Behind Alber Elbaz’s remarkable success at Lanvin is a question ofbasic logic he returns to season after season: What do women want? Forsome, he said, it’s a dress with two sleeves. Others ask for color, butElbaz knows they actually wear black. And this season, he thought beyondWestern, city-dwelling women: In Africa, the female population isdesperate for vocational skills, something Elbaz learned after a meetingwith United Nations officials about a potential project and used as apartial premise for the collection he showed Friday, one of his mostdaring yet.

 

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