2012 September 28
Paris Spring 2013: Lanvin, Christian Dior
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Alber Elbaz professed to be redefining the classics this season, but then again, isn't that this designer's overriding M.O.? But in the wake of his celebratory 10th anniversary bash, the designer went more minimalist, beginning with a series of asymmetrical suiting that was tinged with Margiela-style tweaks. A killer trompe l'oeil print of a Renaissance statue on a sheath dress was a terrifically fun motif; too bad it only appeared twice. But there were a lot of wickedly chic jackets—strong-shouldered, slightly cropped, and flyaway—and plenty of embellished jumpsuits and cocktail dresses to keep the Lanvin loyalist looking her best.
Raf Simons' first pret-a-porter outing for the house was a bit scattered. First, classic suiting—long jackets, short jackets, the coatdress (couture alert!), and the layer-friendly sheath. Next up? The shimmering metallic mini-bubble, strapless or asymmetrical, and worn over microscopic shorts. Back to coatdresses, with pleated skirts and a patch of lamé, and then the lamé/jacket hybrid—business up top, party down below. Pieced-together striped silk dresses, net-overlaid evening options, and party dresses with amoeba-like embellishments gave way to a longer story of draped tunics and dresses with dramatically long, trailing skirts on the side or in back. A pink and red riff on this was particularly exciting—consisting of two curtain-like panels, it opened in the front, around the waistline, and allowed a trim little pair of black shorts to suffice for a bottom. The show ended with a parade of full, tea-length floral lamé skirts paired with black knit tops. The look represented the hybrid of Simons' dueling themes—minimalist architecture, and tempered, colorful drama. So how will he evolve this storied house? We have a few answers, but many more questions.
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