PRÊT-À-PORTER SPRING 2012
There’s no question: Alber Elbaz simply loves women. I’ve worn some of his designs for years, and continue to pull them out of my closet again and again. His runway shows for Lanvin are always upbeat, even in these tough times. Alber believes in a woman’s strength, and creates collections that are fun, happy and full of covetable clothes. And this season was no exception.
Alber puts his clear, consistent stamp on every collection–but with each défilé he also adds a new twist. This time, the first looks down the runway were chic-but-standard Lanvin fare (but so beautiful, their familiarity didn’t matter). Alber’s basics are more like essentials: the slim pants, easy tops and sleek dresses look effortless. You can put these pieces on and go anywhere.
Alber’s real change for Spring was to inject a little extra sex appeal, from jumpsuits (always chic and easy to wear) to skirts with short slits up the front, and–my favorite–a group of sheer dresses layered over body suits in soft, to-die-for colors like peach, beige, smoky grey and blue. Real knockouts, all of them. Even the accessories were more streamlined: the sunglasses were slimmer (and edgier), the bags were smaller and the ankle-strapped shoes did away with huge platforms, making them much sexier.
I rarely comment on the production details of the shows I attend, because my focus is almost always on the clothes–but this Lanvin défilé impressed me with its seductive atmosphere and a soundtrack that made me want to get up and dance. Plus, the models were stunning, making the whole presentation a feast for the senses. I felt swallowed up in Alber’s magical world of Lanvin!
After the show, I went backstage to see Alber, who was caught up in a large crowd of people all trying to hug and congratulate him. “My family keeps getting bigger and bigger,” he joked, looking almost overwhelmed by the crush of well-wishers. Thankfully, I bumped into Alber the next day at the Hôtel de Crillon, where he was having a drink with a friend. I gave him my own big hug and told him–away from the crowds–how much I’d loved the collection. He seemed pleased. What can I say? I’m an absolute fan!
Photographs by Stephane Israël