There came a point in this season in the pell-mell rush of trends—the tropical prints, pastels, florals, Deco flapper dresses, and mid-century modern referencing—when a stone-cold thought occured: All very nice, but where does that leave a city woman with a day job? Well, Alber Elbaz, who always organizes his ideas around the condition of women’s current lot in the world rather than scanning the ether to pick out this or that trend, has an alternative to the frilly and the frivolous—he’s staging a comeback for the long-lost power woman.
She appeared at the end of his runway in a thunderclap of noise: shoulders, nipped-waist, and thigh-hugging pencil-skirt silhouetted in dramatic down-lighting. This vision of a no-nonsense Amazon of our times strode past, briefcase in hand and clad in dark tailoring with built-up shoulders, and a series of tight, sexy skirts (some slit at the sides); neat, short jackets; and pantsuits, some with the trousers ventilated with slashed seams, too. It’s hardly your regular corporate attire, but within that first section, Elbaz set out the season’s most in-depth exploration of go-to-work wear seen at any show so far. It can include dresses and skirts with blouses (in the back-buttoned form, which is beginning to do duty as a new kind of suit), draped hipster pants with jackets, and upgraded versions of sweatsuits. In any case, it was enough to give hope to women with an affinity for modern, minimal dressing that one designer, at least, is sparing a thought for their needs.
Yet in a Lanvin show, there are always changes of gear. Never a one-note designer, Elbaz hasn’t yet abandoned the idea of the draped dress—it flew out fast and furious as sheer, tulle, pleated goddess dresses and twists of silk that have become a Lanvin signature. Then things became wonderfully weirder as the designer hit the part where he goes into overload on metallics and abstract embroidery. This time, it involved prints of writhing pythons coiled over silk pants and matching blousons, the tops bristling with embellishment—all presented to the pumping sound of heavy rock ’n’ roll. Unusually for Lanvin, it all had a hard, almost slightly menacing, atmosphere about it, but that was cool and exciting, too. Women can’t live by pretty flowers alone.
Review from www.vogue.com