There's been a great deal of fanfare surrounding the new Lanvinflagship, and there is little to add beyond the obvious: it'sexquisite. Three-thousand five hundred fifty square-feet of luxuriantfixtures 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 multitudinousartistic touches (like the noir closeup of Madame Lanvin's facealong the ground floor wall) or detail each distinctive room within theMadison Ave. townhouse (the black fox fur bench, the zebra skinrug...), we give you our five favorite impressions from the Lanvin flagship:
1) How cozy it is. Too many high fashion flagships feelaustere or intimidating. Lanvin, by contrast, exudes intimate warmth.Chalk it up to the snug 1920s French appartement floorplan renderedon the ground level. Or to the top-notch lighting - a sweepingtwo-story cathedral window, various chandeliers, track lighting thatexpertly highlights each stone on a chain bib necklace. Either way,there is a comfortable elegance throughout.
2) The Jeanne-Marie Lanvin portraits. Dozens of strikingblack and white photographs adorn a long black wall on the secondfloor. All different sizes and set-ups, the archival shots are abeautiful tribute to Madame Lanvin, founder of the oldest couture housein France and one of the most influential designers of the 1920s and'30s.
3) The brass-colored lace dress. There are many leopardprint and ruffled one-shouldered dresses in jewel tones on display. Andthey are all magnificent - signature Lanvin of the past few seasons, ifyou will. But this dress from pre-fall caught our attention because itwas a little bit different. Just as Elbaz can create cohesion usingrock crystals, sequins, fur and tribal feathers all at once, here hespins a gorgeous lace dress in an offbeat gilded color. Don't let the$6,380 price tag hold you back.
4) The Glen Plaid Cape. It's soon with capes come fall, and this Alpaca-wool blend version with ribbontrim 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 isrenowned for highlighting the silhouette of a woman in a more subtleway.
5) The Lanvin necklace wall. No words
815 Madison Avenue
Photos by Rebecca Prusinowski and courtesy of Lanvin