Alber Elbaz was responsible for the reincarnation of the once sleepy brand. His beginning collections were fabulously chic and wonderfully slick, sexy and sophisticated but slowly the clothes veered away from the way it all began and took on a decidedly artisan/Prada look. This developmental shift left me quite chilled toward the collection as in my mind the collection “went bad.”
Pre-fall is exactly what has been said over and over and that is … this is a greatest hits season which is meant to sell and not linger on the racks of designer departments around the world. There are plenty of familiar Elbaz touches and that means there is plenty to love EXCEPT why is there this intentional motivation to make ugly the new beautiful. The styling is atrocious. Many of the shoes are divine except those blocky satin platform pumps which look like some sort of prosthetic device rather than a fashion moment. The chop chop wigs were better off left on a drawing board or some beauty school.
The collection is one that needs to be taken apart and seen as what it is ... which is for the most part pretty damned good. Again, the visual assault does nothing to enhance the clothes but the clothes can speak for themselves once extricated from the “look” and hopefully will beckon his ladies back to the cash registers. It is refreshing to see so many of those overdone and over wrought artisanal touches disappear and make way for the clothes that made Lanvin and Elbaz inextricably linked for at least this era in fashion.
The sexiness has returned ... the chic of it has returned albeit a bit louche... and most of all it is reassuring to see Lanvin take its place a resource for beautifully designed 21st century clothes for modern women who “get it!”
P.S. take note that when AE was good he, was very good and when he was bad ... he was verrrrrrrrrrrry bad!