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Alber Elbaz's Culture Club... Hindmarch Toolbox...

Alber Elbaz is heading to Italy next week — but to give a speech, not show a collection.

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CULTURE CLUB: Alber Elbaz is heading to Italy next week — but to give a speech, not show a collection. Lanvin’s quotable designer has agreed to address the opening of the first UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries on Sept. 24 at the Villa Reale in Monza, just north of Milan. The conference, running over three days, is to explore culture as a vehicle for sustainable economic development, with Elbaz exploring the importance of savoir faire to the fashion industry.

Meanwhile, on a lighter and more musical note, Elbaz is among a range of designers and artists tapped by pop sensation Mika to illustrate a hardcover book being released in tandem with his new four-song EP entitled “Songs for Sorrow.” Elbaz’s drawing is anything but sad, depicting a colorful and glamorous mermaid. The Mika book is on sale in Lanvin boutiques in Paris, London, Monaco and Tokyo. Other fashion figures to have contributed to the Mika book include Paul Smith, Manish Arora and Walter Van Beirendonck.

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