Alber Elbaz on Hedi Slimane: “Everything Has to Be So Instant Now, But Not Everything Is Coffee”

Today at the British Vogue Festival, a weekend of discussions and workshops by industry grandees, Alber Elbaz spoke to editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman on topics ranging from cake to Hedi Slimane. Here are the highlights…


On that time he sang…
“I met Victoria [Beckham] after I had celebrated my ten-year anniversary at Lanvin. I had sung that Doris Day song, Que Sera Sera, at the end of my latest Lanvin show. It was pretty bad. I started talking to Victoria not long after at an event in Asia and I said to her, ‘If you can do fashion, then I can do singing.'”

On what he says to his psychiatrist…
‘Why am I such I such a control freak, but can’t resist cake?”

On keeping it real…
“I like first class, but I don’t like first class people. I prefer the people in coach. I like fine restaurants, but prefer the taste of McDonalds. I like to be perfect, but I don’t like perfection. I think it’s dangerous—there is nothing after perfection. I know, I am a walking contradiction.”

On serving in the Israeli army…
“I’m not very athletic, as you can see. I was very nervous, I used to come out in rashes.”

On fantasy dressing…
“I want [women] to be able to get into a car, to be able to have dessert, to feel beautiful. Fashion should not be about having a second skin. It is about fantasy, about putting on a red chiffon dress, looking in the mirror and feeling amazing.”

On Lanvin and love…
“A woman once said to me, ‘Every time that I wear Lanvin, a man falls in love with me.’ I thought, How sad, why isn’t she the one falling in love? That’s the woman that I want to dress.”

On Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent…
“You join a house like Lanvin or Chanel and it will go on even longer than you will. There is so much history, so it takes time to get into it. Everything has to be so instant now, but not everything is coffee. To be a fashion critic is easy. You say I love it or I hate it. Life isn’t only about love and hate. Hedi’s work is selling well and he’s a talented designer. I wish him all the best, from the bottom of my heart.”

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