At Lanvin, The Beauty of Simplicity
PARIS, March 5, 2006 - The signature of Alber Elbaz permeated the Lanvin show
on Sunday afternoon - a smoky old theater, a crystal chandelier, a giant door
that appeared to open to a boudoir, the strains of Gounod's Ave Maria played
on a Steinway concert grand piano. For the House of Lanvin at this time and
this place, Alber has created a style that works: clothes so intimate and so
personal that each piece seems to be made to measure.
The opening set of masterfully cut black dresses offered a glimpse of their
creator - no frills, no pretense, just lots of natural sophistication.
The elegance is subtle at times - the graceful cascade of a fur stole worn
over a silk cocktail dress, the rustle of nude chiffon wrapped in webs of
charcoal, beige, and forest-green gauzy tulle, the evening wear of sensuous
tuxedos and sparkling jackets. Oh, so beautiful.
Alber once gave me a ceramic case that he'd picked up somewhere on his
travels around the Mediterranean, the top relief of a flying bird being the
inspiration for his Fall 2003 collection for Lanvin. I keep my most valued
treasures in that case - my Collie's baby teeth and a lock of hair belonging
to my alternate heartbeat.
And it's that kind of personal touch that permeates the collections for
Lanvin, as if Alber is giving women something unique
Before the show, Pierre Bergé, cofounder of the House of Yves Saint Laurent
sat beside Catherine Deneuve. When questioned by a television reporter about
what had attracted him to Alber, he offered a straight forward explanation.
"Aber is one of the greatest designers of our time, and he knows something
about modern women."
The words "French chic" are often used in connection with Alber's clothes.
But they can be described even more simply - beautiful clothes for beautiful