If in doubt, stick the industry in a dark room in The Grand Palais. Stick some hot lights on. And play some techno. It was a formula of sorts - and this house needs some stability, for sure. Jeanne Lanvin wasn't a brand. She was a designer. A great designer. Now, the owners of Lanvin clearly just want Lanvin to be a brand. But Lanvin won't work unless the owners respect the fact that designers make brands. With Alber Albaz and Boucha Jarrar out, it is now the turn of Olivier Lapidus. Son of Ted Lapidus, and a lovely looking chap.
This season, I swear the ghost of Jeanne of Lanvin was in the room somewhere. Guests' glasses, phones, and personal belongings kept flying everywhere. Jeanne Lanvin was never known for a tuxedo suit but it is a sure fire retail hit, so the collection started with some. Then we moved onto some bias cut cocktail dresses. In between those were some interesting hybrid constructions of wrap around skirts, bikinis and a low slung trouser belt. A frock coat bandeau style dress, worn with some mannish black trousers and shoes was strong - and a good continuation on from what Jarrar had started to build at the house.
The show music moved on from the nondescript techno to an operatic vocal, a gypsy jig of violins - and then back to some techno. It was like lift music from a rather passé hotel. It didn't add any dynamism to the collection. The non-committal attitude - even to the playlist - felt as if the house was biding its time until it considers its next move. The most interesting shapes in the collection were some lovely cloche style coats. Rather Pierre Cardin. And really rather desirable. The oddest thing about the collection was the label's attempt to invent a monogram. At a time like this, it seemed rather ambitious to expect people to want to cover themselves with a house logo, when the house's creative identity is somewhat at sea. Some Lanvin logo clutches were pop and brash - the word ‘Lanvin’ jauntily shouted its way across them. Alber Albaz got away with such kitsch because we knew who he was. Incredibly talented. The owners of house of Lanvin need to go back to the drawing board.