PARIS, France — All designers deserve a second chance, right? This reviewer left Olivier Lapidus’s first show for Lanvin last season despairing its flat, logo-driven daywear — elements that he broke out of for his sophomore show at the recently-acquired house. Last season, Lapidus opened with an LBD (read: limp black dress), a gesture he improved upon for Autumn with a raw cut plissé number that set the tone for a softer, more elevated outing, albeit tinged with an edge of the 1980s some would rather forget.
Jewel tones, shoulders and "protection" are all trends du jour, and Lapidus’s take on those trundled into some unusual territory at times, particularly where asymmetry was concerned. Pieces like a fitted orange biker (its high neck extended to one shoulder), an ombré plastic mac, and a zipped trench dress in violet duchesse were strange, dated outliers to an otherwise romantic, palatable collection that had a strong focus on pretty tulle and gazar cocktail dresses. Lapidus added oomph with bold tailoring statements, from high-waist stirrup trousers to slick pencil skirts and tuxedo coats. Worn with slinky rib knits and even aviator sunglasses, they lent a "jet-set" vibe to the Lanvin woman when paired with the designer's amulet necklaces and jewelled belts. That was rarely a descriptor of Alber Elbaz’s Lanvin, nor Bouchra Jarrar’s for that matter, but it’s a step forward in Lapidus’ vocabulary for the house, at least.