Lanvin Fall/Winter 2014 Paris

By Tim Blanks
Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver start each season for Lanvin with a word. “Our new word came to us without looking,” said Elbaz after the Fall presentation this morning: “digital.” Elbaz doesn’t even own a computer, but he is fascinated by the questions raised by the social media community. “Do we lose our identity in that community?” There may have been an answer in the graphics that closed the show today: giant, blank faces, a little like African masks. “Identities erased,” Elbaz said.

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There was something downbeat about such a notion, and the models, with their Berlin side-shaves and po-faced grimness, did their level best to extend it. But their poutiness hardly dovetailed with a collection that was pretty upbeat. Elbaz insisted there was nothing nostalgic, but there were infusions of the eighties in skinny Memphis-print ties, power-pop pinkness, and graphic zap. There were linear prints, round shapes: “like us,” Elbaz joked, indicating lanky Lucas and himself. “We’re trained to think uniform,” he added, so he was keen to underscore the collection’s commitment to individuality. In actual fact, what was on parade were some of the season’s key trends, like major coats in every conceivable silhouette, and fur used as a decorative element (one particular panel of pony erupted into a spine of hair across the shoulder of a jacket).

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