One September Night: iDEKO Collaborates with Givenchy

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Givenchy | Spring Summer 2016 Full Fashion Show

Shadows And Light

Realizing an artist’s vision isn’t without its hazards: during Givenchy’s Spring-Summer 2016 show, two models were tripped up by the recycled wooden pallets that served as part of the set for the dock-side runway. Errors should be anticipated as part of any event.

Whether you recall the hiccups of the evening or if the incident gets swallowed up by the flow of the event can make the difference in its success or failure. The day after that September 2015 night in newspapers and blogs, the critics made little to no mention of the models getting tripped up. The luminous spectacle of Givenchy’s rollout down at Pier 26, in the shadow of the Freedom Tower, had made its impression.

Vision

What thoughts could have flashed through the minds of the teams at iDEKO Productions and IDEKOgov tasked to coordinate the riverside event, when confronted by the staging proposed by the artist Marina Abramovic, Tisci’s collaborator on the rollout?

“Sunset, a violin is playing and a vocalist sings an old Yiddish folk song, ‘Shalom Aleichem’…”

This quote is a fiction, but what is true is this: Marina’s an intense creator. She had a whole show at MoMA where she sat at a table and stared down museum patrons. So, it’s a safe bet that the planners were brainstorming, hard.

Tisci and Abramovic wished to marry couture with the city in autumn, reflecting on one tragic day in 2001. It’s no secret that Tisci is enraptured by New York. The rollout was to be a message to the city. iDEKO was determined to make sure the message would be heard with as little interference as possible.

Space And Time

Jutting out into the Hudson, across from New Jersey, Pier 26 is located on the lower west side in Tribeca. It’s part of the long stretch that is Hudson River Park, starting around 59th Street and extending down to the Battery. It has a host of attractions including a wine bar and a dog park. A few blocks northwest of the crystalline height of the Freedom Tower, it once held a vantage point to view the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Scheduling Givenchy’s rollout on September 11 was purely coincidental—possibly “tone deaf”. The date for the rollout may not have been intentional, but the location was. Having it occur on that day and in its location figured greatly into decisions to keep the show respectful and meaningful. The set and runway were meant to evoke the pier’s history in seagoing commerce, with corrugated metal structures and wood pallets.

Along various avenues and intersections across the city, screens were mounted to let passersby watch the unfolding performance down at the pier.

Heights

The sun went down and the array of celebrities seated. Overlooking the throng was a figure standing with a child, turning occasionally to gaze up at the Freedom Tower. And, there was the singer accompanied by the violinist playing “Shalom Aleichem,” which translates to “Peace be with you.”

Below, lines of young women in light and dark filmy wispy fabric, flanked by marveling spectators, marched out along a cleared path and across the night. The next day as other fashion events were held across New York and other major cities across the world, the critics crowed about Givenchy’s Spring 2016 Collection event.

The next day as other fashion events were held across New York and other major cities across the world, the critics crowed about Givenchy’s Spring 2016 Collection event.

“GIVENCHY’S SPECTACULAR 9/11 FASHION SHOW ACTUALLY WORKED,” was Cathryn Horn’s headline on the website, The Cut. “The symbolism was subtle and the clothes sensual.”

“[F]or those who were there to see if this could be one of those rare shows that connects the dots between art, pop culture, industry, and reality, Givenchy also delivered,” wrote Alexandra Ilyashov and Connie Wang for Refinery 29.

Tisci’s mission to showcase Givenchy’s latest offerings and be reverential was a calculation whose success could only have come about through careful, thoughtful collaboration. iDEKO Productions and IDEKOgov secured the riverside view, erected the staging for the event, and placed the screens around the city, transforming the event into a communal one. The planners at iDEKO didn’t shirk at helping one designer—with his artist partner—communicate his simple message to the city, on a day marked by deep emotions:

“I love you.”

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