Bouquets are due Alber Elbaz for excellent taste and innovative design aimed directly at the sophisticated women of the world. His spring collection for Lanvin was a rare vision of luxurious dressing, balancing luster with rawness in a grown-up, wearable way.

Elbaz composed the collection from four basic elements: rough-woven linen and gauzes, black satin ribbon, crystal jewelry and a color palette that ran from browns through bronze to dull gold. He started by taking on the difficult and much-neglected day suit, modernizing it by doing unlined, slubby jackets and skirts, leaving the edges raw and putting sheer blouses decorated with crystal and sequins underneath. The beauty was in the narrowness of the cut and the put-together look: flat Roman sandals made from satin ribbon, and hair pulled back in high buns and covered in black silk scarves, twinkling with a cool adaptation of the tiara. The designer also has a genius for dresses, which came in many variations on the goddess theme. The most exciting had clear silicone straps and what appeared to be integral jewelry at the neckline, creating the illusion that the whole garment was suspended by magic from the naked shoulder. Other evening options came in liquid gold satin and in a terra-cotta African-influenced print.

As a collection, Lanvin was a highly considered—and considerate—piece of work, executed with an impressive degree of respect for real women.