If there were any designer working in fashion today who could issue a manifesto that we would instantly throw our support behind, it would be Alber Elbaz. His compassion, charm, and extremely brilliant fashion outlook have made Lanvin one of the best high-fashion brands of the 21st century. Thankfully, Elbaz acknowledged the directional, “manifesto”-driven nature of his Spring/Summer 2016 outing with a show that pitched a challenge directly to the status quo. Will you swim with the mainstream or step out of your comfort zone? After viewing this collection, our suspicions are that you’ll embrace the latter.
Alber Elbaz intrinsically understands the transformative nature of fashion.
The unabashed fun of the collection sent a thrill through the audience. While it featured many of the season’s favored tropes — cords and tassels flying from every surface, big knotted bows at the throat, ruffled exteriors, and slinky jumpsuits — it was all done with caution thrown to the wind. Elbaz seemed to be saying “safe” fashion is for the birds! A cabal of grungy, haphazardly arranged layers of sequins and brocatelle textures made for an intriguing, wanton new “cocktail” look. Meanwhile there were sleeveless tuxedo jumpsuits, dresses that were bisected straight down the middle into black and nude halves, purple silk mini dresses with funneled necklines that swallowed the throat all the way up past the chin, and more. Trompe-l’œil styling resulted in glittering sequined fish scales stitched across nude, unfinished dresses and oversized blazers, while other looks featured basting stitches along hemlines. As if this weren’t enough to affect your opinion of Elbaz’s new, devil-may-care attitude, he also showed maxi dresses printed with handbags in colorful block patterns, safari jackets, oversized parachute parkas, and delightfully disheveled frocks that speak to the after-after party crowd. Elbaz intrinsically understands the transformative nature of fashion — how a woman can step into a “costume” and find a new personality therein. For that reason, his blend of theatre and high-octane style was a sure-footed move in the right direction.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree