Lanvin: The Drape of Things to Come

Paris – Lanvin has been one of the most applauded, admired and followed fashion labels in the past half decade and, if anything, all that attention should grow following its latest show, a brilliantly imagined collection that ranged from austerity to over-the-top joie de vivre.

Staged Friday, March 4, in Paris before a movie style set composed of a giant weeping willow tree imported from London, the show opened ascetically, as models sauntered out in patent leather loafers and mega brim Pilgrim Fathers hats, wearing sleek tunics, off the shoulder strapless cocktails and lace dresses.

It was a real departure for Lanvin’s acclaimed designer Alber Elbaz, who normally favors far more prints and less grave hues. Indeed it was some 20 looks into the show before Elbaz sent out a few image petal prints, featured in chalk and white tops.

Puckered, pleated, ballooning out just so here and there, and cut with aplomb, the collection was also a mini master class in the art of sophisticated draping.

In the wake of the sacking of John Galliano at Christian Dior, Elbaz has emerged as one of the favorites to be his successor.

But when asked about the speculation, Elbaz dodged the question and responded by saying, “Yes, this collection did have a humanist quality.”

However, rather than a dry run at Dior, the collection recalled another famous Paris house, Yves Saint Laurent, with the opening masculine silhouettes and bold crimson, yellow and rose color palette of the dressy finale of organza curvy dresses, all finished with long leather gloves and clusters of metal and crystal flowers.

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