It is testament to how much Alber Elbaz is loved that he simply has to ask his audience whether he should walk down the runway and he is met with uproarious applause. At this point in his career, his adoring fans would eat out of the palm of his hand no matter what he presents every season. Lucky for him that he happens to be one of the greatest designers of all time.
As he walked halfway down the runway – more so than any other designer, Lagerfeld excluding, has done in recent memory – one is reminded of just how privileged we are to be living at the same time as the great Elbaz and to be able to witness his wicked imagination in real time. Years, decades, and centuries from now, he is one of a few who will be remembered for his constant ability to invent and reinvent like no other. Tonight was no exception.
This is a man who cares about his audience. He’s not one to poke his head out of the curtains and bow out after two seconds. Elbaz listens. He connects. The walk down the runway after the finale is not simply a walk down the runway after the finale. Elbaz, much like Lagerfeld, has become an icon equal in stature to the amazing women who founded their houses. What the people want, Elbaz gives them. And for the foreseeable future, the people want Elbaz himself.
Aside from his uncanny ability to design for what the real woman wants, Elbaz once again proved a knack for telling women what they want to wear without them even knowing it. Drawing inspiration from his Moroccan heritage, he sent down a parade of gaucho gladiators in fringe, tassels, floppy hats, prairie skirts, and gypsy dresses – each piece entirely rudimentary in nature, but rendered Lanvin-ified at the hands of the master. Then, he turned the tables, and went from rudimentary to completely complicated. In keeping with the same theme, he sent down look after look of blinged-out pieces (even caps) that his women warriors could slip into after a day of wearing his draped dresses and leather harnesses. Naturally, the audience soaked it up and wanted all of it.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree