Alber Elbaz’s anniversary collection last season was such an epic extravaganza, celebrating ten years at Lanvin, that it must have seemed rude to end the party—ever. And really, why would he want to? Especially when the designer’s own image and tenure at the house are so closely tied with a festive spirit and an ageless joie de vivre?
The spring 2013 collection tonight certainly felt festive, from the moment one walked into the grand École des Beaux-Arts, half wishing it were a daytime show so that the entirely glass ceiling would let the natural light gush in. Mais non, this was a party. Ladurée macaroons and champagne awaited, as well as young waiters in big bow ties and bigger smiles.
Many guests of a certain age remember the 80s as the last exuberant time; et voilà, the 80s were feted. All the fizzy decade’s touchstones were present and accounted for, beginning with a series of LBDs, à la Robert Palmer, but way more interesting. They were soon followed by prominent shoulders, a frou-frou skirt, white accents, deep décolletage, one-shoulder numbers, and tuxedo styling, as well as Venus de Milo prints that echoed the real Greek sculptures dotting the balcony.
Slowly, colors were introduced: first a dusty cocoa, then chartreuse, followed by prom pink, turquoise, and chartreuse again. Before you knew it, a rainbow finale filled the catwalk. No one, however, lit the room quite like Kristen McMenamy, whose black jumpsuit dripping with gems—head-to-toe—added weight to an already slinky supe walk. That and her silver-white waist-length tresses continue to mesmerize. Vive la fête.