When he started work on Lanvin's menswear for fall, Lucas Ossendrijver knew he wanted to go in the opposite direction from the style that has made the collection a fashion editors' favorite. Previously, all the fabrics were washed to give the clothing a lived-in, louche character. Here, everything was crisp and defined, to fit a new structured silhouette: The double-breasted jacket of the suit that opened the show was almost boxy in the breadth of its shoulders. After the show, Ossendrijver talked about wanting to convey the idea of boys growing up too fast, so that their clothes were always too big or too small. (Raf Simons was also inspired by such moments of transitiondo you think these mythical "boys" have any sense of the sway they hold over the vanguard of men's fashion?) Anyway, that notion determined the dimensions of jackets cut larger and trousers shrunk to fit just above the ankle, often with a ribbed cuff, like sweatpants. It was especially odd in a camel suit.
The "grown-up" clotheslike a long, lean topcoat or a cardigan jacket (worn over a waistcoat, crisp white shirt, and flesh pink silk tie)looked better. But tradition with a touch of iconoclasm has been a Lanvin signature since Ossendrijver started working under Alber Elbaz at the house, and here, it was simply the shapes that had changed. Elsewhere, he extended the dressy/casual dialogue with coats that wrapped with the ease of a bathrobe, and he pushed the technology of the collection with great success. A coat had the dull, rubbery sheen of neoprene, but it was actually one layer of silk wool bonded onto another. Despite the new structure, coats and jackets had a lightness that was achieved by removing linings, bonding the insides with jersey instead. It was lightness that also made a soft suede slip-on look fresher than the patent sneakers (though it wouldn't be a Lanvin show without a shiny shoe).