obviously it would have been precarious to take photos, so here is the "public" invitation
illustrations by Alber; silly stickers by your bunny (quite the ahhhrteeest, non?)
Women simply adore Alber Elbaz (and by extension, Lanvin) owing to his love and appreciation of real women: sans the plastic or pretension. It was an absolute dream to spend Monday morning with him – quite candidly my favorite designer of our era – and Mr. Mickey exploring the showstopping Lanvin Spring 2009 collection (with a few previously unseen Cruise 2009 gems thrown in for good measure)!
Lanvin Spring 2009*
As per usual, comfort was of cardinal priority throughout the design process. Even the seemingly 'structured' garments felt lighter than a feather on the skin: a truly remarkable feat bearing in mind the weighty heft of similarly shaped Giambattista Vallifrocks.
The kooky throwback resort garments (think more "contemporary" items like t-shirts emblazoned with Alber's whimsical sketches not unlike the invitation above) were reasonably priced considering their handiwork, style level, and refined fabrication; while the Acne Jeans collaboration was the epitome of 'cool kid meets easy breezy chic' [below]:
Lanvin Cruise 2009 [also feat. Acne line] with Suzy Menkes
About 70% of the bags were entirely vegan – perhaps stemming from his dear kinship with fellow Israeli Natalie Portman or a reworking of F/W 2008's cruelty-free (by default) ribbon motif – the most electrifying of which sprang from Spring 2009's interludes of vibrant leopards, insane new crystal studded versions of last season's cult shapes, and Cruise 2009's Elbaz-doodled beach totes with PVC handles.
Ogling Alber's deco-gone-glam jewelry and flossy flossy bedazzled heels was pure sensory overload:
And yes, Alber is that twinkling and warmhearted in person! I did feel slightly maladroit since I had just broken one of his F/W 2008 bags* in a taxi door earlier that morning and hastily replaced the stunning Jeanne Lanvin charms with little bunnies from a quaint shop in Pennsylvania found deep within the recesses of said bag. He didn't seem to mind...
If you're in Gotham Tuesday or Wednesday be sure to stop by Barney's 2nd floor on Madison & 61st. See invitation [above] for details. To my knowledge Alber will not be in store again – but his all-embracing, voluptuous, fresh-from-the-runway frocks will!
*Total major coincidence: many thanks to Tim Blanks (brilliant host of the style.com videos, including the one at top) for helping me find the then-new black Lanvin bag lost in the kerfuffle of Ikram's annual post-McQueen Indian fête. By now that bag must be on its ninth life!