Alber Elbaz is a very hard act to follow — he was (almost) universally beloved and the dramatic story of his firing has made waves in the media. Lanvin's pre-fall 2016 collection provides the first glimpse of what a post-Elbaz world might look like, though it raises more questions than it answers. In the absence of a proper creative director, womenswear designer Chemena Kamali, who joined the brand from Chloe right before Elbaz left, and Lucio Finale, who was head of women's bags for a year before the departure, are leading design through the fall 2016 collection.
Kamali cited the New Romantics, an early '80s pop culture movement in the U.K., as an inspiration to WWD, and that manifests in frilly tops and slouchy velvet. But it's not the dominating theme. Theres's also masculine tweed and trench coats, delicate slip dresses, simple boxy trousers, bohemian flowy dresses, fringe, leopard and shiny coated cottons and patent leather. In lieu of the kind of unified aesthetic Elbaz was often praised for delivering, Kamali provides a wide-ranging collection that might serve as a useful transition to a more edited fall runway collection and, ultimately, the vision of whomever Lanvin ends up hiring for the top job. In the meantime, the show must go on — no matter how fraught the politics behind-the-scenes in Paris.
See the full Lanvin pre-fall 2016 collection below.