With hot-pink, heart-shaped cookies and fizzing raspberry champagne enthusiastically and generously handed out to show-goers, this Lanvin show was a party-slash-love-in.
What started as a buttoned-up, pleated skirt uniform affair in a series of frayed tweeds (the staples that Alber Elbaz believes to be essential in a woman’s wardrobe), quickly morphed into dresses possessing some of the brightest sequins and full-on gem-stone shine that we have seen so far in the City of Light. It was unapologetic glamour and, as with all Alber’s creations, a celebration of womanhood.
“It’s a celebration of femininity, of colours of shine and volume, silhouettes, bows and crystals,” said Elbaz of the sequinned cardigans, flapper-style dresses, classic A-line party dresses and rich jewel hues. Decoration was big here too, with ensembles accessorised with chandelier earrings, bold layered necklaces and brooch-heavy lapels – this season’s requisite bling not new to Lanvin, but a factor that will mean this collection comes into its own next season when it sits beside its contemporaries on the shop floor. What it was not, he told us, was playing to any predictable trends.
“In terms of the androgyny that everyone else is talking about – where the man is the woman and the woman is the man – I think that women are women and men are men. Women need to be women and men need to be men. I didn’t look at any reference for this collection but I was asking myself what is it that I need to do as a designer? And this is it.”
While you won’t see Elbaz tapping into normcore anytime soon, the prints of Lanvin handbags, shoes, perfume bottles and the address of its Parisian flagship in the last third of the show, did in fact reference trends around him, albeit in more of an existential sense.
“It’s a different job now,” he reasoned, in his trademark soothing tones. “First, I started as a designer, then I was a creative director and now I have to work on the image – so we are image makers and we sell iconics, to sell shoes and bags and perfumes. I think that it is important to show both sides co-existing.” The upshot? Women will find plenty to fall in love with come spring.