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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2013: Lanvin Looks Less Ladylike — And Much, Much Edgier

Kristin Scott Thomas and Catherine Deneuve graced the Lanvin front row, as they watched Alber Elbaz go more masculine for spring.

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The ladies who count on Lanvin for florid and fluid femininity are going to have to buck up for spring. Alber Elbaz left the silks and chiffons - the whole flou craze, which he invented - at the French fabric fairs, in favor of tuxedo styles mixed with kimono shapes. When there were dresses - the whole collection was almost all pants, quite rare for him - they were quite square and very, very short. No awards show looks here - although that doesn't mean Elbaz isn't always up for creating them.

The one Lanvin touch that's familiar here is the assymetrical shoulder and sleeve, which most other designers have now dispensed with. Elbaz still loves a bare arm with a long sleeve on the other side - sometimes with a giant ruffle on the shoulder.

Black dominated the collection, and tough shapes, square shoulders, boxy dresses with deep, deep V-necks - well, these demand black. White made an occassional welcome appearance, and some of the dresses were in jewel tones. An offbeat palette for spring, that's for sure. Not much here for red carpets expect for the edgy: Chloe Sevigny would look great in all of these clothes, and Cate Blanchett could pull some of the tux looks off. But we can't think of anyone else. We have a feeling by the time Lanvin spring gets to the stores - there will be more flowy dresses to choose from. These are good looks for New York - but not at all for L.A.

What do you think?

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