Lanvin RTW Spring 2009
Bravo, Alber Elbaz. The Lanvin designer has struck a nerve with his fashion, championing a kind of womanly glamour that is both voluptuous and reality-friendly. Along the way, he has sent out one knockout collection after another, raising the bar, and our expectations, season after season. This time, he delivered a tour de force collection that thrilled his runway-weary audience. The clothes were bold, audacious and prettily provocative. The core conceit here: dramatic fabric manipulation. Elbaz, always a whiz at sartorial construction, draped, folded, pleated and bunched his heart out, giving his ever-elegant garments a sculptural ease. The opening one-shoulder numbers featured cascades of silk spilling over to one side. Skirts came gathered and in gentle pouf proportions, often with lovely full-sleeve blouses. This newfound affinity for two-piece dressing resulted from Elbaz’s desire to infuse ready-to-wear practicality with a bit of couture elan. “It’s more affordable to mix and match,” he said before his show. “It gives liberty and freedom to women.” But frugal, or for that matter, plain, this collection was not. Along with his abundant fabric flourishes, Elbaz also let loose with embellishments, prints and dazzling jewel-tone colors. The reverie started slowly with a crystal-studded top here, a leopard-print dress there, but by the end had crescendoed to a festive bejeweled extravaganza, as even sunglasses and stilettos got the bijou treatment. And what woman doesn’t crave a little of that?