There are some shows you sit through and wish you could’ve had a go at editing the thing. Seriously, some collections run on, and on, and on. But at Lanvin, the show was long but no one knew it until the finale, when the girls kept coming, and coming, and coming. Because everyone wanted more from Alber Elbaz, who’s something of a catwalk genius. Not just because he’s so cute when he does his penguin walk, but because he knows exactly what women want. And want it they did, in their applause and in their rush backstage to congratulate Alber.

Yes, Lanvin is always gorgeous, but this time it was different. Alber had moved on. As soon as the tin shutters parted, exposing the industrial chandelier and the extra 20 feet of runway below, Alber hit on the carnival theme the audience was wanting—although it could have been a result of the fruity cocktails on hand. Volume and frills opened the show, some accessorized with one glove—this is Lanvin, sweat a little. Silk, satin, chiffon and organza in black, ivory, scarlet, raspberry, salmon and oyster tempted the palette into something new. 

But once we got used to Alber’s draping and shaping, he introduced beading and pleated sequin jumpsuits. As the drum beats increased, we wanted the models to shake and shimmy in their emerald, Persian and gold embellished jumpsuits, jackets and dresses—this was carnival, after all. Alas, they didn’t. However, we were joined on our Lanvin fantasy cloud by the rose champagne dress in the finale, which really made us pass out and go to fashion heaven. As we heard when we left: “That was the best show ever! I’m done. So, to me, is fashion.” A bigger compliment I couldn’t make up.

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