According to Lanvin’s new designer, Spring 2018 is black, with a delicate pop of pale pink, red, summer-sky blue and logo-prints. Olivier Lapidus, the son of well-known French designer Ted Lapidus, unveiled his debut collection for Lanvin today at Paris Fashion Week. Having in mind the house’s complicated history (note: one of the most respected, yet ofttimes critiqued Parisian fashion houses) and Lapidus’ debatable experience, playing it safe was more than expected. Models marched down the runway looking like Grecian goddesses with ribboned ponytails, knee-high strap boots and criss-cross belts. The spirit of minimalism as Lanvin’s signature trademark was freshly elevated with body contours in the form of draped dresses and asymmetrical voluminous sleeves. Nonetheless, the series of black dresses that opened the show resembled funeral procession, not hiding the omnipresent fear that the future of Lanvin is not so bright.
Accepting the task of modernizing a brand whose DNA implies monotony and clean shapes is certainly not a piece of cake. At the age of 59, the real question is how much Lapidus legitimately wishes to devote to modernization instead of reviving the breathe of minimalism, sustainability and quality in fashion. The collection presented today at the Grand Palais exudes strong, powerful silhouettes, rigid-like shapes and precise cuts that are expected from Lanvin. However, playfulness is still clearly seen in crossover mini skirts in coral red or black. Lanvin logo was rather unoriginally emblazoned blurrily across myriad dresses. The collection managed to improve toward the finale with black chiffon column dress with a large-scale white flower placed on the shoulders like billowy clouds.
Still, it is almost harrowing to think that Lanvin as we know it- charming, creative and desireable– is gone. Lapidus presented a lot of déjà vu outfits, relatively lifeless collection and the real question is- will the fashion industry continue to care? In all fairness, the Lanvin company has been in turmoil for years, undergoing a huge management shuffle and disunion of the board of directors, owners and governance. This all lead to a series of tedious collections, lacking a steady and creative vision. To say it was Lapidus’ fault would be one-dimensional to say the least. However, judging by his debut collection, situation will not change for the better any time soon. But, c’est la vie!
Photo credit: Vogue UK