By  on October 29, 2007

Alber Elbaz has discretely reinvented the fabled house of Lanvin, and it’s all about desire.

Just before the latest Lanvin show in Paris, Alber Elbaz was, as is his custom, a nervous wreck, unsure his audience would appreciate a collection he based on flyaway clothes and birds of paradise. Backstage, holding up a crinkled polyester gown with a ruffled edge, he lapsed into one of his freewheeling fashion diatribes. He talked about how the collection explored contradictions between simple and complicated, languid and structured, neutral and colorful. He talked about wanting the dresses to “disappear” on the models so you see only their faces. Then, he paused, looked at the floor, and concluded that his overriding wish, in fact, was to create “emotional clothes.”

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