Lanvin. Lahn. Van. Clothes of fantasy, finery, and femininity. From Jeanne-Marie Lanvin’s original designs to Alber Elbaz’s modern take, the oldest fashion house still in operation is quintessential French couture. Originally trained as a milliner, Jeanne-Marie later studied under a Parisian dressmaker and founded Lanvin in 1889. Lanvin's first creations were outfits for her daughter, Marguerite, but soon her little girl’s gorgeous dresses became so admired that the ladies of Parisian society were clamoring for versions of their own. Thus did Madame Lanvin become famous for her matching mother-daugher outfits, which honored a bond that would be a resounding theme throughout her career.
Lanvin’s love for her daughter is sewn into the fabric of her clothes. The sweet, iconic Lanvin logo shows Jeanne-Marie and her daughter in signature full skirt gowns, and is instantly recognizable on Lanvin labels and bottles of the house’s famous perfumes like Arpége and My Sin. Fittingly, Marguerite inherited control of the company when her mother passed away in 1946, but what followed was a long period of changes in ownership and control that left the label foundering.
While this period is often passed over by fashion history, it's during this time, in the 60's and 70s especially, that Lanvin turned out amazing collections of op art printed day wear. Obviously we're huge fans of a good geo print, and a classic Lanvin logo shirtdress is a closet must-have. Lanvin's 70s era prints incorporate color and contrast, and racous, eye-catching patterns that play with the repetition of their other well-known logo, Jeanne Marie's typographically striking initials, JL.
And in 2001, enter Alber Elbaz. A cherubic fop often wearing an oversized bowtie in fabric as beautiful as that of his gowns, Elbaz’s artistic direction has revitalized the house of Lanvin. His sumptuous designs, with their velvet and grosgrain ribbon details, unfailingly flatter the female form and exhibit his mastery of drape and construction. In addition to breathing new life into Lanvin’s high fashion offerings and restoring the house’s financial success, Elbaz brought Lanvin’s playful sophistication to the masses with his hit 2010 collection for H & M. With Alber at the helm, Lanvin has garnered a new generation of devotees, and its legacy endures into its third century of operation. Get your hands on a piece of Lanvin history!
Designers: Jeanne-Marie Lanvin, Alber Elbaz.
Where You’d Find Them: Jeanne-Marie: rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, fitting her daughter for a dress. Alber: clocking long hours in the studio, on the arms of much taller models, H & M.
Style: Empire waists, embroidery, ‘Lanvin blue,’ bows & grosgrain ribbons, graphic op art prints, velvet & silk satin, mothers & daughters.
Clients: Ladies of early 20th century Parisian society, girls ages 4-14, statement-making 70s secretaries, Michelle Obama, celebrity fashionistas.
It's just the beginning of May and California has already been hit with a major heat wave, but we're not complaining when we have this refreshing Editorial from Vogue to keep us cool. Taken on location in St. Barths with model muse Joan Smalls wearing nothing but black and white graphics on cool, light weight fabrics and whimsicle silhouettes. Ah, we can already feel the ocean breeze in our hair and the sand between our toes.
Looks like it's time to go back to geometry class! Geometric prints ruled the runway for Spring/Summer 2013, and we have to agree that these are the types of geometrics we can get along with! Designer Peter Pilotto (1, 2, 3) uses a mish mash of colors and shapes that work wonders together. Marni (4) and Louise Gray (5) take a darker and more mod approach to the trend. Balmain (6, 7, 8) takes the triangle shape to a whole new level of chic and Mara Hoffman (9, 10) wows us (as usual) with her fun and flirty geometrics that pop on her use of simple silhouettes. All the designers above get an A+ in our book!
Have you seen some of our New Arrivals yet? It's printed pants overload! Go girly in our Floral Garden Pants or casual chic in Stylestalker's Lightspeed Pants. From the delicately colored Cameo Life So Simple Pixel Pants to our retro Hologram Leggings, we've got you covered from top to bottom. So many options, what's a girl to do?
All hail the peplum! Crisp and monochrome, patterned and printed, oversize and exaggerated or micro-minimal. Nipping in waists from the 1950s to the 80s and 90s to right this second, pepla add just the right (literal) flare. We have plenty of new and vintage peplum-adorned pieces (hello, Valentino) in a smattering of colors and styles - you're bound to find your waist's perfect match.