A collection of rich textiles, tassels and folkloric touches rooted in Alber Elbaz’s own Moroccan heritage
Richly rooted, as Alber Elbaz diverts his ongoing mission to dress the ladies to take a look back at his Moroccan heritage. It was about combing out the nomadic appeal of Berber dressing, eking out textures and colours of souks, channelling the spirit of muses like Talitha Getty and Loulou de la Falaise (as did his former house employer Yves Saint Laurent). Essentially, using ethnic touches to come to a new solution for liberated dressing – one that gave this Lanvin collection a newfound sense of soulfulness.
Roots, roots, roots:
A new exhibition charting the work of the house’s founder Jeanne Lanvin is about to open at the Palais Galliera, but rather than looking at Madame Lanvin’s archives Elbaz looked back to his own roots. He focused on his birth place Casablanca in Morocco, as well as another fellow North African fashion icon – Yves Saint Laurent. The references to his Moroccan heritage were as literal as a hooded djellaba robe and Berber striping but also as subtle as fringing on the seams of sharp shift dresses, or tassels that hung from striped equestrian-style trousers and blanket coats. Elbaz was tapping into an escapist feeling as he threw on a cacophony of rich textures and finding freedom within that gesture.
Elbaz’s use of free-flowing lush textiles and Moroccan ethnic touches felt like a different turn for Lanvin, but it chimed in with the libertarian, anything-goes approach that is emerging this season where unabashed eclecticism is celebrated. It’s a fitting narrative for Elbaz to adopt as his clothes at Lanvin have always sought to free women from the perceived shackles of fashion. Here he presents a rough-hewn, distressed-edged smorgasbord to choose from – lean leather harnessed dresses, feather-edged skirts, folkloric skirts and tasselled jackets, shaggy patchworks shearlings and lamé and chiffon bohemia in autumnal tones. Abstract sharp floral beading served as Lanvin’s version of evening wear – albeit worn with elongated felt caps adorned with the same beading. A rejection of minimal perfection seems to be the trajectory of the season and Elbaz articulated this in the most luscious and inviting of ways.