Lanvin Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris
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The line of klieg lights down the center of the Lanvin menswear catwalk brought to mind two thoughts. The first was the industrial aspect of these hulking metallic creatures that loomed over the heads of the audience. The second was their link to the world of cinema: movie sets, Hollywood premieres, cool after parties.

That combination of utility and glamour, purpose and presence could also describe this latest Lanvin menswear show. For it was a real juxtaposition of contrary shapes, styles and shades. At the start of the show there was a clear pull towards volume. Fluid, down to the ground pants- some with paper bag waists- rounded cinematic trench or over coats and large “under the arm” man bags. All of them in subdued shades of ivory, black, olive and clay that made for an easy and elegant, if reserved beginning to the show.

Then, designer Lucas Ossendrijver went in a different direction. Making short shorts an option for next summer. And bringing in a stronger assortment of colors such as robin’s egg blue, raspberry, forest green, plum, purple and antique rose to create a dynamic transition out of what ended up being only the prelude to this potent show. Ossendrijver added a bit of urban attitude into the mix by offering up a couple of pocket covered muscle shirts. But more importantly he created a series of new utilitarian cummerbund come fanny pack accessories that were strapped to the waists of a large portion of the male models.

And for his climatic third act the designer pumped-up on the texture. Creating eveningwear with bands of lurex slashing across blouson jackets, patterned jacquard pants and mesh tank tops that came finished off in wide colorful strips of fabric.

The overall effect of the show was of a body of work that was stimulating if slightly schizophrenic in its execution. It was a challenging collection, but good fashion is all about testing sartorial boundaries and this show did just that.

 - Jessica Michault

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