NEW YORK — Professing a dislike for trunk shows, Alber Elbaz decided to add an extra dimension to the showing of his fall 2002 collection for Lanvin at Barneys New York recently. So he teamed up with the store’s creative director and resident wit, Simon Doonan, to create an in-store show with a little twist that had press and clients in metaphorical stitches.

Reviving the lost art of fashion commentary, Doonan was the snarky announcer for the 19 looks Elbaz sent down the runway. Doonan opened with an introduction to Elbaz, citing his hobbies as "bungee-jumping and needlepoint" and describing his collection as "the antithesis of slutty dressing." A black wool and alpaca suit was described as "very Catherine Deneuve, very expensive and very you." The major selling point of a luxe cape was that it’s always handy, "whether for a hired assassin or a ventriloquist." A look named "Seductrice" prompted the comment, "If you can’t seduce someone in this, you might as well hang up your Blahniks and head for the nearest convent!" And no shopper can be blamed for coveting a pair of over-stitched brown leather gloves crafted with TLC: "French nuns went blind stitching them."

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