Photos: Sonny Vandevelde
I say this every season, but Lanvin sure knows how to treat a final-day-of-fashion-week audience: it’s a simple formula that includes coffee, tea, water and sweet treats – today’s were donuts and giant cookies that the assembled masses picked at daintily on paper plates (I inhaled mine – as a New Zealander, my ability to not shove food in my mouth is similar to that of an elephant’s). Our setting was the magnificent Bourse de Commerce, a building matched only in stature and light by the Grand Palais – think: enormous, round, frescoed and glass-domed with arches lining the entranceways. Perfect site for a powerful presentation, which is exactly what Lanvin delivered.
The pacing was punchy, the music cinematic and rousing. At least six boys took to the circular catwalk at any given moment, offering lots to look at, but not much time to take in specific details. There was a wisp of dark leather, apocalyptic layering, combat boots and the kinds of protective leather jerkins that Mad Max might don before a barfight. Coats featured prominently and seemed heavy for the season (three quarter length black vinyl with a hood in summer?) but shorts were cropped mid-thigh and blousons had the airy lightness of silk.
The best section was a series of six colourful suits, spanning watermelon red to robin’s egg blue, plum to yellow. They started off cut close to the body with exaggerated pagoda shoulders, and ended with a fantastic drop-shoulder one-button jacket with perfectly balanced arms.
It was a tough collection to read – were they post nuclear survivors? Quirky businessmen? Thrifty backpackers? All of the above? On the final day of the menswear show season, sometimes you’ve just gotta sit back and take it all in. I liked what I understood and I understood what I liked. Regardless, it’s all worth it when Alber Elbaz walks out at the end. That guy brings a smile to my face no matter what the occasion.
I LIKE YOU!