In the days of Twitter, live streaming and blogs, over the last couple of weeks we have been wondering why we need to go to shows. Surely there is something to be said for sitting at home, drinking tea and letting fashion come to you. After all thanks to the clever old internet you get a front row seat at the top shows and see the pictures moments after the show. But then we go to Lanvin and we are reminded that sometimes it makes a difference to be there as it happens. That may not help those who weren't there and just get to see the pictures we are reporting, but let me explain. Lanvin creates a buzz. Not a 'oh my God, I'm so desperate to see what Alber does this season' kind of buzz, more of a 'I get to go to Lanvin today, it will be lovely, so no matter what other fashion is thrown my way, Alber will lift my spirits' kind of buzz.
Lanvin always shows in a vast space on the outskirts of Paris, but as soon as the first model strided out it felt intimate. First three models I should say. They walked out quickly one after the other in full flowing pleated skirts, shown with stretch tops that made each look wearable and achievable. Then came four models in knee-length belted body-con (haven't written those words much this SS '11) draped with chiffon, each wearing flat simple sandals. There is much to be said for girls in flat shoes on the catwalk as they walked like they were in their own clothes, which makes an audience warm to the clothes easily - not that they're shopping, but if an audience can see themselves in it, that's half the sell for the designer. There were more maxi body-con, then came layered tailoring, oversized silk dresses, in what looked like neon neoprene separates and one-pieces, and the oh-so-Lanvin but oh-so-brilliant embellished section, but it was when models strolled out together to make a statement - the three in silk trenches, black, chocolate and cappucino, and the finale of five girls in leaf-print evening dresses - that allow an audience to appreciate the theatre of a catwalk show. It felt appropriate that the audience left the building to Dionne Warwick's 'Always something there to remind me'. Indeed.
- Kay Barron in Paris