On the fourth day of Fashion Week after all the shows, the heat, the parties, the appointments, the late nights and the work, a sort of painful fatigue begins to set in among the attendees. But Lanvin is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Breakfast is served buffet style as you walk in, complete with tea, coffee and well chilled juice. It's just what you need when the temperature is already an unforgiving 30 degrees at 11 o'clock in the morning, and works perfectly to soak up the folly of last night's excesses (in my case, far too much writing). Summer can be a hard season in which to dress elegantly, but Lanvin's answer to the heat was suits and layers, coats and cardigans, all in soft couture cloths or high-tech athletic fabrics. There's always that sense of subversion in a Lanvin collection – menswear made from traditionally feminine materials; formalwear slashed and resewn (or just plain unfinished); and sporty pieces in the richest brocades, tweeds and silks.
This collection was the most athletic to date, with rubber hiking sandals, assymetrical zip-up peacoats in unfinished goretex and stretchy knits that contoured to the body. But it was no athlete's wardrobe, closer in fact, to what a man of leisure might wear on a weekend jaunt about the park (strolling is as active a pursuit as any real flâneur would deign to do).
To sun the arms, a coat's sleeves were zipped off. To aid ease of movement, another's back had elastic inserts pulling in the waist. On the off chance of a dip, jackets and pants were on offer in neoprene. But if that got too warm, there were always the full suits in rich green floaty silks.
Lanvin is the premium luxury outfitter for the man who has it all – money, elegance, style, and time on his hands to enjoy life. He's a chap who's not afraid to express himself through his wardrobe choices. To help emphasise that final point, a procession of suits cut from sumptuously textured floral silks closed the show. As it happens, there are merely two letters between a flâneur and a fleur. But who's counting?
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