Lanvin: Roaring Twenties 21st century style
The Roaring Twenties with a rock 'n' roll twist, Art Deco with a modern attitude in a first-rate collection from Lanvin this season, staged on a dank Sunday in Paris.
The first runway show from the marque since the death of its much-loved former designer Alber Elbaz, whose influence was apparent in certain silhouettes.
As was that of founder Jeanne Lanvin and her fondness for Art Deco, the geometric forms of which rippled through a dramatic show, staged inside the Art Deco lobby of concert hall Salle Pleyel.
Opening with a trio of curvy babydoll dresses in plissé silk and in high-gloss colors that played on Jeanne Lanvin's Zen for flou dressmaking. Later riffing on Alber’s sense of tulle-constructed or liquid-glaze glamour.
However, the biggest news was the prints and imagery – culled from Batman and various other DC superheroes. Part of a link-up with Warner Brothers, these were seen in dramatic, voluminous leather bomber and biker jackets.
Though Bruno's best ideas for Spring/Summer 2022 were the sexy sequined dresses, bra tops, cocktails, tanks and even sneakers finished with images of early American autos, Batmobiles and Batwoman in saturated colors.
The designer kept the metallic mood going in shaggy metallic tinsel coats and even a hooded Yeti coat, in a coed show. While a series of sequin-embellished chiffon dresses, drawn from a 1934 archive look named Concerto, were pretty sensational. Worn on a multi-generational cast including Carmen Kass, Élise Crombez and, for the final passage, Naomi Campbell, in a tinsel-lapel tuxedo suit with cape.
"I am pretty sure we live in the equivalent of the Roaring Twenties today, but 100 years later. This was the first show since Alber's passing which left me very sad. So, I was looking deep into the archive at his ideas and those of Jeanne Lanvin," said Sialelli, as he grabbed a post-show cigarette outside.
Adding to the kicky 20s revival were new Flash X sneakers, inspired by superheroes and rock climbers and made in technical fabrics. While a collaboration with Judith Leiber led to glistening, playful minaudières, a nod to the house's logo which features a mother and child.
"To me Gotham City was all about the Art Deco movement. That's very evident in the 1992 Batman Returns movie by Tim Burton, so I wanted to reference that period this way – the idea that characters and superheroes support women," explained Sialelli.
"Glamour that is light and relevant for today. It’s being part of a renewal and being fabulous as we come out of this whole pandemic," he added.
The show was also the first since the arrival of Arnaud Bazin, who manages Lanvin on behalf of its Chinese owners Fosun International.
Since coming on board, Bazin has begun regrouping the house's studio, atelier, management and flagship, which had fissured into buildings in several arrondissements, back onto the Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
"I was brought up professionally at Chanel and Dior. And like those great brands, Lanvin has to keep its team together. With the studio and atelier above the boutique. That builds esprit de corps and inspires the whole team," explained Bazin, who sat beside uber-influencer Olivia Palermo in the front row.
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