the master storyteller

I like a bit of innovation, a bit of ideas, a bit of thought in my clothes, without sacrificing wearability, and no one does this better than Alber Elbaz at Lanvin.

Here's a man who can push fashion forward and flatter a woman and make her beautiful, all in a wonderfully uncomplicated manner. His latest collection was an excellent testament to all this -

(Note: I didn't like his spring collection at first sight, but like all truly wonderful things, it's really come to grow on me, and it says a lot of about his clothes and their ability to weather time and passing fads.)

Not all the broad-shoulder looks are going to flatter, but there were variations on that idea that looked very worth attempting. The big ruffled lapels, for instance, are a lovely, exuberant touch without looking too overblown.

A voluminous bolero also looked very nice -

Apart from that, I love the slim, elegant silhouettes (shades of Prada's satin tunics), the touches of fur - it's all very refined, very hushedly beautiful, but it's not untouchable or out of my league.

There's a very modern feel to it - you feel like real women could wear it - it doesnt just belong to a fashion editorial or a small number of privileged women with soirees to attend.

And then there's the fact that these women were wearing clothes, not concepts.

The great thing about Lanvin is its apparent simplicity - nothing is obviously groundbreaking or new - and it doesn't seem to try to puzzle and provoke.

You can say that's what fashion - if it's regarded as art - should do, but personally, a lot of times, it annoys the crap out of me when designers do that(like this season's Prada. Or Viktor and Rolf).

It's like telling a story - you need to get the your pitch, pronunciation, intonation and timing just right. Done well, and you have another Mr Elbaz (or Hussein Chalayan) on your hands. Done wrong and it just emotionally disengages your audience.

Lanvin has itself a near-perfect score here (not perfect because nothing is ever perfect).

Pictures from


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