IT’S OFFICIAL: Lanvin has tapped Prada for its new women’s designer, naming Cristina Ortiz to the position on Thursday. The appointment confirms a WWD report. Ortiz had been design director at Prada Donna. She is set to start work at Lanvin in November.
Ortiz, 31, is a native of Spain and studied fashion design in Paris at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture de Paris. Before joining Prada in 1994, she ran her own design studio in Madrid. Ortiz also designed for the Spanish department store El Corte Ingles and for Enrica Massei and San Lorenzo in Milan.
Lanvin president Gerald Asaria said earlier in the week that he had looked for a designer without a signature line who could devote herself or himself “exclusively” to helping the house expand with new lines and products. Ortiz “expects to make feminine seductive clothing — sensual but serious enough to be worn every day,” a company statement said.

TASTE TEST: In a French restaurant, it’s called an amuse-gueule — the pre-appetizer to whet a diner’s appetite. For some of fashion’s hot labels, it has other names, ranging from “pre-spring” to “test range,” but it all boils down to a way to lure that customer into the store. Chanel, for example, has a new April delivery of 15 simple cotton looks, to restock the stores between summer and fall.
Elsewhere, there’s such a long lag between the moment of signing a new designer and the date their goods hit stores that houses are rushing mini-collections onto the racks. Stella McCartney’s spring bag designs for Chloe, 12 styles, will be delivered to all shops and corners in time for cruise in December. Narciso Rodriguez is delivering a small group of eveningwear for Loewe to company-owned stores in November. And at Balmain, Andrew Gn has prepared a test range for this spring which will be marketed only in Balmain boutiques. “It was really an experiment to see what it will be like to work with our new manufacturer,” Gn said.

HAIR TODAY: The Paris runways boast a handful of new designers, but there’s also plenty of action backstage, where a new generation of hair and makeup artists are breaking through. Odile Gilbert, Julien d’Ys, Stephane Marais, Linda Cantello and Pat McGrath are still the big players. But keep your eye on Paolo Ferreira, Nicolas Jurnjack, Laurent Philippon, Sebastien Richard and Fred Farrugia — this season, among them, they’ve dreamed up “Charlie’s Angels” hair for Givenchy, slicked looks at Costume National, super-smooth beehives at Guy Laroche and pastel ribbon streaks at Kostas Murkudis. There’s only one worry: If Martin Margiela’s presentation style catches on, with clothes paraded on hangers by guys in lab coats, and not a model in sight, they’ll all be out of jobs.

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