Alber Elbaz and co. get big points for the Lanvin presentation this morning. There's nothing like stylishly coifed, oversize puppet head mannequins to break through the noise of back-to-back Pre-Fall presentations. The collection itself proved equally charming. Elbaz said he's observed that "women are looking for more reality" from their clothes. As a designer known first and foremost for cocktail fare, his task was to "bring Lanvin into daywear," without sacrificing the label's signature joie de vivre.

That meant that a smoking jacket was paired with track pants boasting tuxedo stripes down the sides, and that a glamorous leopard-spot coat was actually made from a woven black-and-white jacquard. Elbaz did a lot of clever thinking about outerwear. A duffel built on a grosgrain ribbon base had the slouched-on ease of a cardigan, while what looked like a shearling was actually a jersey coat bonded with an outer layer of mohair, and thus superlight.

He took a similarly lighthearted approach to his eveningwear. A bottle-green tent gown was essentially just a T-shirt. The jaunty bow at the hip of a strapless LBD was actually part of its construction. Most winningly, Elbaz trimmed a one-shoulder jersey party dress in scads of black feathers. Whoever wears that number to the Globes this weekend is bound to have some fun.