The designers Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver seemed to be in a relaxed mood. They were out mingling, and posing for photographs, with the audience as it munched on breakfast cakes and sipped ice coffees while they waited for the Lanvin show to get underway.
That confidence could be felt on the catwalk as the designers took the collection in a new direction. The very graphic black and white beginning of the show set the tone for what was to be a collection that was starkly different than anything we have seen the Lanvin man wear in the past, “It’s all about contrasts.” said Ossendrijver before the show.
And so it was. Contrasts in shapes: a high-waisited full legged pant compared to a more fitted drop waist version. Contrasts in fabrics: classic mens suiting in matte finishes with techno materials that shimmered and shined. Contrasts in color: black and white or shades of gray from gunmetal to concrete. The result was clothing that vibrated with a inner tension where opposites were forced to work together and thus created something better than they could accomplish alone.
“I would wear most of this collection,” said Elizabeth von Guttman as she watch the finale of the show, pointing to a baby blue nylon business shirt which had been bonded with python at the front and what looked to be an all-in-one workman’s jumpsuit. This points to another contrasting element of the show, its ability to appeal to both sexes, regardless if it was intended just for men.
The collection was shown on a raised runway, which according to Ossendrijver was done because he and Elbaz wanted to elevate fashion to another level. They absolutely accomplished that goal with this experimental and evolutionary show.