Pretty Young Things and Stylish Women – Christian Lacroix, Lanvin, Nina Ricci and Loewe
Christian Lacroix went bright, light and younger for fall, while at Lanvin, Alber Elbaz’s stellar collection had a touch of the flapper. Meanwhile, pretty, intriguing looks filled Lars Nilsson’s Nina Ricci collection and Jose Enrique Ona...
Christian Lacroix: Christian Lacroix took a perky new approach to fall, sending out a collection that looked brighter than a sack of jelly beans, and younger and lighter than it has before. Like the best eye candy, tart colors and sweet shapes gave Lacroix’s look his appeal. Whimsical prints — tutti-frutti paisleys, florals and spiraling dots — were spliced together in tailored jackets and flirty silk skirts. And the kaleidoscopic effect was charming.
Lacroix focused on sportswear, mixing and matching vivid pieces like a tiered lace and calico skirt, an oversized nubby cream cardigan woven through with pink ribbons and graphic spliced jackets. And while he sent out a pretty gown or two, his most vibrant evening look was a cardigan paved with sequins more colorful than the lights of the Las Vegas strip, which was shown over a pink satin and black lace miniskirt. Meanwhile, a striking cream fur coat was shown over a kicky minidress printed with bright stars — a look built to suit the world’s most fashionable superheroine. The mood was up, up and away, with the men’s wear Lacroix showed for the first time taking an equally energetic tack.
A powerful wave of joie de vivre seems to have swept through the house of Lacroix, leaving a swath of great clothes in its wake.
Lanvin: You know what they say — three’s the charm. And it’s true. Alber Elbaz’s last trio of collections for Lanvin have been simply stellar, and he just keeps getting better.
The collection Elbaz showed Sunday was packed with staggering amounts of 100 proof chic, though his touch was as light as a champagne bubble. In fact, one imagines the Lanvin lady’s life as one overflowing with the bubbly as she hovers in some sort ofpermanent dusk. She’s a mysterious type, something of a sensualist. And sophisticated? Watch out.
In homage to those original champagne-swilling babes, the flappers, Elbaz worked a silhouette that was elongated and lean, whether he turned his attentions to a hooded Astrakhan coat or modern-day flapper dresses pared down to their sinuous essentials. His palette was one of silver, black, gray and the occasional pale pink — let’s call it moonlight. After all, these are clothes to swoon over. Elbaz’s boxy black jacket was trimmed with a single row of chunky crystals running around its edge and paired with a sliver of a skirt. Satin dresses were delicately detailed with scrolling passementerie vines and flowers. The coats looked mega-luxe. Meanwhile, with smoking jackets, killer tuxedo dresses and ruffle-front blouses, Elbaz gave his nod to the current fancy for men’s wear, and these were as graceful as can be.Also graceful, and astonishingly so, were Elbaz’s convertible party dresses, which transformed presto-chango from draped-back cocktail numbers into oh-so-glamorous siren gowns in the flick of a hook and eye. It might sound a trifle complex, but the only thing tricky about these dresses might be deciding between the two fabulous ways to wear them.
Nina Ricci: Last season, Lars Nilsson introduced his audience to the new Nina Ricci woman, an intriguing type who loves to work those wiles. For fall, he continued with the airy femininity of that first collection by juxtaposing a ladylike tweediness with the look of delicate lingerie.
Nilsson’s best looks leveraged sly vintage traces, with a bow here and a puffed shoulder there, and hinted at quirkiness without going overboard. His coats, all impeccably tailored in tweed or fur, gave a nod to Sixties propriety, while the wispy dresses that peeked out from beneath them were trimmed with broad Chantilly lace borders. In fact, tiered lace peeked out from beneath Nilsson’s tweed skirts and coats alike.
Pretty is what Nilsson’s after, and many times he hit that mark. His touch was light whether he turned his attention to a fur-lined steel blue trench coat, cashmere sweaters or embroidered chiffon dresses. Nilsson seems to be well on his way to creating an identifiable look for the house, and that’s the hard part. His next task, however, will be to turn all those pretty pieces into a cohesive collection with a clearer focus. With his apparent talent, it should be easy.
Loewe: Since he arrived at Loewe four seasons ago, Jose Enrique Ona Selfa has fallen into a comfortable groove, designing no-nonsense sportswear and working the Spanish house’s heritage for leather. Surprises were not abundant in his fall effort. A panoply of shearling coats, fitted leather pants, bomber jackets, leather skirts and fur pieces illustrated that this designer is not out to start a fashion revolution. He put sly details, though, into his clean pieces, with graphic circular patterns decorating a leather jacket or skirt and some fur pieces cut away with straps in the back. When he was feeling sexy, a dress was cut to the navel or a chiffon top was diaphanous. In execution, it was fine, and it was sure to appeal to his solidly bourgeois clientele — even if, on the runway, one expects more verve.