Author Azar Nafisi once wrote, “what we search for in fiction is not so much reality, but the epiphany of truth”. This stays true as a decree to literature, but is also a surprising lens through which we could examine Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver’s latest efforts in Lanvin’s Fall/Winter 2010 collection. Threading pieces reminiscent of an Edwardian past with futuristic components have somehow transformed the collection into a tapestry of another dimension and created a world familiar yet abject to our understanding. The easiest way to filter it through pop culture could possibly call for a comparison to Matrix and Final Fantasy. Yet it is in this fictional world (the show’s atmosphere was set with heavy electric marching beats juxtaposing haunting vocals) where Elbaz and Ossendrijver attempts to re-imagine the modern man– the one who lives a dichotomy of the refined gentlemen and a tough, rugged traveler ready to conquer the streets (which incidentally, closing the gap between street and luxury has also been the label’s direction for the past few seasons).
The collection seems combatant in nature, as dark palettes worked their way through the somber beats lighting up the runway. There seems to be a partisanship in styles– there is that Edwardian soldier (in cooler colors of black, grey, navy and white) lifted from his royal soiree and drafted unexpectedly into war, as his sleek tailcoat topping off a fitting pleated shirt and capped with bow tie is worn with tall combat boots. Then, there are the rugged rogues (in a warmer, sedimentary palette) who wander in heavy knits or long, exaggerated, stiffly collared trenches that sway with a walk of purpose. While knits and traditional well-tailored suiting with contemporary cuts are not exactly strangers in the industry, the collection is best highlighted with technical details that draw the otherworldly element into the crowd. Elongated leather trench coats come with removable zippered sleeves, colorful bow-ties are shredded with an unfinished sentiment, airy pants sport large 3D pockets and belts are wide waist bands made up of layering and contrasting straps. To top it off, leather knapsacks of galactic proportions and digital camo prints bring a sharp, futuristic edge to the collection. While Elbaz and Ossendrijver seem to attempt the fusion of street with sophistication, class and luxury season after season to great effect with winning approval and applause, this season is by far a wonderful culmination of the attempt where the modern, refined gentleman on the move is finally sartorially defined. images via: Swipelife and GQ