I interviewed Stella McCartney recently. Despite being told she would never have a successful fashion label without an accessories line comprising of real leather bags and shoes, she has triumphed. This is the thing she is most proud of. In a time where business ethics and sustainability are questioned, house styles and codes will prevail to establish authenticity. Today at Lanvin, the python skin boots, lambskin ballerina pumps, feather embellishments and calfskin shoes were showcased alongside fashion that sadly didn't feel equally as luxurious - and only offered a case study of the potentially vacuous role that ready-to-wear can play within the marketing mix. Ready-to-wear might not be a house's best seller, but it can always sell accessories and perfume.
Bouchra Jarrar has earned a stellar reputation for making minimalism work within couture. Without a decent budget for fabrics here at Lanvin, it is very difficult to translate this haute-louche aesthetic into ready-to-wear. The balance book was well and truly open. It was plain to see on the runway. The collection needs more financial investment?
Chain-lined python style boots, sparkly lurex and sequin-striped coats felt like high street attempts to add value without investing much value. Nonetheless, two of the later coats looked weightier, and were much more desirable.
Phrases like 'airy' and 'powder pink' were in the show notes. A barely-there style of minimal girlishness rendered a kind of kitsch that was at times strangely inviting. At others, the styling sadly took it a step too far. White fishnets in the hands of someone like Marc Jacobs or John Galliano could potentially work - as they would no doubt be collaged into a pop culture infused get up - or styled in an unhinged, artistic manner. Here was no place for ironic statements. The collection wasn't grounded enough in luxury to start making concertedly bad taste hosiery choices. Likewise, Dior can put tutus on the runway - because it is Dior. Hell, it can even put a slogan tee on the runway, because there is craft and expense elsewhere in the collection. But here at Lanvin, only a single finale rose appliqué dress did - at last - offer a welcome note of luxury and the artisan