Lanvin Spring 2013 | Runway

Lanvin Spring 2013

Lanvin Spring 2013 | Runway

Back to black: that seemed to be the message Alber Elbaz was sending at the beginning of his Spring 2013 show for Lanvin. After a decade of tastefully decorated jewel-tone dresses, what could be fresher than a few strong-shouldered suits (all the cool kids in Paris are doing them) and sexy, skin-baring frocks and shirts?

The black pieces weren't basic, though. Many referenced the '80s with shoulder pads and nodded to menswear with a variety of lapels — one jacket combined a black satin shawl-collar lapel on the left and a white and black notch lapel on the right.

With other black pieces, decorations came like an avalanche. Sequins and rhinestones adorned a selection of pants, jackets, and shirts toward the middle of the show, and these gave way to much simpler pieces in black and white. But by the end of the show, Elbaz was back to his old tricks, featuring lighthearted dresses in a rainbow of hues. If the colors there were similar to what we've seen from this house in the past, the cuts were new, less fussy, and more geometric. It was the perfect way to blend where Lanvin has been with where Lanvin is going.