There’s been a great deal of fanfare surrounding the new Lanvin flagship, and there is little to add beyond the obvious: it’s exquisite. Three-thousand five hundred fifty square-feet of luxuriant fixtures and furnishings. Three floors of sumptuous Lanvin furs, shoes, bags, jewels and dresses (including bridal). A veritable bastion of chic. But are you surprised? Since his appointment as creative director in 2001, Alber Elbaz has captivated the industry with Lanvin’s strong, modern beauty and masterful design work.
So rather than ramble the multitudinous artistic touches (like the noir closeup of Madame Lanvin’s face along the ground floor wall) or detail each distinctive room within the Madison Ave. townhouse (the black fox fur bench, the zebra skin rug…), we give you our five favorite impressions from the Lanvin flagship:
1) How cozy it is. Too many high fashion flagships feel austere or intimidating. Lanvin, by contrast, exudes intimate warmth. Chalk it up to the snug 1920s French appartement floorplan rendered on the ground level. Or to the top-notch lighting – a sweeping two-story cathedral window, various chandeliers, track lighting that expertly highlights each stone on a chain bib necklace. Either way, there is a comfortable elegance throughout.
2) The Jeanne-Marie Lanvin portraits. Dozens of striking black and white photographs adorn a long black wall on the second floor. All different sizes and set-ups, the archival shots are a beautiful tribute to Madame Lanvin, founder of the oldest couture house in France and one of the most influential designers of the 1920s and ’30s.
3) The Lanvin necklace wall. No words.
4) The Glen Plaid Cape. It’s so on with capes come fall, and this Alpaca-wool blend version with ribbon trim held its own in a store packed with fur outerwear (mink, fox, goat, you name it). Don’t be fooled by the billowing fabric. Elbaz is renowned for highlighting the silhouette of a woman in a more subtle way.
5) The brass-colored lace dress. There are many leopard print and ruffled one-shouldered dresses in jewel tones on display. And they are all magnificent – signature Lanvin of the past few seasons, if you will. But this dress from pre-fall caught our attention because it was a little bit different. Just as Elbaz can create cohesion using rock crystals, sequins, fur and tribal feathers all at once, here he spins a gorgeous lace dress in an offbeat gilded color. Don’t let the $6,380 price tag hold you back.