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Paris Fashion Week: Lanvin's Alber Elbaz drapes with a sculptor's touch

October 4, 2009 |  4:32 pm
Lanvin spring 2010 At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz offered a stronger, more grown-up alternative to many of the season's lacy lingerie looks. The first group of satin cocktail dresses wasn't unlike what we've seen from him before, with stiff flounces at the shoulder, or curling down the sides.

But when leather entered the equation, with a stunning lipstick-red dress draped and folded over one shoulder as easily as if it were silk, it was obvious we were in for something new.

Elbaz has always had a sculptor's touch, as if he were working with clay instead of cloth. This collection centered on drapery, instead of sculpted ruffles and flounces, and it managed to look just as light and supple.

Polyester jersey was draped and folded into an effortless black jumpsuit with a tulle back; a sand- colored gown with the ease of a sarong; and a cobalt blue, one-shouldered dress that fell in pleats, bringing to mind a Greek statue.

An egg crate texture was pressed into the soft surface of a khaki-colored coat and a cream, one-shouldered shift dress. Silk pants with contrast cuffs resembled chic pajamas, and a pearl gray silk peplum jacket skimmed the body like a T-shirt.

Elbaz couldn't resist a little sparkle, either; a gold dress draped like a toga sparkled like buried treasure. But those were rows of burnished gold sequins, not the jewels Elbaz is so fond of using, which means the dresses shouldn't cost a pirate's booty. Yet another reason for Lanvin fans to cheer.

-- Booth Moore


Photos: Lanvin's spring-summer 2010 runway

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Photo: Lanvin's spring-summer 2010 runway show. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times