decorate ones self. Tisci’s SS16 collection, which represents “a celebration of love in all its forms”, features five stunning and exquisitely constructed masks engineered by Tisci’s trusted friend- makeup artist Pat McGrath-who told Vogue that lace from dresses, beads, crystals, pearls and more were used to build the masks and a professional adhesive was used to apply everything to the model’s faces- each mask taking about 5 hours to complete. Compared with Givenchy’s dark Victorian AW15 show, these embellishments (see below) were more romantic, feminine and angelic – in line with the theme of the collection- and a work of art in their own right.

Although a slow process, there is a growing facial jewellery movement bubbling up. Just recently designer Delfina Delettrez unveiled an engagement ring meant not for the hand, but the nose—a silver septum piece with a single trillion-cut diamond. Around the same time, Kiev-based designer Jean Gritsfeldt released oversize crystal nose and lip flower clips that hang over the chin.