after his critically lauded collection last season, expectations were high for ricardo tisci's latest offering for the venerated house of givenchy. the exploration of religion and the romantic architecture of the house has always been a theme that was consistent throughout tisci's tenure at the house. but it wasn't until last fall/winter, three years since being appointed as creative director, that the he finally proved his worth after seasons of inconsistent reviews. while this collection didn't have the tour de force of last season, it would be unfair to diminish the sense of accomplishment of this collection. in this day and age of churning up new ideas season after season, perhaps tisci's decision to follow through the ideas proposed last february was not only a safe and a smart choice considering the unpredictable state of the economy, but in the long run, the resolution to steadily build a definitive new identity for the house by building on the success of that watershed collection was the most decisive act to ensure the continuous growth of the label. while the gothic element which has become a tisci's trademark was still present, this season didn't have the severe, intellectual undertones of fall/winter. while the tailoring was still impeccable, it had a sense of lightness and playfulness as evident with the fly-away cutouts over lace dresses, the soft silhouettes based on the necklines of nuns' and priests' habits, and a hint of rock and roll with the crystal embellishments, denim, and leather flame cutouts on second skin trousers. really for the first time since accepting the position at givenchy, this collection felt tisci at his most at eased. it didn't have the feeling that he was forcing ideas too much or that he had to prove himself that it ended up looking as if it was just trying too hard to make a point instead of confidently making one. and hopefully he will continue to realize that the more he becomes assured at the house, the less burdened he is by the house's history, or suffering the fear of not pleasing both critics and customer, the better suited he becomes with the spirit of givenchy.