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Lanvin Womenswear A/W12

Alber Elbaz celebrates ten years at Lanvin with a sumptuous bash and a summary of why women all over the world want to give him a hug

Every Lanvin collection is a celebration of women for Alber Elbaz and every season, women come exalting at Elbaz’s feet, swooning and sighing, after his show. On this occasion, the crowing circle around Elbaz was ten fold, hard to penetrate and quite rightly so. It has after all been ten years since Elbaz took over the ailing house of Lanvin and turned its fortunes around to the point where it’s difficult to imagine what it was like beforehand or what it would be like if Elbaz were ever to leave. As Elbaz took to the stage after the show to give a short and sweet rendition of 'Que Sera, Sera', the line "Whatever will be, will be" did prompt the question of how many more years Elbaz would continue to dazzle the female population of this world.

Focusing on the collection at hand, it did run a familiar gamut of Elbaz for Lanvin collections – first comes rigorous structure and a hint of edged darkness and finally comes the celebratory sparkle and decoration. As the soundtrack went from hard electro to classics hits like Lesley Gore's 'You Don’t Own Me', likewise, the collection veered between strict control of the body and exalting joy of clothing. This wasn't Lanvin by numbers or even a greatest hits collection as Elbaz but rather it was a broad body of work that demonstrated why he can dress a women from day to night and everything in between. First, Elbaz configured a rainbow array of neoprene into hip-enhancing shapes that that were emphatic when in movement. We were then plunged into darkness with embossed leather, inky velvet and fur trussing up the women in severe protective gear. Burnished gold taffeta and ruched silk hints at the sparkle yet to come. When the onslaught of water colour floral prints, paste jewels and lace overlaid onto hot jewel tones come at the end, it’s clear the party has already started as women sashayed down, with their leather gloved hands on hips and their feather boas bouncing.

The party carried on to the back of the show where we were treated to performances from the likes of Kim Hastreiter (from Paper magazine) and Joey Arias, accompanied by a dance band. In true Elbaz style, mountains of sweet confectionary and desserts were rolled out along with giant birthday cakes. It was all a feast for the eyes that ultimately didn’t distract you from Elbaz’s achievement as an A-class fashion designer, who we hope will continue to give us decades of his creativity.