Lanvin: Bruno Sialelli does summer holiday chic
Finally, a menswear collection in Europe where everyone looks like they were on vacation, and having a great time too.
It’s almost as if an entire class of European designers had forgotten how much men actually spend when they shed a few kilos in May and June, in order to look great in July and August. Not Bruno Sialelli, whose debut menswear collection for the house of Lanvin was a great statement of quirky yet cool French joie de vivre. One with a dollop of surrealism and plenty of respect for the house’s founder, Jeanne Lanvin, and her aesthetic DNA.
This spring 2020 collection was presented inside a beautiful Art Deco public swimming pool in the northern 19th arrondissement of Paris. The pristine setting was ideal for the clothes, which were all about forgetting work and indulging oneself.
The designer opened with beach terrace blazers in baby blue and soft lemon, finished with wave patterns and worn with shorts; pairing these with miniature cashmere tanks and t-shirts done with delightful seaside prints of spouting whales and perched seagulls. For summer clubbing, Lothario nightclub pants with side stripes, turquoise cummerbunds and matching silk Eisenhowers. Many dudes wearing wacky straw hats.
In a co-ed show, the gals wore shell-print silk wrap dresses, windbreaker striped dresses, and nautical patchwork parkas.
Sialelli’s origins in Marseilles were also on display with his beach rock-climbers sandals and big-pocket shorts, though the designer confessed post-show that he was inspired by a trip to Israeli and local kids wearing military shorts with army boots.
"Easy, French and the idea of a boy becoming a man as he enjoys summer. Or European kids of a certain milieu taking a year off to go to South America," said Sialelli, in a courtyard outside the pool.
Plus, there was lots of light-handed logo-mania; seen in the house’s signature mother and child; or converting Lanvin into a wacky beer mat logo or even a surreal ice cream wrapper. Sialelli picking up on 70s-Lanvin, when its designer of that era, Jules-François Crahay, injected a bohemian element into the brand.
He even added a series of mermaids – seen on earrings and across bags – which were culled from Jeanne Lanvin’s bathroom taps, when she collaborated with interior designer Armand-Albert Rateau. And, he was on trend with knits; either faux patchwork or cable sweaters. One great elongated cardigan done with a miniature sheep pattern, which blues signer Ben Harper, sitting front row, photographed three-times-the-better to place his order.
In a word; chic, light-hearted surrealist chic for the long days of summer.
"I love my job, but holidays are the best thing in life!" Sialelli chuckled, and laughed out loud.
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