Go big or go home. That seemed to be the message Alber Elbaz was giving with his spring/summer 2014 collection. This was a show that demanded attention on so many levels that it was almost blinding in its daring.
First, to create a collection that is 99% crafted out of fabrics that shimmer, glitter and shine is a bold move if ever there was one. Elbaz delved into liquid lamé, luminescent organza, metal threaded tweeds, glossy silks, iridescent snake skins, twinkling brocades, holographic fabric and the list goes on and on. The textile research alone deserves a nod of respect.
Second, the audacity of taking such a risk with a brand that already has established touchstone codes and styles, that women love to wear, was both refreshing and impressive. But never one to leave anyone behind, Elbaz smartly added in an interlude of matte black neoprene ensembles in some of his more classic shapes for those who favor his more minimalistic, yet sexy, side.
Above all this, what was most impressive about this show was how the designer was able to create a cohesive collection that also had something for everyone in it. Silver jumpsuits, easy drop waist 1920s fringe or ruffle slip dresses, tailored phosphorescent jackets, fitted corrugated skirts, floral and fluid maxi dresses, leather trench coats. All of them in shimmering metallic or rich jewel hued shades, but not a single one looking ostentatious or over the top.
It was wonderful to see Elbaz bringing Lanvin to a luminous new territory more then ten years after he first transformed the brand. In the case of this collection, all that glitters really is gold.