Lanvin’s naive new comic book mode
The best-laid plans of mice and men... Lanvin’s creative director Bruno Sialelli presented an inspirational, naive, quirky and jaunty collection for spring 2020 in a walled garden in Paris on Wednesday.
The clothes would have been perfect for a terrace lunch and a good bottle of rosé, or a sunset cocktail overlooking Es Vedrà. Instead, the weather gods were angry, the rain poured down and this was not the dream setting it was meant to be.
That said, the house produced several hundred transparent umbrellas – with the Lanvin mother and child logo – and the audience was able to resist the elements. All guests donned headphones with a jumbled soundtrack of children’s stories, orchestral snippets and even Kate Bush.
"I wanted a peaceful bubble. Everyone today marches around with their earphones on listening to podcasts and their favorite music. So when you give viewers headphones you create that bubble. It has a beauty to it and it’s three dimensional and very sensorial," explained the designer after the show, staged outside Quai Branly, the Paris museum devoted to ethnological art.
Sialelli has a tremendously fertile imagination – at times too fertile – but he certainly sent out plenty of ideas. He cut with insouciance – as in a superb pantsuit worn by Gigi Hadid – or several A-Line capes worn over nautical stripe sweaters and finished with undulating hemlines. Other seaside striped sweater-dresses looked magical, as did some super fishermen’s buckled mini cabans.
His strongest idea was taking childhood cartoons from the 1920s, published in the long defunct New York Herald – seen in silk pajama pants, askew drop-shoulder shirts, finely cut dresses and disco shirts. There was no shortage of eye-catching accessories and footwear either – like two-tone stubby sling-backs with metal bands, techy geisha getas, or sandals in what looked like wild boar.
However, Sialelli is not a master self-editor – as all the straps and shards of fabric that accompanied nearly every look indicated. The whole collection rather cried out for a merchandiser to pull it into focus.
"The reminiscence of childhood is very important for me. I am from the pivotal generation. A childhood listening to audio books before entering the digital world. My creations are based on a very strong childhood. Which to me is very aligned with Jeanne Lanvin, who made a sort of soft love, first with dresses that were little girl happenings and then made them for their mums," concluded the 30-year-old designer.
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