The models came out scented with whiffs of powdery perfume, striding past sumptuous tapestries at the Manufacture des Gobelins, crafter of the finest French wall hangings since its founding by Louis XIV as one of the first luxury houses. How could one not be charmed?
The house of Lanvin has an equally impressive history, of course, only it was founded by a self-made woman. Hence designer Bruno Sialelli’s decision to hone in on dressing for success with jaunty leather capes; modern-looking curvilinear coats and peplum jackets in makeup shades over trousers or miniskirts; floaty calligraphy print high-low dresses, and Twenties-inspired eveningwear, all shown with the formal gesture of a gloved hand and a graphic “J” wedge heel. The result was a woman who captivated but didn’t compromise herself or her comfort.
Feminine tailoring reflected this season’s return to classicism, but with enough cool to give it modern currency — see the new mother-and-daughter Arpege logo hardware on the flap pockets of a jacket, and the tops of moto boots. Belgian loafer-style, wedge mules added another element of bourgeois flare, as did sculpted sci-fi (not Lady Di) headbands.
Eveningwear balanced contemporary silhouettes with decorative touches, as on a butter yellow sleeveless godet minidress with a crystal and pearl bow sash swinging in back, and a jeweled slipdress accessorized with a removable feather collar.
Many accessories looked like they could be a commercial goldmine, including minaudières in the shape of perfume bottles, lipstick and powder compacts saluting one of Jeanne Lanvin’s savviest business decisions, the creation of Lanvin Parfums in 1924.
Just over a year since taking over as creative director, Sialelli hit his stride with this collection, his most focused yet, by striking notes of heritage, wearability and desirability, and evoking a French touch. And he did it with a runway cast that was in step with today’s demand for inclusivity (what a contrast to Saint Laurent’s emaciated models), starring Bella Hadid, Maggie Rizer and Paloma Elsesser.
With Nick Jonas recently wearing the house’s sailor jacket in New York (men’s wear continued to build on the story of color, cozy knitwear and a boxy silhouette) and super stylist Law Roach in the front row, the brand is starting to find its footing in Hollywood, too. Indeed, after a stormy few years, the future is looking bright for Lanvin.