old glamour beckons a new dawn at lanvin

Bruno Sialelli’s second show for the French label in flux offered a more confident new direction.

by Felix Petty
25 September 2019, 1:29pm

Photography @mitchell_sams

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

Bruno Sialelli staged his second show for Lanvin in the bamboo-lined and tree-canopied winding gardens of the Musee du Quai Branly. The rain from Saint Laurent last night carried through to the morning, but where last night it lent the show a sense of grandeur and scale, here, isolated in little bubbles under a thousand umbrellas, listening to the soundtrack on headphones, it made everything a little more intimate.

“We wanted to immerse people in the moment,” Bruno said, after the show, of the reason to put the soundtrack on headphones rather than speakers. “When, sometimes, we see people in the street with headphones on, we can see it as quite negative and detached and individualistic, but I wanted to find some beauty in that, to see it as a way to connect with ourselves.” This whole collection, in fact, was about that -- an idea of connection, dreams, the individual in the moment. I found myself removing my headphones, enjoying instead the peaceful beauty of this silent fashion show, as the models walked past.

Bruno called the collection “Slumberland”, after a cartoon created by Windsor McCay in 1905, and its hero Little Nemo, who had fantastical adventures in his dreams each night. Bruno's own fantastical dreaming this season saw him travel through time, specifically using the elegance of the 50s as a springboard for his creative adventuring.

“It was about stretching the different strands of the DNA of the house,” he explained. “I built the collection like a book or a movie, with this sense of narrative, moving chapter to chapter. So we touched on the idea of elegance, this silent, expensive, elegance, then more and more trippy, referencing Little Nemo and Slumberland and then at the end we have these incredible, ethereal dresses. I wanted to not talk about real life in a way, fashion can talk about politics and heavy subjects, we live in heavy times of course, but I wanted to touch something dreamy, some mystery, that's why fashion is here as well.”

So dresses came elegantly cut and wrapped to body, sparkling and shimmering or pleated and printed, referencing old glamour of "the jetset from the Hamptons to the Riviera", and craftwork from Egypt and India. Garments were printed with pages from Slumberland, which the men's looks referenced more directly in big sleeping bag coats and loose cut almost-pyjamas. Until Bruno's arrival, Lanvin had been searching for an identity, post-Alber. But he's very quickly managed to stake out a new vision and purpose for the old label. This kind of unfussy, modern beauty. He's still working and refining that vision, but it feels like the label is finally heading in the right direction.



Photography Mitchell Sams

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

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