Monday, October 4, 2010
Lanvin SS2011: French for Kors Lite.
What a sublimely elegant collection in the most unexpected colors.The palette hit me over the head like a lead pipe dressed in ethereal chiffon. Talk about neutral shaded colors mixing with each other like some drunken orgy. Each and every color except maybe the acid green was suffused with a big puff of smoke creating a visual calm like an expert dentist with masterful technique.
I loved all the high tech stretch fabrics both sturdy and light as well as the silk chiffon and feather weight silk crepes that danced in gigantic circular skirts. What was most impressive about this display was the absolute minimum of old school construction. Almost every piece of this collection could fit into a modified IT bag with room left for a passport and titanium Amex card. You most certainly get your money's worth at this house.
The "suits" which are comprised of a jacket with this new, larger raglan shoulder and fuller sleeve paired with a skirt AND pant together is certainly giving a woman her cake and ice cream at once. Techno jersey dresses with attached chiffon swags were an interesting study in form and flourish. As somewhat studied as this look is I thought it was very fluid and poetic in its way of going. That's a way to describe the beauty of a horse's movement when on the one hand one is appreciating the creature's physique and at the same time the elegance of his movement. Well that's what struck me about these concoctions. The fact that the chiffon was tethered to the dress by means of harnesses and collars was certainly in keeping with the horse metaphor. Why one would harness a woman or a man for that matter is another question altogether.
One dress was the visual equivalent of a two-for. One side was all grecian-draped chiffon and the other was crisp constructed jersey. The browns, taupes and greys of these looks was pretty powerful. Alber Elbaz's color sense is one of his greatest strengths. Several dresses were in amazing colors like ink, oxidized steel and bronze, as well as greige (love that color and word), muted celadon green and blue black. Separately they sang but together they roared. No one so far has sent out color to get under your skin like he has. Keep the prints and stripes when you can have a dish of these treats. He also let the fabrics speak without too much unrestrained fuss. There was a purity to this collection that was very smart and grown up. Women are seduced by beautiful clothes. They don't need Cirque de Soleil to feel right.
The very simple mix of clean shapes whether hard or soft with spare leather accessories was effective but also the thing that made me scratch my head. What was it about this collection that felt familiar and at the very same time different from a typical Lanvin collection? The hyper-clean shapes in jersey with all those liquid skirts and cleverly incorporated leathers looked oddly like Michael Kors. I don't feel compelled to connect dots in order to diminish or discredit, but this was a one-way street to Chez Kors. Perhaps, the colors separated it from Michael and perhaps not. The chiffon were delineations from the garbage bag caftan he did for Tilda Swinton at the Oscars a while back but were also very much in the feeling of Her Holiness, The Donna of KNY. That's cool. If this was an unintended homage to Kors and Karan, then bravo. They certainly deserve a hand even if one is a bit stuck in her groove and the other has become a bit too glued to the Tube. Check out the collection. It's really very beautiful.