The highly anticipated Lanvin/H&M collaboration designed by Alber Elbaz is finally revealed in Vogue UK.
As is to be expected, there are lots and lots of ruffles paired with asymmetrical/single shoulder tops on cocktail dresses and nipped in waists–details that have come to define the iconic looks of Lanvin on the red carpet. The bright colours of indigo, lemon yellow and candy apple pop throughout the collection, giving it a cheeky kick of saturated hues. However, the colour black seems to be the ruling shade, disappointingly, since most autumn/winter collections gravitate toward the dark side, and this fashion house has been known to infuse more colour into its collections than the majority in the industry.
While I am not necessarily blown away by the collection, I am definitely intrigued by it. Ruffle details are copious and abundant during the fall and spring shows on many different labels, yet somehow Lanvin always seems to do it with more panache, more variety. And the cocktail dresses are fun, slightly audacious, flirty little numbers that breathe life into the lifelessness of winter.
However, there are definitely some dubious design choices here:
The overdose of tulle on the sweetheart dress brings to mind a black version of Madonna rolling about a stage floor. It’s a bit too 80’s, especially with the very cute but very neon saffron sash and profusion of layers. It also strikes me that it would be very noisy and very itchy to wear.
Then there is the taffeta puff long sleeve dress. The stiffness and slight sheen of the fabric isn’t exactly flattering to most body shapes. The tapered, round pouf of the sleeves has this unflattering, bulky sort of effect, which gives the impression of arm flab–a look most women would kill to rid themselves of.
And the faux fur jacket in the style of Chanel…? I know faux fur is a trend this season, but that is not an excuse to do it so badly, just for the sake of including it as a feature in a collection. The brown trim around the collar, the hem lines and on the pockets is far too long and furry, while the tan fur on the body of the jacket is a bit bulky, adding heft. The gradient of the fur pattern, while more on the natural side, still seems clowny to me, a caricature of an albino Wookie.
A few of the cocktail dresses could have been a little less over the top. For example, the pink ruffly number with a matching dress in a metallic bronze. It looks like a wedding cake turned on its head. The bright rose pink is, in and of itself, lovely, but with with one layer of ruffles on the top and bottom too many, gathered too tightly. It strikes me as a very terrible 80’s bridesmaid dress gone horribly, horribly wrong. The bodice is fine, with its nipped-in waist, but the gathering on the skirt is a little too frilly, followed by a huge splash of flared-out, double tiers of ruffles. Honestly, it is just too much ruffle, too much gathering. And to me, while it is cringe-worthy in the Pepto-pink, it is absolutely horrendous in the metallic bronze. Mr. Elbaz could have nixed these two dresses and had a much more cohesive, stronger collection for it.
Stand out pieces to me: The asymmetrical draping ruffle sleeve black cocktail dress, the yellow single shoulder ruffle cocktail dress and the faux fur gilet. The statement necklaces are pretty nice as well; bright, bright little baubles for a fraction of the price of their more expensive sisters.
The rest of the collection are standard knits in leggings and casual cardigans. The true hallmarks of the collection are the wintry party pieces that speak of deep flirtation, endless gossip and nights that fade into morning twilight.
The collection launches in H&M stores on November 20th.
What is/are your favourite piece or pieces?
See the full collection at Vogue UK.
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