Paris Fashion Week: Peek at Lanvin's New Fashion Exhibit

Photo by Matteo Prandoni/BFA

The exhibition, which is scheduled to run through Oct. 31, offers a behind-the-scenes look at Alber Elbaz's creative process for the fashion house, which he joined in 2001.

To toast the recent opening of "Alber Elbaz/Lanvin: Manifesto," a photo-driven exhibition at Paris’ Européenne de la Photographie (and an accompanying book), artistic director Alber Elbaz hosted an intimate champagne party for guests including Valentino’s creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, Bryan Boy, Eva Chen and Suzy Menkes.

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The designer, who loves the Kardashians and reality TV (“At 10 o'clock at night, all I want to do is come home and watch Kim Kardashian get a haircut,” he has told THR) avoids social media in his own life — Elbaz has no email or interaction on any social networks yet he is fascinated by everyone’s constant need “to post.” He prefers to step back and just take it all in — luckily, the designer decided to share his atelier, backstage and runway images in an art gallery, even if not on Instagram.

Says Alber: "In today’s life everything is about high-tech and controlled by machines. We in fashion, remained a human industry. All we are at the end of the day are seamstresses with needles, threads, fabrics and dreams. How simple."

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Inside the exhibit, a black room with blown-up lightbox-like black-and-white images of Lanvin models runs into a narrow red hallway lined with contrastingly bright-hued glossy shots of models in red, canary yellow and royal blue (very Insta friendly). A white room includes mini snapshots of everything from sketches to swatches to nail art — it feels like stepping into a life-sized version of Elbaz’s fashion moodboard in his atelier. 

Most impressive in the white room are the dresses pinned on forms and heavy bolts of fabric set against blow-up photos of the garments as works in progress. There are 400 photos total, taken by seven photographers in five locations. Elbaz noted that he wants the installation to be both “inspirational and fun” for his fans.

Photos by Carol McColgin