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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Lanvin In The Midnight Hour

Godfrey Deeny
September 30th, 2011 @ 4:44 PM - Paris

There's a sense when you exit certain shows that their very bravura, their noisy acclaim and their audacious sense of style will mark them as a special fashion moment, and as a bellwether collection, whose bevy of ideas and options will influence fashion more than any other catwalk display. Which is how many of us felt on Friday, Sept. 30, as we filed, smilingly and light-heartedly out of a really great collection by the house of Lanvin in Paris.

Take the key silhouette Lanvin's creative director Alber Elbaz chose for spring 2012; part America sportswear, part Paris chic, with the high-waist pencil skirt cut one inch above the knee, the shoulder powered-up, sometimes padded.

And, when it comes to next spring's color palette, this collection will set the agenda. Where practically every other runway has been enveloped in floral fantasies, Elbaz went for subtly soft, the light pinks, violet beiges and sleek charcoal that one associates more with makeup than clothing.

Above all there was this faintly malevolent mood, albeit of the most refined sort - thanks to the smokey eyes, jelled pulled back hair and hard rock soundtrack. In a brilliant piece of staging, the show reached a climax with a rock guitar solo, as a trio of tied and draped Grecian goddess looks marched down the runway.

Post-show Elbaz told the usual gang of video crews, fighting intensely past critics for an interview, that his initial spring boards were Hell's Angels and snakes. It's true the odd reptile's tail and head did wrap themselves around beautifully cut cocktail dresses; and bikers crosses morphed into three-inch wide Swarovski crucifixes - a rapper meets Angel ensembles. But this collection was style personified.

Elbaz also has a great ability to make less seem so much more - especially his silk faille opening combos; and his plisse finale, which ended with a mega tall model posing like a show business deity underneath a single column of light.

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