Lanvin Cruise 2011

Alber Elbaz has no shortage of reasons to celebrate. Fast on Stefano Pilati’s footsteps, the Lanvin designer rolled into New York City to present his resort collection at Milk Studios. Suspending potential summer getaways, the fashion set turned out in droves for the multiple showings to witness the pinnacle of French glamour in action.

It was a tightly edited collection of ruched and gathered washed-silk frocks in solid black and jewel tones, worn with huge sunglasses. The effect was last season’s femme fatale in rehab, or plotting her next crime spree on a private island. Whatever the backstory, you’ll swoon and upgrade your Amex. Our favorites were the surprisingly demure maillots, with their twenties’ charm, that could pass for convincing daywear. Most looks were topped off with Ethel Merman-style swim caps, further crushing the boardroom-beach divide.

Another reason to celebrate: the show came just two days after the designer’s birthday. After the second presentation, an impromptu chorus of buyers and editors burst into a spirited rendition of Happy Birthday. Enthusiasm at a show? It must be spring in New York. 

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