Alber Elbaz loves to tease us. First he played with our heads by making us guess his identity, then he revealed just one ad, and now he's letting us preview his entire H&M line through a lookbook and short film starring himself, as well as models Natasha Poly, Tati Cotliar, and Irina Lazareanu. Not only is the storyline mysteriously fun, but the wardrobe is also to die for. Lanvin styles at H&M prices — fabulous! Click through to see them right now, then shop it on Nov. 20.
>> The Lanvin for H&M collection short film debuts tomorrow, but Alber Elbaz wasn't always so keen on doing a high-low collaboration: “I never wanted to do it, because it seemed like giving ideas away — like giving a child for adoption. But everything in life is timing. I feel that the world is changing.”
He, too, is changing his tune, and sees the collaboration as "not merely a dress for less — it was more a laboratory for me to understand things." He continues: “It was an exercise for me to understand what is the relationship between high fashion and fast fashion. Ninety-five percent of women cannot afford [Lanvin], so let them have a taste. It’s like if I was living in a palace and opened some doors and said, ‘Have tea with me, taste the food.’ It’s not about giving away something that belonged to someone else; it’s about sharing.”
But don't expect a Lanvin diffusion collection — Elbaz says the H&M collection wasn't a test for anything like that: “No, the beauty of our business is that we can do things and then move on. This project with H&M was about being relevant to a moment. I have always said that we are not a cool brand. It’s not about being cool or not. We try to be relevant. I’m not going into the cool club. It’s not my address.”
Lanvin's Spring 2011 Show Was Filled With Flats Because Only 12 Models Could Wear the Painful Runway Heels
>> When it comes to Alber Elbaz's mantra at Lanvin, he sums it up as thus: “Editors can hate me; women — no." On that note, the prevalence of flat shoes on Lanvin's Spring 2011 runway could be interpreted as a nod to comfort, but Elbaz says it was actually a last minute decision backstage, and that all of the models were originally wearing vertiginous titanium heels.
“It was a nightmare,” recalls Elbaz. “We did the rehearsal and all of a sudden I saw the girls couldn’t walk. I saw the agony in their faces. They were shaking; they looked like alcoholic girls. Only 10 or 12 [of the models] said they could walk in the heels. But the ones that couldn’t were, like, 37 of them. I got very emotional — not that I got mad at them — but I got very emotional that they didn’t complain. You know what? Damn it with image. You can be stubborn and go after an image, but I’m not an image-maker; I’m a dressmaker. If you don’t feel good in something, you don’t look good with it.” And that's how the flat sandals from the label's Spring 2011 commercial collection were switched out for the heels.
Jacquelyn Jablonski, one of the few who wore the heels for the show, told Models.com: "One of my most memorable moments of fashion week was at the Lanvin show. Every time a girl came back after walking, they were out of breath and practically limping because the heels were super high (but gorgeous) and the runway was so long!"
But the heels will still be produced, Elbaz says: “We are rethinking the whole construction. I always say fashion for me is almost like contemporary art. When does the painter know the painting is finished? It’s not a house you built and say, ‘OK, is done.’”
As the retailer continues to tease the collection — which includes clothing, jewelry, hats, sunglasses, handbags, footwear and even lipstick — one thing is guaranteed: we'll get a better look on Nov. 2, when H&M posts a short film of the collection, directed by Mike Figgis, on its website. A fashion show for the collection is also planned for Nov. 18 at The Pierre Hotel in New York, and will include some one-off customized looks to be auctioned online afterward, with proceeds going to Unicef. The collection hits stores a few days after, on Nov. 23.
First we got the teaser of the century — who can the next H&M designer collaboration be? — then it was confirmed: Lanvin For H&M! There are 10 details we are dying to see, and so far, it looks like five of them are being met. Ruffles, cool separates, menswear, texture, embellishments — they'll all be in stores starting Nov. 20. Here's your first peek. Are you getting excited?
Be sure to check out FabSugarTV's interview with Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz!
>> H&M has finally had enough with the no-clothes teasing of its upcoming Lanvin collaboration and released a first look at the collection. The campaign, shot by David Sims and styled by Camille Bidault Waddington, shows Hannelore Knuts, Jane Schmitt, Tati Cotliar, and Natasha Poly, from left to right, in dresses that hark back to past Lanvin runway collections. The full, highly anticipated collection will be revealed Nov. 2 in a short film on H&M's website and hits stores Nov. 23.
>> Rumors have Olivier Theyskens waiting to take over at Lanvin in 2012, but how about some rumors on top of rumors? Hint reports: "Remember years ago when Theyskens, at only 25, was interviewing at Givenchy and asked for a salary twice that of [Alexander] McQueen's when he started? (They refused.) Well, he's either a skilled negotiator or self-saboteur. We hear that in the last several years he's turned down the job at both Valentino — despite a fortune proposed by Marzotto Group — and Dior. And get this: it seems he turned down Dior not once, but twice. Why? Because, according to conventional wisdom, there is no life after Dior. Many see it as an ailing house and view John Galliano as a protege of Helene Arnault, wife of LVMH (and Dior) owner Bernard Arnault." [Hint]
>> H&M is continuing their Lanvin for H&M video onslaught, whetting our appetites until the collection's online debut on the H&M website Nov. 2. Last week, it was Alber Elbaz sketching, and this week, it's Natasha Poly and Elbaz in scenes from the collection's campaign shoot. Although there are no peeks — the clothes are pixelated out — Poly, who has seen and worn the clothes, gushes: "The clothes are amazing. All the dresses, the skirts, the shapes, the fabrics . . . all are really, really amazing. I think I'm going to be in the shop myself . . . I'm going to buy a lot of stuff for myself as well."
>> We won't see a peek of the upcoming Lanvin for H&M collection until exactly 18 days before it hits stores, when the collection is unveiled on Nov. 2 via a film on H&M's website. But they're enjoying teasing us in the meantime: the Swedish retailer just released a trailer for the collection's online fashion show debut, complete with a Leigh Lezark appearance and Alber Elbaz sketching his trademark cartoon illustrations — which can be seen at the link. [Zet Fashion]
Stefano Pilati Said to Have Renewed Contract at Yves Saint Laurent; Karl Lagerfeld Rumored to Be Retiring in 2012
>> In response to the rumors of Stefano Pilati's tenuous footing at Yves Saint Laurent, more rumors: Balmain's Christophe Decarnin, former Saint Laurent men's designer Hedi Slimane, and Raf Simons were all reportedly approached for the job, but nonetheless, Pilati is said to have recently extended his contract for another three years. Word is, Hint reports: "Pierre Bergé has no interest in seeing the YSL brand continue. He'd rather see it killed and the legacy remain untouchable, observed only from afar through exhibitions, films, auctions, etc. As his foundation still controls the YSL archives, he can and does make life difficult for whomever wants a closer look at the house's DNA," which may have contributed to the potential replacements turning Pilati's position down. There's also speculation that Karl Lagerfeld plans to retire on his 30th anniversary at Chanel in 2012 — "it's thought he'll stage a massive, never-before-seen, no-expense-spared farewell" — leaving Alber Elbaz to take his place and Olivier Theyskens to take the reins at Lanvin. [Hint]