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DEFINITION DILEMMA: What is the meaning of elegance? Defining his vision of it was the difficult task set to Christopher Kane, alongside nine other labels, in celebration of Printemps’ 150th anniversary.

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“You can’t pinpoint it. I think it means all sorts of different things,” said the Scottish designer, who created a window display on the theme for the retailer’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship in the second phase of its celebrations, which end Oct. 3.

On Thursday evening, Kane, whose label is owned by Kering, was guest of honor at an informal reception held in one of Printemps’ 6th-floor private rotundas for a handful of VIP customers.

At the event, Kane chatted with the people and showed them his current fall collection.

“Historically, elegance — all these contexts — but for me personally, it comes from natural confidence and self-awareness. Elegance can be seen as older, but it shouldn’t be,” he said.

At first sight, Kane’s colorful style seems a far cry from the image of Parisian elegance evoked by a century and a half in the fashion business, but he insists there are parallels.

“One hundred and 50 years is a huge legacy to look back at but also to look forward to,” he said.

“I always think of the past and bring it forward, and that’s what [Printemps is] doing as well.”

And if he had a crystal ball to look 150 years into the future?

“Women will always be women, and they’ll always want to look beautiful and feel sensual,” he said. “That will always exist.”

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