SUZY BANNED: Angered by the headline on Suzy Menkes’s Dior review in the International Herald Tribune, the luxury giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton banned the formidable fashion editor from its Givenchy show on Wednesday afternoon.
According to sources, Menkes received a personal call from the luxury group saying that she would not be welcome at the show. It isn’t clear, however, how long the ban will last. Dior designer John Galliano is slated to show his signature collection Thursday night, and Louis Vuitton is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Asked about the ban, Menkes said: “Call LVMH. I don’t have any comment. All I can say is I am particularly sad not to be able to follow the career of Julien Macdonald, who I discovered when he was still a student at the Royal College of Art.” Wednesday’s show was Macdonald’s debut ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy.
Asked for comment, Bernard Arnault, chairman of Christian Dior SA and LVMH, told WWD only, “Suzy is a friend.”
Menkes’s Dior review was not positive, describing Galliano’s mix of multicultural references and in-your-face model antics as “insensitive, almost offensive” in light of the public mood since the events of Sept. 11. But it is understood that LVMH’s complaint lies with the headline: “Dior’s Aggression Misses The New Romantic Beat.” Sources said that LVMH found it inappropriate to link the storied house with the word aggression, especially since the word is today so closely associated with the terrorist attacks on America and the ongoing military retaliation in Afghanistan.
This is not the first time the unwelcome mat has been rolled out for Menkes. In the early Nineties, designer Gianfranco Ferre barred her from shows for his own house and for Dior due to unflattering reviews. Versace also nixed Menkes from its invitation list in 1997.
LANVIN’S LATEST: Alber Elbaz has joined Lanvin as creative director for women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. He will show his first collection for the house next March for fall 2002.
Elbaz succeeds designer Cristina Ortiz, who recently exited the house in the throes of change under new ownership. Last July, the beauty giant L’Oreal sold Lanvin to a group of investors, led by Shaw-Lan Wang, known as Harmonie SA. In making Elbaz’s appointment official Wednesday, Lanvin chief executive officer Jacques Levy said Elbaz was selected for his international reputation, expertise and experience.
A Moroccan-born designer, Elbaz’s last design post was at Krizia Top in Milan, which he exited last November after a three-month stint. Before that, he was chief designer of Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche collection, a position he lost after three seasons when Gucci Group bought the company. Elbaz started his career at Geoffrey Beene in New York and caught the attention of retailers and editors with his work at Guy Laroche, where he was creative director from 1996 to 1998.
NO GALLERY FOR GALLERY: Karl Lagerfeld is slated to show his Lagerfeld Gallery collection on Friday at the Pompidou Center, which is currently hosting exhibits by Jean Dubuffet and Nan Goldin. But teachers and museum workers were striking in Paris on Wednesday, meaning the designer might need to switch venues. “I will only know on Thursday if I can show there,” Lagerfeld said. “If not, I might have to do it in a white room at the Carrousel du Louvre.”