03.01.13 4:02 PM ET
Lanvin's Artful Fall Mix
It was showtime on Thursday night at the Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2013 catwalk in Paris, but it was hard to gauge the mood of designer Alber Elbez as guests arrived.
Retro waiters served sugary popcorn and soft drinks at the historic Ecole des Beaux Arts, a fabled art school with little in common with your local multiplex, where the fashion flock were stacked up to the rafters on wooden benches, nattering to the sounds of live mellow music performed from the runway by some hipsters with a double base.
But the popcorn was as far as the film theme went, unlike a myriad shows this season. This is Paris after all. So wearing flat shoes, emblematic of this collection for ultra-feminine women unafraid of their masculine side, Elbaz sent out a gorgeous, sophisticated-yet-easy line up, with eye-catching twists to the designs. There was a corset-like effect for a cocktail dress and two-tone chic fur jackets, and insects crawling across the surfaces of dresses in 3D.
More mannish included a military-style ensemble and a suit created in men’s tailoring fabrics, with a skirt which swished across the body, with a wrap around jacket, proving the perfect answer for those tomboy moments.
Richly embellished numbers, included the opening black dresses, which had both floral prints and floral appliqués.
The idea could be seen as well on cocktail looks in insect prints with appliqués winged insects resting on them. Witty message necklaces spelled out “Cool,” and “Happy.”
Dress designs ran the gauntlet from simple and sophisticated to romantic gathered silk skirts juxtaposed with a simple masculine shirt and exaggerated hour-glass designs and asymmetrical cuts.
Raw cut leather coats, and ruffles in all shapes and sizes provided a dainty edge.
In short, Elbaz sent out stylish women with the balls to carry off any look and flaunt it -- who can embrace the masculine yet keep it feminine.