Lanvin is lost, but it is not entirely the fault of its new director, Olivier Lapidus. With only a month to prepare, and the backing of a parent company that seems disinterested in moving the needle forward in any way, Lapidus inherited a raw deal. Unfortunately, first impressions mean everything and the first look he sent forward, a simple black mini sheath dress as unflattering as a pillowcase, was a dismal start that offered no sense of a sartorial identity.
In quick summary, it was flat, the fabrications looked cheap, and the designs offered nothing new.
Conditions did not improve as the show wore on. It wasn’t just the first look that suffered from the lack of a cohesive personality, but the entire collection. In quick summary, it was flat, the fabrications looked cheap, and the designs offered nothing new. For those familiar with Lanvin’s longstanding tradition of feminine glamour, it was unrecognizable as having derived from a house bearing the incredible legacies of founder Jeanne and successor Alber Elbaz. Their work exalted women, respected their bodies, and aimed to make everyone feel like a queen. This collection did the opposite.
Although Lapidus did try to assert a new Lanvin aesthetic by way of densely logo-fied surfaces, this has never been the brand’s territory before and so it felt like an easy way out. Lapidus’ debut collection for Lanvin was a sore disappointment for those, like myself, who truly love and respect the brand. Our loyalty moves us to expect more, to hope that conditions improve, to deeply desire the survival and revival of this legendary Parisian brand. Unfortunately, this collection will not advance any of those causes.