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Category: Lanvin

Sitting down with Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz

Alber

There have been so many designers visiting Los Angeles recently -- Christian Louboutin, Angela Missoni and Erdem Moralioglu to name just a few. But it was especially nice to catch up with Lanvin's Paris-based artistic director Alber Elbaz, who is riding high after 10 years on the job. In that time, he has succeeded in waking the sleeping beauty that was the French fashion house of Lanvin, giving it a modern identity and must-have status.

His particular brand of imperfect glamour -- fraying lace edges, exposed zippers, grosgrain ribbon and pearl trims, sculpted bows and rosettes -- has elevated the humble T-shirt to near-couture standards, turned sneakers into $540 "It" shoes and reinvigorated the categories of cocktail dresses and costume jewelry.

His aesthetic has been much-imitated, influencing designs and boosting sales at J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Forever 21 and other specialty stores. Lanvin's collection for H&M last November was among the cheap chic retailer's most successful collaborations.

Now that Lanvin is firmly established, it is poised for a new phase of growth. To read my story about the French fashion house's future plans, click here.

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-- Booth Moore

Photo: Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin, addressing guests at a dinner party and showing of his spring 2012 collection Nov. 4 in Los Angeles. Credit: Mark Woodworth/Billy Farrell Agency

Fashion News: Katy Perry's new scent is the cat's 'Meow'

Katy Perry's second fragrance, Meow,  follows up on the kitty cat theme of her first one, Purr. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Lady GagaLady Gaga changed into four outfits -- including a silvery Paco Rabanne couture number, shown here, that looked like svelte armor -- to pick up four awards at MTV's Europe Music Awards on Sunday night in Belfast. [Telegraph]

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is set to shoot in a few days, and supermodel Adriana Lima will be ready for the catwalk. She has been working out with a personal trainer since August, twice a day for the last three weeks. She drinks a gallon of water a day, and for nine days before the show she lives on protein shakes. She begins fasting 12 hours ahead of time -- and sometimes drops eight pounds of water weight. Yes, it's hard being an angel. [Telegraph] 

Celebrities including Katie Holmes, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Demi Moore and Rachel Zoe were on hand Friday night to help Lanvin design chief Albert Elbaz celebrate the label's year-old boutiques in Malibu and on Rodeo Drive. [Los Angeles Times]

For Japan's first installment of Fashion's Night Out (which took place here in the states in September), all the editors of international editions of event-sponsor Vogue gathered in Tokyo last week, where they sat for a group portrait. [The Cut]

Iggy Pop will star in ads for Paco Rabanne's new men's and women's fragrances, due out in France in January. [WWD].

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Lady Gaga, wearing Paco Rabanne, at Sunday's MTV Europe Music Awards. Credit: David Fisher / Rex Features

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Lanvin hosts star-studded party; Alber Elbaz announces new book

LanvinsketchLanvin designer Alber Elbaz has the uncanny ability to make you feel like you are the only woman in the room. Which is exactly how I felt Friday night at his party to celebrate — a year late — the opening of the Lanvin boutiques on Rodeo Drive and in Malibu. 

Katie Holmes, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Demi Moore, Rachel Zoe, Liz Goldwyn, Jacqui Getty, Dita Von Teese and Eva Chow were among the super-stylish guests who gathered at the 1928 Carondelet House near downtown Los Angeles for a runway showing of the spring 2012 collection, followed by dinner.

And in true Alber style, he charmed everyone. Maybe it was the velvet bow tie as wide as his smile, the crinkly notes he took to the microphone when he introduced his spring collection, which started with the idea of angels in a hellish world, or the sketch he drew to explain his starting point for the season's strong-shouldered silhouette. It could also have been his self-deprecating humor. Elbaz often makes fun of his weight, so in the grand Hollywood tradition, he brought a slightly more svelte cardboard body double with him. 

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It certainly was a posh-looking crowd, dressed in Lanvin one-shoulder gowns, crystal rose necklaces and poufy floral print taffeta cocktail dresses. There were party favors too. On each seat, there was a Lanvin doll to hold. (Lanvin is collaborating with a charity in Africa that makes the dolls, Elbaz explained.) And in the dining room, lit by chandeliers, decorative feathered hats suspended in the air doubled as festive headgear.

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Before the models came out (Elbaz flew in his favorites from New York) he started by explaining that he fell in love with Los Angeles not because of the movie business but because of the people — and how they have invited him into their homes. His inspiration, he said, is always women. "Lanvin is a women-friendly company," he said of the house, whose logo is a mother and a daughter. "I work with them and for them. I love active women, women who make it happen instead of waiting for it to happen to them."

Then a carpet was rolled out, and  the show began. On the runway was pure gorgeousness — from a simple black dress with built-out shoulders to a jaw-dropping gold and copper lame pleated gown. It was a treat to see the clothes in such an intimate setting, because you could really appreciate the thoughtful details--like the dress with a back slit stitched closed at the hem (sexy but secure), and the pencil skirt with subtle ruching creating an ever-so-slightly bunched-up, but beautiful effect (imperfect glamour). Accessories ranged from oversized attache cases to crystal winged belts for women on the move.

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For all the Champagne and the sparkle, I could have sat all night and just watched Elbaz sketch. It came so easily to him and his drawings are so chic and cheerful. (They appear occasionally on Lanvin T-shirts and accessories.) 

At breakfast Friday, he told me his next big project is a 700-page book, to be published by Steidl early next year, telling the story in photographs and words of creating a single Lanvin collection. It's only fitting that the book begins with blank white pages. "That is how I start every day," Elbaz said.

Charming.

— Booth Moore

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Top photo: Scene from the Lanvin party on Friday in Los Angeles. Credit: Booth Moore / For the Times

Second row left to right: Dita Von Teese, Liz Goldwyn and Zoe Saldana. Courtesy of Lanvin.

Third row left to right: Elle Fanning, Gia Coppola, Alex Koo, Alber Elbaz, Demi Moore. Courtesy of Lanvin.

Bottom photos: Models in spring 2012 Lanvin collection. Courtesy of Lanvin.

Lanvin opening in Malibu

LANVIN Pre-Co E11_Look_63[1]

So you're hangin' on the sand, flipping through glossy magazines, and all of a sudden you've just gotta have a Lanvin sun hat. Starting the weekend of July 30, you'll be in luck. Lanvin is opening its second Southland boutique, this time at Malibu Village.*

With just 600 square feet of space, the boutique will be a beachy-themed extension of the brand's larger Rodeo Drive store, according to a spokeswoman from Lanvin, with product geared toward "the easygoing California lifestyle." That means bathing suits, breezy silk dresses, beach bags, sandals and accessories.

Maybe next time I head out to the beach, I'll just have to forget my bathing suit ... on purpose.

--Booth  Moore

Lanvin Malibu, 3826 Cross Creek Road, Malibu; (310) 456-6808.

Photo: Beach-ready looks will be available at the Malibu boutique. Credit: Lanvin

*UPDATED 08/02/11 at 2:43 p.m. An earlier version of this post said the Lanvin boutique would be in Malibu Country Mart. It is in Malibu Village.

Paris Fashion Week: Lanvin takes it from solid as steel to soft as silk

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The Lanvin spring and summer 2012 collection was shown under the impressive, soaring iron and glass dome of the Bourse de Commerce and accompanied by music from the soaring score to "The Dark Knight."

The range of the collection from creative director Alber Elbaz and menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver was equally as awe-inspiring.

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The show opened with strong-shouldered military-inspired pieces, high-end riffs on the kind of clothes the night watchmen or SWAT officer might feel comfortable in -- on or off the job, including solid-looking pieces of bonded leather, utilitarian webbed belts and trousers bloused into boots.

It ended with soft, almost drooping shoulders, blousy patterned pants and shirts that wouldn't look out of place at a music festival, and more swaths of fabric wrapped diagonally at the waist. 

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In between there were clingy knit pullover shirts with artistically folded necklines (maybe it was the music. but they seemed for all the world like they could fold out to accomodate a Batman-like cowled headpiece), technical outerwear pieces that included hooded jackets and a car coat with an extra piece that buttoned tight against the neck when the collar was in the folded-up position.

Overall there was an emphasis on the diagonal -- zippers on the bias, bags with straps from shoelace thin to guitar-strap thick were slung across the chest, the angle of the shoulder and even the cut of the several double-breasted jackets in the collection (one of my favorite formal looks was a purple, double-breasted suit with generously cut trousers).

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But there was a unifying element. From the martial to the mellow, everything that came down the catwalk seemed to have a certain strength and structure about it -- not unlike armor, a uniform or even a superhero costume.

So it wasn't surprising when I discovered that the building the show was held in, with its 19th century frescoes and glassed-in iron dome, was considered an architectural achievement for its use of iron and which the European Council of Civil Engineers describes as "one of the first buildings for which the architect and the engineer joined their respective skills." 

Likewise, Lanvin, has wrapped artistic beauty around an iron-strong framework for a collection that is built to last.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Paris

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Top photo: Looks from the Lanvin spring/summer 2012 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press.

Middle photos, from left: Credit: Francois Guillot/Associated Press; Jacques Brinon/Associated Press.

Lower middle photo, from left: Credit: Jacques Brinon/Associated Press. Francois Guillot/Associated Press.

Bottom photo: Francois Guillot/Associated Press.

Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall don oh-so-chic hats for Order of the Garter

Akatecamilla 
I admit it. With all the uproar over Princess Beatrice's odd-looking Philip Treacy fascinator at the British royal wedding recently, I've become -- well, fascinated by fascinators. And over-the-top hats. too. So here's a treat: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, left, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (nee Kate Middleton) appearing together at Monday's Order of the Garter Service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. I like 'em both and could see wearing them on the right ceremonial occasion (if I ever went to a ceremonial occasion), though Camilla's does seem a bit overwhelming. [Telegraph] [People]

And the fascinators were out in force early Tuesday with the opening of the Royal Ascot races. [Telegraph] 

Meanwhile the British fashion world is having something of a tennis moment:  The British Fashion Council enlisted a host of British fashion designers to design exclusive outfits for the world's top female tennis players for this year's pre-Wimbledon party, scheduled to take place Thursday. Designers including Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, Burberry, Richard Nicoll, Matthew Williamson, Hussein Chalayan and David Koma have all offered their services for the project, aimed at raising the off-court profile of the stars of women's tennis and the international profile of British fashion design. Later, the dresses will be auctioned off for charity. [Telegraph] 

"Sometimes geeks can be chic." So said Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour on Monday night as she accepted the "People's Voice" prize at Monday night's Webby Awards ceremony. [The Cut]

Blogger Rachel Kane has decided to leave her satiric WTForever21 site up, despite the retailer's statement of intention to sue her for trademark infringement. Last week, she had said that she was shutting down, and would no longer be making fun of Forever 21's clothing online. This week, she has lawyers -- no surprise there -- and plans to fight for her right to freedom of speech, and for fair comment. "If the company continues to makes threats that have no basis in law, my attorneys are prepared to vigorously defend me and seek all available legal redress against Forever 21," she said. This could be fun! [Jezebel]

Tobey Maguire looked good in a Spider-Man costume, so he's bound to look good in Prada. The atelier must think so too. On Monday they announced that Maguire will be the face of Prada's fall/winter advertising campaign. [Telegraph] 

Alber Elbaz premiered Lanvin's new collection for little girls at the end of his resort show Monday, and they are indeed dresses fit for little princesses. Think poufy bouffant skirts in cream, rose or scarlet. No word on pricing yet, but as a friend of mine would say, "It won't be cheap." [The Cut]

Photo: The Duchess of Cornwall, left, and Duchess of Cambridge at Monday's Order of the Garter service. Credit:  Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty Images

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Liya Kebede's one-gloved look at Cannes

Liya Model Liya Kebede made one of the most daring fashion statements at the Cannes Film Festival, wearing a single Lanvin glove, Michael Jackson-style, to the premiere of "Les Bien-Aimes" on Sunday.

Not sure if she was trying to channel the late one-gloved wonder or not, but it is a pretty cool look, with the embroidered crystal flower on the glove matching the embroidered crystal flower on the belt of her blue silk gazar Lanvin cocktail dress. I only wish that her gold minaudiere purse wasn't competing for attention.

What do you think? Would you wear a single glove?

-- Booth Moore

Photo: Liya Kebede at the "Les Bien-Aimes" premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. Credit: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Paris Fashion Week: Lanvin gets to the root of the matter

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Silhouetted under a wise-looking willow tree, the first model at the Lanvin show stepped out of the darkness and into the light, ready to take on the world.

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The tree could have meant that Alber Elbaz was getting back to the roots of a women's wardrobe--her go-to jacket, skirt, coat (and cape?), in neutral black, beige, gray and power red. These no-nonsense pieces were spare but special, with gold metal outlining the lapel of a barrel-shaped coat or the square neckline of a long jacket.

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Tiny flashes of gold hardware on a leather dress, a lipstick red chemise, and a cape-sleeve blouse tucked into pants, represented a new, cleaner kind of embellishment, underscoring Elbaz's elegantly pared-down approach. Not that Lanvin's luxe jewelry was cast aside. Collars and cuff bracelets were bolder than ever, with Deco-inspired jewels or gigantic flower blooms.

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There was a flowering of sorts on the runway, too. Dresses came out first in dark silks and lace, then rose florals, and finally, garden variety hues of daffodil yellow, tulip red and hydrangea pink. The sculptural sleeves, thigh-grazing hemlines and side swept skirts were familiar ground for Elbaz. But the new volume through the hips looked as fresh as the flowers in the models' hair. 

--Booth Moore in Paris 

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Photos: Looks from the Lanvin fall-winter 2011 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

Oscars: The lady hath a way with a Lanvin tuxedo

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I'm not a huge fan of the "Freaky Friday"-style cross-dressing schtick, and though James Franco looked uncomfortably like an off-the-rails Anna Nicole Smith in a floor-length pink gown and blond wig during the wardrobe switcheroo sketch at Sunday's 83rd annual Academy Awards, co-host Anne Hathaway looked lovely in Lanvin.

Monday morning, the Lanvin folks provided some details about the outfit: It's a black tuxedo with a satin shawl collar and a single, jeweled-button closure with matching pants, a white tuxedo shirt (also Lanvin), with a cream-colored tulle square bib and pearl buttons -- with one of Lanvin's signature bowties in black.

Call it a rare cross-dress success.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Anne Hathaway wears a Lanvin tuxedo on stage during the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27, 2011. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Now open: Lanvin on Rodeo Drive

LANVIN_Beverly_Hills_Facade 
Right smack in the middle of awards show season, Lanvin has opened its first boutique in Los Angeles. Located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the store is 4,520 square feet, which makes it one of the French fashion house's largest in the world. It features the full range of Lanvin luxuries, including men's and women's apparel, swimwear, denim, jewelry and gift items, such as special heart-shaped Valentine's Day keychains, as well as notecards, notebooks and pencils decorated with whimsical drawings by Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz.

From the mannequins with bright colored wigs holding balloons in the front windows, to the denim beach totes emblazoned with jeweled sunglasses inside, there's no mistaking Lanvin's sense of fun. And it's a welcome break from the sometimes stuffy Rodeo Drive experience. 

The Beverly Hills Lanvin location is the fourth in the U.S. It's more open than the New York store, and more inviting than the Las Vegas store. Inside, parquet floors, Art Deco antiques with leopard-print cushions, theatrical-looking drop can lights and vintage 1930s black-and-white glamour photos of house models on the walls lend an Old Hollywood feel.

The women's pre-spring collection is front-and-center with light-as-air clothes, including a $2,990 open-back rose-colored silk dress, a $5,135 khaki crinkled taffeta trench coat and a $1,090 khaki cotton sundress with a folded bow bodice. In the sportswear category, you'll find T-shirts emblazoned with Elbaz's stylish fashion drawings ($940 to $1,440), a $4,955 buttery black leather bomber jacket with ribbon trim, and $1,605 wide-leg, light-wash jeans with a grosgrain bow at the waist.

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There's plenty for the red carpet, from a $3,580 long-sleeved purple silk gown, to a $5,190 white strapless bias-cut silk gown gathered into a frill at the back. The white dress is from Lanvin's Blanche bridal collection, which has its own section in the back corner.

For men, the store is the first in the United States to offer made-to-measure suits (they take about six weeks to complete). There are also lots of casual chic pieces, including a sharp blue velvet jacket ($2,640), long sleeved polo shirts with grosgrain ribbon plackets ($350), and the house's signature capped-toe leather sneakers ($420), oversized bow ties ($310) and fabric flower lapel pins ($165).

The VIP shopping area, modeled after the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, isn't quite finished yet -- not that it's stopped the VIPs from coming in, according to the store manager.

An opening party is being planned for late March, when Elbaz will make the trip from Paris to celebrate.   

Lanvin, 260 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 402-0580.

--Booth Moore

Photos of the Lanvin Rodeo Drive boutique courtesy of Lanvin.


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