January 12, 2009
Riffing on the recession at a Lanvin pre-fall presentation, Alber Elbaz argued that looking glamorous is a feminine survival instinct. He's got a point. With the economic forecast as dire as it is, we may feel glum, but who wants to look it? There was a Jazz Age decadence to looks like a Wedgwood blue tulle cloud minidress, a patchworked fur cropped jacket, and a tiered and scalloped long lace dress with a bronze crystal underlay. But this designer knows the charms of the makeshift, too; the label's signature necklaces were laced together with velvet like "pieces from your grandmother's jewelry box." And since we can't all sit out the economic downturn at a Paris café smoking cigarettes and sipping Pernod, Elbaz gave equal play to day looks: A jersey dress was draped from a single piece of fabric, and a jacket came with an elasticized belt for shape so, he explained, "you don't look fat." Which, we all know, is just as important as looking glam.