Saturday, 4 December 2010

Alber Elbaz, Dress Whisperer


In the eight years that Elbaz has been designing for Lanvin, the oldest surviving French fashion house, he has transformed it from a dusty artifact of the past into something influential and prominent. His vision has also started to trickle down to the mass market. {Who doesn't love Lanvin for H&M?}

Who the hell is Alber Elbaz?
Elbaz worries constantly and openly, and there seems to be something fundamental about him in need of comforting. If he is melancholy and heavy, his clothes are joyful and weightless. He often describes his work as “classic with a twist.”

Elbaz was born in Morocco. When he was eight months old, his family, like many other Sephardic Jews at the time, moved to Israel. He left home in 1985 and moved to New York to pursue a career in fashion. Geoffrey Beene hired him as an assistant designer and served as his mentor for seven years.

In 1997, Elbaz moved to Paris to become head designer at Guy Laroche. After Elbaz had spent just over a decade in the business, Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, recruited him to be head of ready-to-wear for Y.S.L. In November 1999, the Gucci Group, headed by Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole, bought Y.S.L. Two months later, Elbaz was dismissed and Ford was installed as head designer. Elbaz was devastated. Ford both reflected and shaped the culture of the nineties. He made it cool to flaunt. But in our current moment Tom Ford, with his cufflinks that cost as much as a car and his naked-men-on-bearskin-rugs aesthetic, seems distant and comical. Elbaz doesn’t want to define trends. He wants his designs to be timeless.

Elbaz and his dreams: Lanvin
Like Elbaz, Jeanne Lanvin sought to design fashion that transcended seasonal fads. She found founded her label in 1889, starting out as a milliner and later dressing Paris’s upper class. The company built a name with ultrafeminine clothing, marked by elaborate trimmings like embroidery and beading, as well as its popular fragrances.

After a period of decline at the end of the twentieth century, Lanvin found new financial and critical success with the 2001 arrival of designer Alber Elbaz, who is frequently lauded for his technical skill and innate sense of what women want to wear. The Israeli designer has made Lanvin one of fashion's most coveted labels.

Today, it’s the oldest French fashion house in operation. And while it encompasses menswear, it is best loved among editors and celebs for exquisitely made womenswear. Duchesse satin, cocktail-length frocks (often with one shoulder), dressed-up cigarette pants, and volume experimentation are signatures.

Pictures via The New Yorker

1 comment:

Nura said...

He's such an amazing designer! I'm in love with colours and stuff.

Thanks a lot for your sweet comment. Do you like 'Muse with Style' as Muse can be defined as one of the nine goddesses, in ancient Greek and Roman stories, who were believed to give encouragement in different areas of literature, art and music. And isn’t fashion and style a part of art? It's just like your 'name'

I love your help.

x Nura from 'World Of Fashion Inspiration'