#SuzyPFW: Lanvin’s New Designer Takes A Mediaeval Route
When you think you know every place in Paris suited to a fashion show and then a new one pops up, it arouses immediate interest in the designer.
The first Lanvin show under Bruno Sialelli as creative director was held in a noble building with arches and cloisters dating back to mediaeval times. In a space encased by hefty stone walls, the clothes looked colourful – even when that meant the pale sky blue streak of an ankle length dress that opened the show, or the rich turquoise, or baby blue that came after.
A double-breasted jacket and a Norwegian plaid rug were both in this autumn/winter 2019’s favourite orange. But this designer was not like any other – except perhaps in the style of his recent job at Loewe, with a few twists from another stint at Balmain.
Sialelli, from the southern French city of Marseille, seemed overwhelmed by his new role at age 31. But his collection was assured and appropriate, with its male/female designs always with an elongated silhouette but sometimes broken up by a mediaeval manuscript inscription or by contemporary patterns.
“It was such an emotional moment for me and all the team behind me,” the designer said. “Lanvin is a beautiful house, they are expert people and they love their work and they are supporting me so much. Since I arrived, there has been such a beautiful energy and everybody wants to understand the project.”
Like every house re-generated for a new generation, Sialelli has a task that has defeated other designers: to be loyal to the codes of the original Jeanne Lanvin back in the 1920s – and to take the desire level back to 2012 when designer Alber Elbaz was at the helm.
There was nothing specific to Lanvin past or recent present, but the looks seemed appropriate to the name on the label. That included a charming pattern of mermaids riding a wave and more familiar stencils of flowers. Big animalistic prints looked striking.
“I wanted to redefine the wardrobe of Lanvin, so I started to investigate the archive, I understood that Jeanne Lanvin was what we would call today a self-made woman – she started very early to include lifestyle to day and eveningwear. She was even doing sportswear and furniture.”
But what about the mediaeval influence in various graphics and in the set for the show?
“Jeanne Lanvin worked a lot around this idea – she made a mediaeval dress called ‘Perceval’,” the new designer said. “Then I fell in love with this location and I thought it was very interesting to work on this mediaeval idea.”
Let’s hope he can develop this ‘MM’ route: Mediaeval But Modern.