2010 March 5

Runway Reviews: Lanvin, Maison Martin Margiela

Lanvin, Fall 2010 Lanvin, Fall 2010
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(PARIS) Lanvin
The fashion world is rooting for Alber Elbaz, and with clothes like these, it's no wonder. For Fall, the Lanvin impresario graced the crowd with a steady stream of hits, from the asymmetrical wool and silk dresses cut on the bias that made him famous to a series of pleated lame separates encrusted with jewels. Elbaz toned down the accessory-induced sparkle this season, instead encrusting side-seams with a smattering of crystals. The pumps were sexy and straightforward, not unlike the dresses. But as usual, there is more than meets the eye in these body-conscious silhouettes, which really cater to how a woman best sees herself. Navy, chocolate, smoke, burgundy, aubergine and even a single splash of lipstick red (courtesy of a slouchy-shouldered coat) colored the silhouettes, which were mostly on the shorter side and plenty roomy through the arms and shoulders. All in all, plenty of splendid wares to make Lanvin's upcoming Madison Avenue boutique one haute destination indeed.

Maison Martin Margiela
During the Fall 2010 Margiela show, one couldn't help but wonder how different this brand would look if, say, Haider Ackermann would have stepped in and taken the creative director position he was offered. But since Margiela's retirement, the brand has struggled, and the Fall collection's attempt to impose a new silhouette was all the more confounding. Imagine a pair of pants or a skirt with an inflexible 34-inch-waist (on a size 0 model), pulled up at the midsection, creating several inches of space. This was the look proposed for Fall, and it was expressed in nearly every look (along with deliberately-smudged red lipstick). There were a few clever ideas, such as some trompe l'oeil backless pants and skirts, that may get some editorial play. The final looks, which featured massive fur hats-cum-tunics, were the most memorable. But one missed those epic jackets and trousers that made this high-concept house so popular on the rack. No doubt Renzo Rosso is working on it.