Monday, March 30, 2009

Alber Gets the Girls.

This is an older interview from The New York Times with Mr. Alber Elbaz, the genius designer behind Lanvin, who is one of my fashion loves. This former Israeli soldier has the most brilliant visual sense. His draping, his odd choices, his ability to make dresses that manifest female desire, it's all unique to him. I also really love his round-rimmed glasses and bow ties. Really love them.

I can't stop watching this interview, and there is a profile of him that appeared in The New Yorker's style issue that keeps coming up in conversations with my friends. Both bits of journalism made me realize that his clothes are as amazing as they are because he somehow really understands being a woman. He talks about it a lot, the perfectionism that women have to contend with, the body image issues they have, and he shares those hang-ups as well. He demands perfection of himself, he struggles with his weight and shape. His clothes are rare in the fashion industry because they are really for women. The sex appeal of Lanvin clothing is not in the display of cleavage and buttocks (which he makes brilliant mention of in the video), it is in the shape and sharpness. There is something smart about his work, something so subtle and styled just right that makes the wearer look sophisticated and strong, but still has that magic feminine quality. The first time I ever heard of Elbaz, was when a fashion insider made a comment about his female friends being obsessed with the Lanvin look, like it was some sort of illicit substance. Turns out it is; it's smart feminine sexiness with an air of sophistication. It's powerful stuff, addictive even. Designer drug.

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