Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor…The Lanvin man was playing dress-up for S/S 14. One minute he was a sailor in a white t-shirt and oversized navy trousers, then a policeman in a stiff black jacket and black leather bumbag. The uniform-aspect of Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz's S/S 14 collection was very apt given the costumes on show around Paris' clubs and bars the night before the show (it had been gay pride at 2pm). Indeed, there was was something fetishistic about this showing. Those ultra-short shorts and those panelled vests, one of which came in nude giving the illusion of the wearer sporting only a strip of metallic tape across his chest, were clothes for pulling. The obvious sexuality of these key pieces was matched by a darker sensuality and romance that ran thoughout the collection, from the casting - all brooding boys with sunken eyes and piercings - to the outerwear, including a particularly saucy black leather trench.
Ossendrijver may have been channelling uniform in his aesthetic, but he was eschewing uniformity. Unlike so many other designers this season he resisted the temptation to preach a new trend or style, instead he offered choice. The Lanvin man could be whoever he wanted for S/S 14 - a working man in an neat navy suit or a punkish playboy in a skinny tie and bomber - such was the range of fashion and characters on show. And isn't that what dress-up is all about - fantasy? And as we all know, good fashion always has its roots in the art of transformation.