At Lanvin, The Grace of Light
PARIS, March 6, 2005 - Threading her way backstage through a crowd
of euphoric fashion editors, actress Maggie Cheung summed up the
Lanvin show that had just passed down the catwalk. "All those princesses," she mused dreamily. "So,
And perhaps that is Alber's secret at Lanvin, the label he now calls home - that
whiff of magical lightness, that gracefulness of an age that is timeless, that
play of whimsical delight. That's the way couture shows used to be. You could
lose yourself in a world of fantasy.
It was to be seen on the runway, in the asymmetrical train of an evening gown
floating weightlessly, in the gentle froth of a plumed skirt, in the folds of
silk dresses that looked as delicately wrapped as Chinese lanterns. It was there
too in a black gown tied up with satin ribbons, or in a skirt with a fluff of
ruffles blushing on the back; all of it, every last piece of it, dripping with
Before the show, Pierre Bergé, Co-Founder of the House of Yves Saint Laurent
was happy to speak his mind. "What is growing is the knowledge that Alber
has atrès grand talent," he
said emphatically. "And I knew that all along. Why do you think I chose
him to take over from Yves?"
Alber, who seemed happily relaxed backstage for the first time ever, said that
he'd changed his theme at the last moment. The pieces presented on Sunday afternoon
were not the ones shown to a handful of editors last January during couture week.
Chalk that up to endless creativity, or to the fact that Americana as a theme
might not play so well on the world stage - at least at the present moment.
But this collection had an allure that was beyond any one nationality, though
the pieces looked delicately and intimately French at heart. Alber is setting
the standard for high fashion in a moment of much change and uncertainty, and
his fresh look speaks to the here and now like a graceful burst of light.