Jeanne in Shanghai. Lanvin SS21

Is Lanvin‘s choice of showing it’s spring-summer 2021 collection in Shanghai a surprise? Not really. It’s financially and commercially a wise thing to do. Lanvin is owned by Fosun International, the Chinese conglomerate with such eclectic subsidiaries as the Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cirque du Soleil. Also, as far as fashion is concerned, there’s beautiful irony to the fact that China was the first country to return to a sense of normalcy after the coronavirus outbreak. Pre-pandemic, China was the new shopping center of the world. Post-pandemic, staging your fashion show there is pretty much a win-win scenario. “We can do a proper event there with hundreds of people,” Bruno Sialelli, Lanvin’s creative director, said during a preview in Paris, two weeks before he shipped his pre-styled Lanvin show to Shanghai and live-streamed it from the historic Yu Garden. “And to be very pragmatic, this is the market that is going to drive growth in luxury in general. It’s good for us to federate our community there.” What about the collection? The designer seems to be leaving behind his Loewe style and induldges in Jeanne Lanvin’s rich, Art Deco heritage. The opening looks were sublime: from those golden trinkets to the reimagined Jean Dunand motifs that graced garments and accessories, and the Armand-Albert Rateau pieces and Georges Lepape illustrations that inspired them. The show started with Sialelli’s interpretations of Lanvin’s robe de style, the dainty drop-waist silhouette she loosely revived from the 19th century. The first – black with a crystal bow across the hip – was virtually a replica of its 1920s embodiment. Somehow, it looks relevant in 2020. “Lanvin was at its strongest in between the World Wars. It became a huge company with hundreds of employees, ateliers, cosmetics, and everything. It’s interesting to observe the pendants between the 1920s and the 2020s,” Sialelli reflected. “Art Deco’s three words were order, geometry, and color. I think it expresses something that’s interesting to re-contextualize today.” Discussing his silhouettes, he mentioned “a certain rigidity,” explaining, “from the beginning, I’ve thought about characters like Maggie Cheung or Anna May Wong, who have this put-together attitude; very neat. I want to translate that character.” The collection has its ups and downs (the daywear felt whatever…), but finally, the new Lanvin takes shape.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Lanvin 130th Anniversary Capsule

Celebrating its 130th anniversary, Lanvin has created a series of limited edition pieces inspired by its archives. Bruno Sialelli, the promising creative director of the historic maison, has come up with a joyful and mischievous capsule collection to revisit the Parisian fashion house’s heritage. The eveningwear features modern reinterpretations of exceptional pieces from Jeanne Lanvin’s atelier, the footwear is inspired by the iconic and timeless Arpège fragrance bottle of the house, while the apparel is printed with the founder’s drawings. Wearing a blue dress with golden wings, the “Lanvin angel” represented the house during the World’s Fair in New York in 1939, when Jeanne Lanvin presided over. As for the “Mermaid”, the founder presented the multicolored cloak at the international Golden Gate exhibition held in San Francisco in 1939. This is exactly something that the brand missed for a while: celebration of its past.

Bye, Alber.

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At this time of my departure from Lanvin on the decision of the company’s majority shareholder,” he writes, “I wish to express my gratitude and warm thoughts to all those who have worked with me passionately on the revival of Lanvin over the last 14 years . . . together, we have met the creative challenge presented by Lanvin and have restored its radiance and have returned it to its rightful position among France’s absolute luxury houses.

Alber Elbaz, one of the most loyal fashion designers, was officially fired from the house of Lanvin. After 14 years of beautiful, feminine collections, he was simply asked to leave, due to the fact he opposed to the unbelievable speed of fashion industry, which makes major designers feel frustration, and young designers struggle. Throughout his career, Alber presented and tried to prolifically approach the house of revolutionary Jeanne Lanvin  – four collections a year for women, and two for men designed together with Lucas Ossendrijver. But still, the share-holders of the brand felt dissatisfied with Elbaz. And this causes a big problem in the fashion industry system – where is it heading to? To even bigger desire of consumerism? To more and more of beauty? Wait. Even the most couture-ish gown looses its beauty in this situation. The best example of that is a 500 euro jacket, that H&M will soon sell in collaboration with Balmain. Who cares that it’s beautifully embroidered, if it was produced in thousands of exemplars. This isn’t really on topic right now, but people who are planning to buy this jacket at H&M for such a price… well, then good-luck with  completing your wardrobe with too expensive Made in China clothes.

But coming back to Alber Elbaz and his Lanvin history. When I have looked back at all of his collections this morning, I nearly cried. His signature, draped dresses. His opulent, yet simply cut tops. The ruffled details. The new definition of Parisian chic, that we all know understand thanks to Elbaz’ silhouettes and ways of dressing women. After those 14 years, it feels like Alber rebuilt the legacy of this French house, giving a lot of future references to the designer that will be soon announced. I just wonder who will be so desperate to work with such “demanding” and ignorant owners. Any guesses?

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125 Years of Lanvin

zdjęcie 2-kopia 3Jean Lanvin created one of the oldest Parisian labels, making it a refelction of chic, elegance and endless glamour. In 1909, Lanvin joined the Syndicat de la Couture, which marked her formal status as a couturière. The clothing Lanvin made for her daughter began to attract the attention of a number of wealthy people who requested copies for their own children. Soon, Lanvin was making dresses for their mothers, and some of the most famous names in Europe were included in the clientele of her new boutique on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris. And, the logo of Lanvin- presenting a mother and her daughter- is the symbol of motherhood and good heart!

Her work was easily recognizable by her skilful use of embroidery, and her fine craftsmanship. She used a particular shade of blue so often, that it came to be called “Lanvin Blue”. For Jeanne Lanvin, women were meant to wear clothes of unabashed feminity, in colours that were pretty, and whose shapes had a “young girl” look. She set the mood with narrow empire-wasted dresses and long trailing sleeves. The fabrics that she used were silk, taffeta, velvet, silk chiffon, organza, lace, tulle, etc. She used a lot of free-flowing ribbons, ruffles, flowers, lace, mirrors, etc., and liked ornamentation like applique, couching, quilting, parallel stitching, and embroidery. In reality, Jeanne, after Coco Chanel, was the second most revolutionary designer in the last millenium.
zdjęcie 3-kopia 2 Slide2 zdjęcie 4-kopia 3 zdjęcie 2-kopia Slide4In 2002, after long years of misery that Lanvin as a brand had to feel after the II World War, arrived Alber Elbaz, the short guy who again made Lanvin one of the most coveted brand on Earth. In his version of Lanvin, the clothes are full of gold opulence, magnificient embroidery and feminine tulle that is very wearable. Alber Elbaz also includes lots of pearls and feathers, making Lanvin boheme and free of pretence. And his pieces are best-sellers in luxury brand stores!

As everybody loves Lanvin for it’s ethernal Parisian chic and easy feel, DACBE feels proud to announce that the brand celebrates… 125 years! Seeing the archival collections, I feel that Lanvin has a big story to tell, that for long won’t be finished…
zdjęcie 5 Slide1-kopia 6 zdjęcie 3-kopia 3 zdjęcie 1-kopia 2 Slide3And what is your favourite Lanvin moment? Sure it in the comments!