If any further proof was needed that the world is spinning off its axis, Grazia has just learned that Clare Waight Keller and Givenchy have ended their creative collaboration.
In an official statement released by Givenchy, Clare revealed, "As the first woman to be the Artistic Director of this legendary Maison, I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to cherish its legacy and bring it new life. Focusing on a world based on Haute Couture has been one of the highlights of my professional journey. I have shared so many incredible moments with the brilliant Givenchy ateliers and design teams: your exceptional talent and dedication will forever remain in my memories."
She added, "My heartfelt thanks go out to each of the unsung heroes and heroines behind the scenes, for their contribution from product to communications and retail, and every global team member, partner and supplier in between. Without all of you, I could not have brought my vision for Givenchy to life in such a beautiful way."
In 2017, Clare was selected by Givenchy CEO Philippe Fortunato, to replace Riccardo Tisci for her “singular sense of elegance and modernity”. Clare said at the time, “Hubert de Givenchy’s confident style has always been an inspiration and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this legendary house’s history. I look forward to writing a new chapter in this beautiful story.”
And what a story she spun, creating a new vision of sophisticated femininity for the house and an effortless womencentric point of view the world has been missing since the departure of Phoebe Philo from Celine the very year she was appointed.
Yet of course, we live in a world where talent and point of view isn't enough without celebrity endorsements and social media domination, which is where Meghan Markle stepped in. Once Clare Waight Keller's understated design for Meghan's bridal gown was beamed across the globe on 19 May 2018, she went from a respected name within the fashion industry to the haute couture superstar the world wanted to know about.
Making a surprise appearance at the Fashion Awards to present Keller with the Womenswear Designer of the Year accolade in December 2018, Meghan said of Clare, "We have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes, it's very personal, sometimes it's emotional, but for me, this connection is rooted in really being able to understand it's about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women. When we choose to wear a certain designer, we're not just a reflection of their creativity and their vision but we're also an extension of their values, of the fabric, so to speak, that is much more meaningful."
Of her relationship with Meghan, Clare explained, "I got to know Meghan on such a personal level, and to have someone like that trust you in an incredble moment in their live is just the most unbelievable honour."
So what's next for Waight Keller? With Harry and Meghan newly esconced in LA, could a career as Meghan's personal designer in Hollywood beckon? Or with Phoebe Philo returning to the fashion fold, could a power collaboration be on the cards? Clare hinted, "I am now looking forward to embarking on the next episode. Love and creativity remain central to what I do, and who I am, as does a heartfelt belief in kindness, and the courage to be true to your art."
Photos: Getty Images and Wenn