Runway Review: Lanvin Pre-Fall 2011

by Daniel Chivu

(NEW YORK) “I guess 5 o’clock in America is happy hour,” declared Alber Elbaz before the start of his Lanvin pre-fall show at the Bowery Hotel. Yes, there were cocktails, but the presentation was plenty civilized. “This isn’t about Marilyn Monroe moving to India and having an acid trip,” he explained. Demure dresses made from black and navy scuba were accented with ruffled collars and a smattering of gemstone brooches. Knee-grazing bourgeois coats were kept minimal and clean or given rich texture with belted patchwork fur and tweed. (Matching Russian fur ushanka included.) High-waisted skirts and tapered wool pants paired easily with expertly tailored wool flannel suitcoats beckoning business-minded types across the globe. But what anchored the opulence and gave the collection a youthful air were the warm ribbed tights, relaxed thermal long johns (worn with heels, of course), and printed silk scarves wrapped casually around a low ponytail.

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p>”So many women are getting into evening dressing during the day, and I thought there was something quite flamboyant about it,” said Elbaz. “I see less and less people are going out at night. So I think a lot of women are wearing those evening gowns during the day.” With that in mind, he gracefully blurred Sunday best into one versatile separate after another–think floor-length ivory satin skirt beneath a relaxed charcoal sweater, belted loosely at the hip. Even the layers of pearls draped nonchalantly around the neck or a seventies gown complete with a printed waist sash and headscarf felt effortless, not overdone. How about the oversized halter gown in a stunning cognac crepe? It will no doubt be a heavy hitter come fall, but don’t call it cognac. “Whiskey. Let’s go with whiskey,” Elbaz whispered with a naughty grin.
MARIA DENARDO

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