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alber elbaz honoured by french government during pfw

During his speech, he apologised to the audience — he'd hoped they would've been watching him send clothes down the runway instead.

by Isabelle Hellyer
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04 October 2016, 11:10am

Alber Elbaz has been named a Commander of the Légion d'Honneur by French culture minister Audrey Azoulay. The Légion is the highest decoration given by the nation, intended to acknowledge the work of those who've offered an outstanding service to the country. Though it is traditionally awarded to French nationals, a number of foreigners have received the honour — Elbaz is now one of them.

The Moroccan-Israeli designer helmed Lavin for 14 years, before his shock exit last year. He received the Légion for his fine work at the storied French house. At the time of Elbaz's ousting, former French culture minister Jack Lang called the event "an unbearable and unspeakable injustice." Lang continued, "Talent is not dismissible and our country should be proud of the great Alber Elbaz. He is one of our national treasures."

Elbaz accepted the Légion at a Paris ceremony. WWD reported there were a number of former Lanvin executives in the audience. In his acceptance speech Elbaz assured supporters he was keen to return to work; "I'm still in love with fashion and I miss fashion and I miss you all."

"One day we may be back together, but maybe another place," he continued, "It's the people I miss." He also offered the audience an apology of sorts, quipping "here I am during fashion week, inviting you to a show without dresses." We hope to see Elbaz again soon.

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Text Isabelle Hellyer
Image via Instagram