In 2019 Lanvin celebrated its 130th anniversary. During this time, the symbol of the French brand - a mother and daughter holding hands - became recognizable even among those who had never seen his clothes, shoes, accessories and perfume live. Mother - the founder of the Parisian hat workshop Jeanne Lanvin, daughter - her little muse and first client Marie-Blanche. The outfits that Jeanne sewed for Marie-Blanche in her free time were so popular among the guests of the workshop that they began to order copies from Lanvin for their daughters. Soon, the Frenchwoman took on the design of dresses of all ages, adding elaborate draperies, wide frilled skirts and masterly beading, which eventually made her one of the main mouthpieces of fashion in the 1910s and 1930s.
Corner Lanvin in TSUM © press service
This period is especially liked by one of the successors of Jeanne Lanvin, the creative director of the brand Bruno Sialelli, who replaced Olivier Lapidus in this position in January 2019. “Jeanne Lanvin has brought so much to the fashion industry in terms of both style and organization that her collections are exhibited in museums around the world,” Bruno Sialelli comments in a conversation with. - In the process of studying the archives, I mainly look at her works of the 1920s – 1930s. This is the most significant time of her career, with many innovations and collaborations."
In 1920, Jeanne Lanvin collaborated with interior designer Albert Rato, who, among other things, was responsible for updating the interiors of the brand's stores and the appearance of the bottle of one of the most famous fragrances, Arpège. And a little earlier, Lanvin worked with the French artist Paul Irib, who created the same recognizable Lanvin logo. But the main companion of the designer from an early age was her daughter Marie-Blanche. After the death of Jeanne Lanvin, she stood at the head of the fashion empire.
The ability to revive
After Marie-Blanche, the French brand moved from designer to designer, from corporation to corporation, until Albert Elbaz, a former employee of Guy Laroche, Yves Saint Laurent and Krizia, took over in 2001. From that moment on, a new era in the history of Lanvin began - no less loud, spectacular and beautiful, as under Jeanne herself.
The designer managed to shift everything that the founder of the fashion house loved so much - draperies, frills, beads, organza bows and fur capes - on the minimalism of the end of the last century and the glamor of the new. Alber Elbaz skillfully guessed what a woman needed right now, for which he was called a ladies' man in the press.
“Yves Saint Laurent gave women strength, Chanel contributed to their emancipation. When I joined Lanvin I thought, "What can I contribute?" - Elbaz said in an interview in 2011. - But one day I got a message from my friend from New York - she was riding in a taxi to meet her stupid ex-husband and wrote to me: "Albert, I'm in a Lanvin dress and I feel so protected." It was the greatest compliment I have ever received. 500 grams of silk gave her a sense of security - it made me very happy."
Albert Elbaz at the Lanvin Spring / Summer 2016 show © Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
In 2015, Alber Elbaz was fired, which came as a surprise to both the fashion community and himself. From now on, the mention of the Lanvin brand was associated not with achievements, collaborations or commercial success, but with personnel changes: Bukhra Jarrar came to replace Alber Elbaz, Olivier Lapidus replaced Jarrar, Bruno Sialelli replaced Lapidus. And only the work of the latter begins to gradually return the French fashion house to its former capacities.
“Bruno Sialelli filled the house with youthful energy, combining medieval motives and Japanese comics,” wrote The New York Times. "He has great talent and a fantastic inner world," enthused The Business of Fashion. “Prior to Bruno's arrival, Lanvin tried to find his post-Albert DNA. But the designer very quickly managed to come up with a new vision and a new goal for the old brand. A kind of unassuming modern beauty. He is still working and improving this vision, but it seems that the house is finally moving in the right direction,”added iD.
Even the fashion critic and Vogue author Luc Leitch, who after the first two shows of Bruno Sialelli's women's collections for Lanvin defeated him for keeping the aesthetics of his former place of work - Loewe ("Sailor collars? How long can you?"), Has recently changed his anger for mercy. “The designer recognized the wonderful value of Jeanne Lanvin's legacy,” Litch noted the degree to which Sialelli was immersed in fashion archives.
Ability to dream
If Bruno Sialelli asked himself the same question that once worried Alber Elbaz, he would probably answer: "I teach Lanvin's audience to dream." He dedicated the men's collection of the spring-summer 2020 season to the characters of the children's book by Jean de Brunoff “The Story of Babar” (elephants, busy with their daily activities, appeared on minimalistic jackets, T-shirts and bibs). A season later, he turned to the image of the sailor Corto Maltese from the comics of the same name by Hugo Pratt (hence the coats, capes, rubber boots and supposedly cartoon polka-dot vests). And in the current spring-summer collection I remembered the protagonist of "Baby Nemo" Winsor McKay (scenes from his adventures are depicted on elongated shirts, pleated trousers and bright cardigans).
In a conversation with, the designer comments on his moodboard as follows: “'Baby Nemo' is a story about the fantastic and heroic dreams of a young boy who every night tries to find a princess in Slumberland. I love the idea of dreams and the desire to believe in those dreams. Sometimes it seems to me that fashion no longer dreams. It is very important for me not to forget about how we were in childhood, when we had time to get bored, to get lost in our fantasies. Characters from children's fairy tales are part of our personal history, they help us return to forgotten times."
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Meeting audience demands
Today Bruno Sialelli is essentially doing the same thing that Jeanne Lanvin and Albert Elbaz once did: he meets the spirit of the times and the audience's request. Monochromatic black dresses, seemingly stripped of everything that their predecessors loved, are followed by luxurious coats with carved collars, striped men's suits, which the designer wore during his work at Loewe, are combined with underground wide sneakers, and simple T-shirts with a logo brands (often the most democratic item in collections) are shown together with leather jackets of a straight silhouette from the characteristic image of a businessman. In this kaleidoscope of new products, it is difficult for buyers not to find something of their own. At the same time, we can say that the designer leads them, reflects current trends, rethinks historical archives and shows a personal vision of modern fashion.
“I communicate with my generation, because we have the same references, the same language, the same things that are interesting to us. But I believe Lanvin also needs to keep its loyal customers who are still coming in today and better still, coming back,”Sialelli comments on his approach.
1 of 15 Lanvin dress (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin bag (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin trench (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin bag (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin jumper (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin shorts (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin pendant (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin dress (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin belt (tsum.ru) © press service -service Lanvin dress (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin polo shirt (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin jacket (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin trousers (tsum.ru) © press service Lanvin sneakers (tsum.ru) © press service Ring Lanvin (tsum.ru) © press service
Desire to go my own way
Despite the fact that today's Lanvin is favored by critics and buyers alike, it lacks the "instagram", which last year put Daniel Lee on a pedestal. Creative director Bottega Veneta has designed several accessories that have become blockbuster social media, including the dumpling bag, light square toe sandals, rough chelsea with a wide platform and clutches with a reimagined iconic intrecciato weave. And so, at the last show of the Lanvin women's collection for the fall-winter 2020/21 season, a potential bestseller got into the lens of photographers. Among the clothes, as if entirely made according to the patterns of Jeanne Lanvin, a handbag appeared, resembling a donut box.
Bruno Sialelli himself explains that doing a thing only so that it appears on social networks or street style chronicles is not his method. “Accessories are an integral part of my collections: they complete the looks, emphasize the concept. In the process of creating them, I don't think about how to suggest them to Instagram or something similar. I only think about how to offer them to Lanvin. The box bag was part of my story for the show. I found the idea very interesting and the object itself beautiful. It's great that the accessory was well received by the audience and made a splash online. I hope this will continue to happen in the coming months and years,”the designer commented ambitiously.>