Though Alber Elbaz’s vision for Lanvin traditionally skews in the direction of restraint his Spring collection (Lanvin S/S 09 Slideshow) provided appealing twists on ornamentation and indulgence. Working with the now signature Lanvin shapes – loose yet structured suits, wasp waist volumized coats and gathered goddess dresses, Elbaz built on the familiar. The first series of looks presented is straight out of the Lanvin play book and is sure to prove profitable with the growing roster of Lanvin devotees. For a woman looking for ease of use and wearability Lanvin is always a fail safe choice.


That said, there was nothing safe about the second portion of the Lanvin offerings. After getting the classics out of the way so to speak, Elbaz embarked on a wild ride of print and panache. Beginning with a multi-coolr sequin embellished cocktail dress paired with a heavily jeweled necklace, the collection moved swiftly into the kind of lavish ‘more is more’ embellishment reminiscent of a certain other French powerhouse. The leopard print dresses (so very Stephen Sprouse) and pops of intense color – see the acid green shifts – were so Vuitton one could easily see them paired with an overwrought logo-heavy handbag.

Elbaz is of course too smart for such shenanigans. As noteworthy as the more bombastic moments of the collection are they still represent that minority of what was presented. We are given a small taste of excess which makes it all the more palatable. The shimmering blue and purple of Amanda Laine’s final ensemble wouldn’t stand out as much if it weren’t set against a sea of black.

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