The snow flurries that blanketed Paris have transformed the city into a clean canvas filled with unidentifiably white shapes and silhouettes that hide their true features from view. It makes for an interesting analogy to this morning's Lanvin menswear show where an exploration of proportions and distortion was the story of the season.
Designers Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver did away with distracting accessories, eye-catching embellishments or over the top styling and zeroed in on a look that was both sporty and futuristic in nature. The first exit down the runway epitomized the blending of the two universes. A model, his hair slicked back against his head, walked the catwalk wearing colorful sneakers and a long, broad cut double-breasted coat that hung off the shoulders. Underneath that enveloping outerwear a hand drawn pinstripe business shirt was layered on top of a black turtleneck sweater and finished off with a slim mod tie (which featured a covetable vertical mirrored metal tie clip) in an abstract pattern.
From there the collection became something of study in how to find the right balance between a variety of different shapes on one ensemble. The designers tried everything from voluminous pants with equally oversized coats and slim slacks worn with boxy tops, to tailored trousers paired with stiff bonded leather jackets, and baggy sweat pants that came matched with a shaggy fur fronted jacket.
With so many different options on display there was a slight feeling of trial and error to the collection. Where the show really got its traction was in its clever use of stitch work. The two oversized hooded parkas with a raised whipstitch edge on the sleeves and a tucked under hemline, which gave some added volume to the coat, were show standouts. And the zigzag stitching on a number of quilted pieces were an original slant to one of this season’s biggest trends. Another highlight was the way the designers reinterpreted the classic business shirt. Coating them with vertical stripes of monotone shades or, in one case, waxing the entire shirt to offset the colorful thin ties.
With this menswear collection the brand once again proved itself to be peerless in its audacious and unique take on modern menswear. It is this continual drive towards the future that makes its shows some of the most anticipated of every season.
- Jessica Michault