It seemed the cloudy Paris skies cleared for Lanvin, and on this Friday night at 8PM, L'Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Artes, one of the gazillion gorgeous buildings in Paris a center for classic French art, was lit up against a navy sky and a bright full moon. It was the perfect setting for one of the most fun shows of Paris Fashion Week. Why? Because Alber Elbaz and team know how to make a show feel like a party. The runway, a pretty raw setup of scaffolding, bleacher seats, and a metal raised runway, dominated a gigantic glass-domed, tiled courtyard that featured Greco-Roman statues in each corner of the space. It was an interesting dichotomy of classic and beautiful and industrial. Everything else was cushy — literally the bleachers were covered in cushions, and tuxedo-clad waiters served macarons, tea sandwiches, and champagne in floral-painted glasses. It was a high-energy crowd that included the great Catherine Deneuve and the always chic Rachel Zoe. Now to the show: it opened with a series of black and white tuxedo-inspired looks. It was high glamour, one of the highlights being a heavily-embellished jumpsuit worn by Kristen McMenamy, whose gray, almost white hair fell past her waist. The show closed in jewel tones, with structured apron dresses that tied on the side. There was a distinct Japanese reference, but it was done subtly, via obi belts and kimono-ish shapes. I don't know that I would call the collection zen — rather, it was fun and sexy, like the asymmetric swimsuit worn with slouchy pants and heels, or the dresses that tied loosely on the side to reveal a hint of skin. There was also plenty to admire in the accessories department; thanks to the raised runway, everyone got to see the dangerously high irridescent platform ankle-strap heels and the little purses that resembled both girly perfume bottles and a tiny cartoon bomb. Overall, it was a superbly fun show with plenty of Parisian glamour for all.
Lanvin Spring 2013
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