Multi-coloured cocktails – mostly fruit-based – and the swaying sounds of salsa, turned the gloomy Halle Freyssinet, in the 13th - which has been nicknamed 'Hell Freyssinet' - into a carnival in Rio for Alber Elbaz’s joyous, sensual collection for Lanvin.
The designer received tumultuous applause as he took a longer-than-usual bow on the concrete floor which had been the catwalk for a masterful display of cutting, draping and use of colour.
The drape and swathe which stamps Elbaz’s current autumn/winter collection, was still evident, seen in the single, pouf-sleeved cocktail dresses, and the sarong effects on the short skirts, whether in black or navy for day, or vibrant, tropical shades for after-dark.
An LBD, with a high-rise shoulder, detailed with a flamboyant flounce, and the flounce echoed on the slim skirt, opened the show; just a small taste of the feast of fashion to come.
Where one shoulder would be encased in silk, satin or stretch, or enveloped in a cascade of organza, the other shoulder, bared, would extend down to a solitary, gloved arm. Wicked!
Other LBD’s came tuxedo-style, with DJ lapels and a bloused back, sometimes sheer, other times pleated. Ruffles down the centre-back of the matching pencil skirts added more drama to the Grand Exit formula.
The goddess effect was evident in dresses draped like marble statues, falling in soft folds across the shoulder, and, then, evolving into a cascade down one hip.
Just as striking was the jewellery: Waterfalls of beads, gilt and crystals, plunder from an ancient tomb, treasures from an attic, which enveloped the neck, plunged down into the cleavage and, interestingly, were sometimes hidden beneath a veil of silk chiffon or tulle. The spike heels on the shoes were metal and gleamed in the dark.
Elbaz’s queens of the night came to life in evening-wear, fit for an Aztec princess or Egyptian pharoah’s consort; dazzling poncho-style dresses, vertically-striped in blades of gold and pink beads; short dresses shimmering in jungle-green and ablaze with crystals; blood-red beads embroidered on a black vest; all-in-ones glistening with gold.
Elbaz’s collection was a hymn to the regal, shimmering beauty of Woman.
By Hilary Alexander
Sophisticated 80's with Peplum Dresses, soft waves of fabric in creams and blacks. Definitely the definition of Parisian fashion with an Aztec twist in the jewellery.