Lanvin's Fashion Evolution
'These clothes are like crack for women', 'sincerely comfortable, modest, super-chic, profoundly modern' 'Alber Elbaz is the greatest living designer today' What is it about Lanvin that fashion editors love so much? Firstly the clothes are very novel, and fresh looking. They are not fancy dress, not under the influence of any one historical period or Hollywood muse. Conceptual they are not - you won't find a perspex bodysuit or headdress made of spikes here. Secondly they are wearable and comfortable looking. Many of his garments are draped and ripply; - nipped in or belted casually and seem to be made from one piece of fabric. They have a 3D quality, due to Elbaz's alchemy when draping the cloth, rather than flat pattern pieces sewn together to create the final garment. He is not afraid of rich colour, and every collection is sprinkled with a few looks of jewel brightness although many more of the designs are subdued black or grey, creating a frisson with textural fabrics instead.
Another point that commentators return to again and again - that he seems to completely empathise with and genuinely like women. Rather than create looks that require the female form to be impossibly thin or perfect, his pieces are soft shapes that aim to flatter what's there naturally. Elbaz himself says; 'I do things without décolleté; nothing is transparent, I am overweight, so I am very, very aware of what to show and what not to show, and I am sure there is a huge link with being an overweight designer and the work I do'. Other than cutting a delightfully rotund figure, Alber Elbaz is notable for being extremely humble and modest in interviews, for his signature round glasses and bow ties. Prior to revamping the French heritage brandstarted in 1895 by Jeanne Lanvin as a millinery, he worked for Guy Laroche and YSL.