Lanvin’s life with Lapidus
The first big debut of the Paris season was on Wednesday morning in the Grand Palais for Lanvin, where Olivier Lapidus presented his first collection for the venerable house.
The French have a term called mauvaise langue – meaning people who speak badly without being terribly well informed. Well, there were plenty of them mouthing off before this show of Lanvin, a house which lost a huge amount of goodwill after beloved designer Albert Elbaz was fired unceremoniously in 2015. Matters were not helped either by the very brief reign of his ultimate successor, popular cult designer Bouchra Jarrar, who lasted but 12 months.
But, surely many of them will be eating their words this afternoon, after a clean clear collection from Lapidus that he managed to pull together in just 42 days. His opening dozen were all in black - classy chiffon sheaths, barely there cocktails with see-through torsos and anthracite mini tuxedos with matte satin lapels.
Admittedly, there was an Eighties mood to the show – from the raised catwalk, uncommon these days – to the French pop music, yet the feeling was youthful, from a fresh casting, many of them debutants, to the graphic use of the Lanvin name as a ribbon logo. And don’t forget the Eighties are back in fashion.
“I did this show by the book. I wanted to capture the DNA of Madame in terms of cut, color and the print, but with a fresh visual identity,” said the ever-youthful looking 59-year-old Lapidus, who joined Lanvin in July.
It is true, that the show never reached the epic heights of Elbaz’s runways with their cinematic lighting and opulent draping; but that did not stop this being a perfectly laudable debut. Eat your words, Parisian critics.
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