“An antidote to laziness,” was how Alber Elbaz described the show for Lanvin ‘s menswear today. It was all about action, mobility, urgency—to the point where some of the clothes had a frenetic, unfinished quality, with ragged seams swirling around the body and rough hems edging, among other things, a biker-influenced jacket.
Elsewhere, there were the narrow silhouette and the fundamental athleticism of torsos wrapped at waist or shoulder, or the sporty leanness of a striped top over what looked like bike shorts. This morphing between high performance and something more conservative was the not-quite-sportswear essence of the collection.
Both Elbaz and his lieutenant, Lucas Ossendrijver, put the emphasis squarely on textures. “You want to touch them,” said Ossendrijver, “It’s something intimate.” A suit in floral embossed silk cloque certainly met that criterion. So did a hooded coat in a complex patchwork. Intimacy defines Lanvin’s womenswear. Its recognition here underlined what Elbaz acknowledged as a growing synergy between the men’s and women’s ranges. “Togetherness is really strong in this collection,” he remarked.
That was probably why jewelry was such a major issue in the show. It was big, bold, and barbaric. “Souvenirs,” said Ossendrijver. “When women can wear pants, men can wear jewelry,” Elbaz added. And, truth be told, this season it was the baubles that carried a lot of the subversive, insidious charm that has made Lanvin menswear such a draw for retailers.