PFW AW14: Lanvin

Alber, Alber, Alber, in how many ways dost though pleasure us? The Lanvin show is always a treat. Alber Elbaz’s impeccable taste and masterful understanding of what looks good on a woman make the collection an utter pleasure to look at. Elbaz has earned the house a cult following and rightfully so. His pieces are uncomplicated, unfussy, simply breathtaking clothes. He has also wholly mastered the art of making women appear incredibly sexy in very simple and modest creations. A slight exaggeration here, a fluttering of detail there and with sleight of hand he makes the most simple dress jaw-droppingly sensual.
The theme for this season’s Lanvin show was … well there was no theme. But this is Alber Elbaz and does he need a theme? Certainly not. The opening look was a black brocade silk, just-below-the-knee dress with a flamenco dancers flourish of ruffles. The dress was accompanied with necklaces saying “help” and “happy” – two of Elbaz’s favourite words he announced after the show. For Elbaz, each collection starts with a word or several words that he contemplates and builds his collection around. Other prominent words which featured in the show were ‘love’ and ‘cool’ but Alber admitted to abhorring the latter.
Back to the collection and Elbaz stuck to the signatures that have served him well; artfully swathed and pin-tucked silk skirts and dresses, fine chiffons in coffee and cream ruffled into exquisite blouses and skirts, dresses with their seams and underpinnings showing as though they were inside-out, raw-edged hemlines, black leather gloves – which add just the right amount of severity and of course, strong shoulders.
Every look in the collection was as unique as the model wearing it; not part of an evolving theme or message, just strong individuals in their own right and the hair and make-up reflected this. In an unusual move, models did not come down the catwalk all sporting “the look” of the season, each one’s make-up a carbon copy of the last. The models in Lanvin’s show were individuals with the make-up adapted to suit their own personal strengths. Lindsey Wixson wore a thick, smoky eye, Saskia de Brauw had almost no eye-makeup whatsoever but just a strong slick of mulberry lipstick to polish her tomboy looks.
This show was all about individuals, real people with opinions and thoughts of their own and these women don’t want to look like everybody else. It was about strong women who need intelligent clothes to do them justice and who better than Alber Elbaz to help them achieve that.
by Nicola Kavanagh

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Glass Magazine editor in chief

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