MODERN TALKING: About 30 well-heeled women, and Miss Catherine Deneuve, climbed the mirror-lined staircase at the Lanvin boutique in Paris Thursday night for what designer Alber Elbaz described as a “women’s club.” Some came from as far afield as Brazil and the U.S.; others from Italy, the U.K. and Monaco.

In lieu of a gala event at a big hotel, Elbaz opted to stage an intimate fashion show with running commentary about what goes into making designer clothes, recalling the couture days of yore. “I think it’s important not only to produce fashion, but to also understand and explain it,” he said. “I want to bring back all the stories of our métier and our know-how.” The designer greeted every woman in the front row — there were only front-row seats — and then paraded a mélange of three seasons: fall-winter, pre-spring and spring-summer. Lanvin plans to reprise the event in Los Angeles on Nov. 3 to keep its conversation with clients running. “Fashion isn’t a monologue. It’s also a dialogue,” Elbaz noted.

This story first appeared in the October 14, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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