In a show in Paris, March 4 2011, the celebrated fashion label Lanvin displayed its superlative skill and range. A gigantic weeping willow, which eloquently represented the “roots of tradition,” set the stage as the show began with models in patent leather loafers, large brim hats, and sleek shoulderless dresses.
Known for his interesting print clothing, many were surprised that designer Alber Elbaz’s show was dominated by a solid, subdued color pallete. However, true to form, the show still exuded optimism and some interesting prints did eventually make the floor. Additional verve was added by the artistic drapery, which allowed Elbaz to incorporate texture into the show. Metalic accents, jewery, and zippers were also employed to in a similar manner, adding flash and catching the audiences eye when set against the basic color scheme.
After the firing of John Galliano at Dior, it seems that Elbaz has been tipped to fill the post. However, when he was asked directly about this possibility Elbaz evaded the question, merely acknowledging that his show did have a “humanist quality,” which he evidently thought would be valued at Dior.
Yet, the house that this show most resembled is not Dior but rather Yves Saint Laurent, which is also based in Paris. Yves Saint Laurent generally favors masculine sillouhettes, bold rose and red tones, and with leather accents. Therefore, while not a perfect fit for the show, there are certainly enough tempting similarities to prompt speculation about Elbaz’s target audience.
Ultimately, though a departure from his previous style, this show demonstrated that Alber Elbaz is still evolving as an artist will continue to be a presence in the fashion world for a long time to come.