"Pretty" is not a word that has been flying freely at the collections this season, but it is just the effect that Cristina Ortiz achieved at Lanvin. Her light-handed collection wafted along like a breath of sweet-scented fresh air after all of this week's smoky nightclub ambience.
Ortiz softened her hard geometry of past seasons, but continued to draw on graphic Art Deco motifs that referenced the slightly theatrical clothes that made Jeanne Lanvin a fashion star in the '20s. In Ortiz's sophisticated hands, and with her intriguing color mixes, the effects were never old-fashioned.
A jigsaw patchwork of lozenge-shapes, embroidered in silk or beads, resembled the work of Jean Dunand, the great '20s decorative artist. Ortiz used the patchwork in African colors for a stiff A-line skirt, or as a giant "kipper" tie, knotted over a black chiffon blouse. A sweater of sheared fur was crafted in color-shaded chevrons; a chiffon skirt or blouse had a whirlpool effect of swirling panels in beige, cocoa and sky. A Barbie-pink satin blouse, worn with peach chiffon bootleg pants, was an exclamation point of color. And Ortiz introduced subtle traces of goldas in the borders on a skinny biscuit-colored fur bomber jacket; the hip-slung belt on a chiffon dress in ice-cream tones of coffee, framboise, lemon and peach; and in the platform-heeled golden sandals, their gilded soles flashing prettily as the high-stepping mannequins stalked the runway.