Someone really needs to create a consistency award for Alber Elbaz which isn't to say that his themes and ideas never shift but that his clothes consistently touch women to the point that a surge of crowd gushes at him after he takes his cute bow whilst an emotive song is playing in the background (it was Tina Turner's Let's Stay Together). The show opened in typical dramatic fashion with a shadow of a strong shouldered dress spotlit and that proved to be the opening theme where the shoulders had been built up with layers of fabric as opposed to padding giving the effect that the natural shoulder has been extended slightly rather than puffed up falsely. The tougher stance is reinforced by metal rods running through halterneck silk chiffon dresses that had been pulled taut to reveal v-shaped cut-outs in seductive places.
The game of seduction continued on in slits running up trouser legs and then a serpent paint came into play as Elbaz cited the movement of these creatures being the thing that attracted him. The odd heavily embellished piece is par for course at Lanvin were embroidery has always been so key but the final passage of silk and chiffon dresses in teal, pistachio, mustard and dusky pink which had their volumes pulled in and out with a precise degree of control was the story of the collection - a woman's strength affirmed.
Dazed Digital: What was the concept or idea with the inception of this collection?
Alber Elbaz: I start off with a concept but then I realise that women don't wear concepts, they wear clothes. I love women. At Lanvin, it's 95% women. I work with women all the time. I think my mother would be happier if I lived with one but perhaps that's why I worship women and want to make them happy with what I do.
DD: You talked about not wanting to bring back power dressing but instead it's about a woman's strength - why is that?
Alber Elbaz: It was strong. Strong is different from powerful. I prefer strong than powerful. Strong is so much more internal and more feminine. Women today are strong and I wanted to reflect that.
DD: There was also something quite provocative in the collection with the slits, the metal at the collarbone and the cut-outs?
Alber Elbaz: There is this provocation in the air. There is this emotion and feeling that I'm having. We design with antennae feeling the vibes of women. I see that one one hand they're very strict and strong. On the other hand, then they're very fragile. I showed the fragility and also the strength of the women. The tailoring with the shoulders that are like angel wings was the strength. Then I showed fragile draped pieces that are just made out of one piece of fabric held together with two safety pins. It was an exercise to see how they can live together and not eat each other up!