February 25, 2014
“Well, what it comes down to is purity and precision.” – Alber Elbaz
I have always adored Alber’s particular brand of kookiness. His versatility and, moreover, superb craftsmanship make it difficult to encapsulate his collections as they never contain a design singularity. The strength of his collections cannot be whittled down to a pithy little statement, and I love that. Instead, Alber designs looks that manage to strike an immediate undercurrent of want in women.
Spring 2013 is full of sexiness and strength, featuring precisely tailored suits and effortless little dresses with a few neoprene bodysuits thrown in for good measure. Alber gives us neatly spliced gilets, deconstructed duchesses satin dresses, and strong-shouldered suit jackets. The tuxedo pantsuit is hardly boring in his hands, often times prominently displaying the décolleté. Far from feeling obvious, the confidence of each look feels organic and sensual. As if the wearer feels utterly comfortable in her own skin. That feeling resonates strongly with me personally; after all, who wouldn’t love pieces that make her feel powerful, confident, and sexy? Alber manages to capture that feeling beautifully. Moreover, his masterful technique is on full display here. Wherever his mind takes him, he produces exquisitely constructed pieces that are expertly cut and elegantly draped. His expertise gives him the freedom to play with the details, whether that is applying a slit here and there or rusching the fabric just so. And his creative spirit is alive and well for spring. A pleasure as always, Mr. Elbaz.
October 24, 2011
There is something intangibly wonderful about Lanvin with Alber at the helm. He is constantly contemplating what the modern woman wants and needs in her wardrobe. And no one can ground the romanticism of spring like Alber. Amid all the froth, whimsy, and ethereal tulle, Alber sends a message of strength and power with an incredible intensity. He never bothers with trends and is hardly content to settle into one theme (he certainly sends multiple notes down the runway). Moreover, every season, without fail, Lanvin catches my attention amid a deluge of shows and looks because Alber never falters in the quality that he presents every season. He crafts beautifully designed looks that are as luxurious as they are practical, providing a wonderful blend of style and substance.
In some ways, it is almost more about the mood and persona to the look than the design itself. For one, Lanvin always has an incredible atmosphere. But more significantly, Alber manages to embed his designs with modern polish and edge with utter confidence. It is all about how a woman feels while wearing his clothes. She exudes a confident strength and chic polish while the effortless fluidity prevents coming off too strict or structured. As Sarah Mower puts it, “a no-nonsense Amazon of our times [strides] past, briefcase in hand and clad in dark tailoring with built-up shoulders, and a series of tight, sexy skirts; neat, short jackets; and pantsuits,” all ventilated with slashed seams. Even with the structure and pronounced shoulders (which are an elegant throwback to the eighties by the way), Alber’s designs have a lovely femininity to them. He has not lost sight of the drape dresses that he has helped turn into a particular signature of Lanvin’s. A controlled explosion of tulle and silk, sheer and pleated, convey every type of drape dress imaginable that one could want. There is plenty of pretty to accompany the power woman.
In a lot of ways, what Alber sends down seems contradictory and hodgepodge-like; he readily shifts from one tone to the next with seemingly no transition (going from power suits to highly bejeweled silk minidresses to writhing python coil prints to fluttery sheer drape dresses), giving us an impressive total of 53 looks. Yet, somehow, it all works. He provides practically a complete cycle of what a woman could want for any occasion. Moreover, there is an unmistakable modernity to every look and confidence to every persona, making this collection an undeniably desirable one for the modern woman.
March 6, 2011
Alber, how did you know that I have been rather obsessed with capes as of late? I knew there was a reason why I loved you. :) Although, Alber’s entire set-up was rather haunting this time around with the models emerging amidst the mist around a weeping willow. And the initial looks were rather austere. I am all for clean lines and a largely black and white palette, but Alber’s design felt devoid of the joy I normally find in his designs. He dialed it back quite a bit. There were some nice tribute pieces to classic Lanvin (feature shot for one) and I recognize the trademark elbow length gloves, but that is still a recycling of his standard pieces. Of course, there are still distinct Alber trademarks embedded in the collection as well: the somewhat pleated draping, the voluminous shoulders, and raw silk gathering. And probably only he could get me to love a watermelon pink cocktail dress. Overall, this is a very pleasant collection with some very lovely pieces, but it lacked the sparkle that Alber normally brings to it.
October 8, 2010
Oh Alber…You make me fall in love with clothes and this industry all over again. Forget current trends and industry obsession with the seventies and nineties, Alber Elbaz is in a league of his own. His aesthetic cannot be classified. He simply makes exquisite clothes that are relevant and tied into the way we live now. And they are excellently crafted with a masterful sense of proportions and shape. He excellently navigates between the question of short vs long length and flat vs high heel. He presents structured silhouettes, ladylike dressing, loose maxi easiness, minimalist tailoring, everything a chic woman would want. I love how he introduces the collection with flowing dresses (perfect for spring!) before moving to structured minimalist looks that conform effortlessly to the body and finally closing with ladylike refinement. He has taken ladylike office appropriate clothes and transformed them with ultra lined fabric and vibrant sportiness. The frayed edges to that one dress was a fantastic touch (above, lower right). Just the perfect amount of deconstruction to balance out the minimalist look of the dress.
The loose looks are effortlessly chic as Alber’s controlled volume enough to provide ease without chaos. In the beginning he starts us off with a sportier feel that effortlessly flow into the fluttery skirt, but he closes with true comfortable minimalism. And that’s a major point for Alber. This probably sums of the essence of what Alber wants for Lanvin: “In the end, I realize I only want to make women feel gorgeous, comfortable, and beautiful.” And by God he has done just that. He gives women versatility, practicality, and an wonderful sense of self. For a man, he truly understands how women want to feel while wearing beautiful clothes: empowered, comfortable, and gorgeous.
People frequently scoff at clothes being more than preventing us from nakedness. And I think they underestimate what looking good does for a person’s psyche. Alber certainly caters to that. He understands the way well-crafted clothes can make a woman feel and how the right look can brighten her day. He is devoted to dreaming up beautiful clothes and nothing more. He does not strive to deal in trends or provide overarching intellectual collections; he simply–wonderfully–provides exquisite chic clothes. <3
And of course, gorgeous clothes must be accented by an equally gorgeous beauty. Long lovely lashes complete a face. That is really all there is too it. Who really wants anything else? Brights, red lip, and metallics are one thing; a beautiful foundation of clear clean skin and glamorous lashes are truly the basics of beauty. Women constantly search out the best mascara and play with new formulas for a reason. Long, well curved dark lashes mean instant glamour.
June 18, 2010
Alber’s vision for resort suits perfectly. Relaxed chic at its best.
March 28, 2010
Natalia most definitely has the best cover for i-D‘s Spring 2010 issue. Her shoot totally befits a spring editorial with the softness that it presents. Not to mention Natalia Vodianova + Paolo Reversi is like a match made in fashion heaven. And add Alber Elbaz’s designs for Lanvin, you have an awesome shoot. I love the simplicity and minimalist feel to it. Natalia is utterly flawless. Few women can pull off that look.
See Rest of Shoot
March 8, 2010
Ladylike as always at Lanvin. Alber Elbaz is always wonderful designer who understands the shape of women. This time around, his lady is a bit more gothic and doll-like. Karlie Kloss is excellent stomping down the runway with that death stare of hers. The craftsmanship is wonderful and there is a fluidity to his clothing. This one collection of black that I won’t grow tired of.
See Rest of Collection
March 10, 2009
Oh Alber how could I do this to you? I forgot to post you!!! Anyway everything is lady-like and grand here at Lanvin. Alber is his usual brilliant self.