Since 2015, Lanvin had a very harsh time. After Alber Elbaz abruptly parted ways with the company, Lanvin went from hands to hands, and it took too many wrong, creative (and marketing) directions. After a number of designers who either didn’t understand what Lanvin should stand for today or were, simply speaking, terrorized by the impatient investors, the historical label seemed to drown deeper and deeper with every season. In all possible aspects. After such a period of mishandling, can a brand still be returned on a right track? Bruno Sialelli might be the last rescue, even though his debut collection felt more like Loewe (where he used to work at the design studio) than Lanvin. Breezy dresses and slouchy pants worn over skirts were printed with medieval motifs; men’s coats had some artisan detailing that felt very ethnic; bags were huge, the shoes were so Phoebe Philo’s Céline (just like the edgy styling that was very, very Célinist to be honest). What suggested it’s Lanvin? The new branding? The JL print (that stands for Jeanne Lanvin, the house’s founder) was all over the shirts, accessories and the runway’s carpet. Still, Bruno could use Lanvin’s archives to inform the collection, and even if he did, the message wasn’t clear enough. Hopefully, Sialelli’s second collection will speak more for itself. But he has a long path to go now.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.