At 125, Lanvin is the oldest continuously operating house in the world, requiring a suitably grand retrospective. Alber Elbaz is working on one with fashion curator Olivier Saillard, set to open at the Palais Galleria next year. Elbaz’s spring collection, too, felt something like a retrospective, touching on several cornerstones in the house’s development.
The show opened with slinky column dresses in bold black and gem colors, Elbaz’s aesthetic and his contribution to the maison’s history books, followed by inside-out items borrowed from the men’s wardrobe. The second half of the show consisted almost entirely of lace and tulle numbers embellished with sequins and sashes, some dresses paired with athletic mesh, others trimmed in pearls. A deer — or rather, deer print — ran through the last, and quite busy, looks. Elbaz said the print was taken from a screen in founder Jeanne Lanvin’s Paris apartment, decorated in the 1920s by Armand Albert Rateau, who also designed the bottle for Lanvin’s first perfume, Arpège. It was hard to know where to look first, or last, on these final exits, but if Elbaz wants to get into the festive spirit early, he’s more than earned that right.