lanvin will leave you longing for a summer holiday
Bruno Sialelli’s revival of Paris’s oldest house continued with an ode to the idleness of summer days.
Photography Sam Hellmann
“It’s a collection about my idea of summer holidays and the utopia of summer,” Bruno Sialelli explained post-show. Shown inside the natural light-filled, Lucien Pollet-designed Pailleron swimming pool, guests -- who watched on from individual changing rooms -- were taken on a summer getaway, if only for a few minutes. Here, the 31-year-old ex-menswear Design Director of Loewe presented his official Lanvin men’s debut -- a cheeky celebration of coming-of-age summer that continued his revitalisation of Paris’ oldest house.
“I think we all need a holiday,” he told the gathering of iPhone-wielding reviewers. On the final day of Paris Fashion Week, with 100 plus fashion shows behind each of us, few would disagree. The same could be said of the house that he now leads. It’s been a drama-filled few years for Lanvin. Since Alber Elbaz departed his role as Creative Director in 2015, the narrative surrounding the label has read more like the plot of a Netflix series, with its succession of creative directors and owners: Olivier Lapidus and Bouchra Jarrar each led the womenswear division for a short while, the company was sold to Chinese luxury conglomerate Fosun Fashion Group, and Lucas Ossendrijver left as Creative Director of their menswear line after 14 years. The label took a critical hammering. After his appointment back in January, Bruno told us that he was “excited for this beautiful challenge,” and two collections in, his energy is infectious.
“I love my job but holidays are always the best part of our lives and I wanted to express something very bright and playful,” he said backstage. Rather than take itself too seriously, this collection once again revealed that Bruno’s magpie-like eclectic vision for Lanvin is fun, free, playful and youthful. “We wanted to express something easy, cool and French,” he added.
The collection reimagined familiar seaside tropes, and, like his accomplished February debut, whimsical echoes to the life and travels of Jeanne Lanvin, and subtle nods to Jean Cocteau, Barbar and more. “We know Lanvin is an eveningwear house where you find beautiful flou and colours, but Jeanne was a lifestyle woman too -- from very early on she was doing menswear, sportswear, furniture… I think it’s still very valid,” he told us back in February.
Here, Lanvin blue was the main colour for summer. The historical shade of the house -- Jeanne had worked with a palette of 18 different tones -- was paired with colours of the sun and sand -- ochres, oranges, tobaccos and yellows. Bruno looked to the archives for outerwear tailoring with blue wool gazar duffle coats taking inspiration from the founder’s couture opera coats, while suits came in striped seersucker or with all-over sequins.
Across the forty-five menswear and fifteen womenswear silhouettes, gender fluidity and diversity were abound. Sailing between Taormina, Capri and the Greek islands, Bruno diverted the codes of his "catamaran bourgeoisie" mischievously by opting them for a form of naivety in masculinity. Beautiful boys wore silk cardigans, oiled short coats with boy scout cotton shorts and gladiator shoes, or cargo pants and cross jackets with oversized sailor collars. Following in the global traveller steps of Jeanne Lanvin, the Lanvin girls headed out from Capri to Goa in long, silk, psychedelic printed dresses. The message for everyone was the same; chic can be effortless and dressing up isn’t always necessary. Oh, and book that summer holiday because we all need one.
Photography Sam Hellmann