Friday 26 September 2014

Fur-embellished Power by LANVIN Fall/Winter 2014/15

The Fall/Winter 2014/15 collection from LANVIN delivers us opulent furs, ruffles, fringes and volume-filled outfits. Label's designer Alber Elbaz explored gorgeous embellishments, ruffled skirts and frayed tweeds. Vintage inspiring feminine allure done with luxurious sophistication ... With this collection Elbaz has done what every good creative director should do: offer a recognizable style. No digging out of the fashion house's archives but a collection dedicated to contemporary women elegant and feminine. Models appeared on the catwalk wearing pleated skirts, lone sleek leather trenches, floor-sweeping gowns, roomy dresses decorated in bugle beads, as well as bulky coats and bubble-skirted slipdresses. Designer also played with textures offering occasionally dark and light looks. All in all, Lanvin's fall season is about fur-embellished power woman who is self-confident and keeps moving elegantly.

Amid the insanely pressured world of fashion, there are only a handful of refusenik designers who have the mental and creative capacity to resist reducing their ideas to the prevailing norm of the single-note show. Glory and gratitide to Alber Elbaz on that count. His was an off-the-grid trip of variety and surprise tough and romantic, glamorous and easy, witty and sexy, mad and practical. All he’ll say about it is purely on the emotional level. “Fashion should be a factory of dreams. It’s time to go back to intuition. We need to be touched.”

Watching Lanvin was one of those in-the-moment experiences that makes women go “ohh” and “ahh” as they speed-parse how to assimilate what they’re seeing. If that sounds erotic, well, there was quite a bit of that going on, too. Fashion can be titillating when it gets to a fast-and-furious place where models are pacing along in black leather knee-length knife-pleated dresses or luxuriously fine olive leather trench-coats that come pretty close to looking like latex. Yet we are hardly in sex-shop cliché-land here note the contradictory flat brogues. In a post-platform period, this was a collection that also nailed the new pleasure of being able to move in your clothes and without resorting to a single effect involving masculine-feminine tailored androgyny.
The female power Elbaz describes comes in many forms. For him, it manifests in spiral-cut tweed with raw edges, and the fragility of the silk bias-dresses all accessorized with hats trimmed with marabou feathers. It can also come in the form of fierce total-fur looks (including fur backpacks), or in dresses smothered in silken fringe which swing in movement. The variety of silhouettes spans long and fluid, mid-length and fluted, short and flared, and brief and mini. It runs from ultra-elaborate textures to the utterly plain, with the genius idea of minimal shift-dresses edged with glittery bugle-beaded fringe somewhere in between.

In other words, this was a sustained, no-holds-barred, virtuoso performance from a rare designer with multiple skills and the ability to conjure up many moods. Instead of holding back, he just let it flow. It was so far off the norm of the strictly edited show that it was almost downright rebellious and that in itself was a joy to watch. Why should fashion be reduced to a mean, narrow, seasonal “statement”? Alber Elbaz does what he feels, and his emotional generosity simply communicates the idea that it’s great to be a woman.

 LANVIN's creative director Alber Elbaz


Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories 

Photo Credit / Source: VOGUE
Candids by Jason Lloyd Evans

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'Kate Moss for 'Jackie Collection' by GUCCI'

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