A sleight of hand, evoking the emotions of couture and memories of Lanvin. The Spring 2023 collection by Bruno Sialelli for Lanvin celebrates a marriage of handwork with the organic, humanity with nature. High organic, and haute craft – embracing the legacy and ideology of Jeanne Lanvin, translated anew.

Taking direct inspiration from spring, clothes are sensual, direct and pure – white cotton shirts, tailoring, delicate dresses, archetypes of dressing for warmer days. Within each piece, there is an exchange between the raw and the refined, the perfectly unfinished. Wool gazar tailoring, immaculately worked for men and women, ends with a raw hem, combining precision with the spontaneous act. Cotton shirts, immaculately cut, are sliced at the waist, allowed to unravel. Details are lightened, while luxury is heightened.

Flowers feature – they are natural for spring, printed, embroidered, embossed. A sense of the hand is palpable throughout – humble materials and traditional techniques are elevated with the savoir-faire of a Parisian couture house. Macramé is executed in fine silk soutache, embroidered, used for long dresses and underpinnings. Gestures to lingerie are evoked through delicate ribbed jersey knits, or the striped linings of tailoring transformed into stand-alone garments for men.

Couture is an act of care – here, there is a tenderness: organza cloqué is used like a protective layer over embroideries, or wrapping the body. Materials explore the sensorial – finishes are gloss or poudre, leather, eel-skin, bonded cotton, silk tulle, all encourage touch, feeling. And feeling includes emotion – love, happiness, laughter. A sequence of knits wittily recall bathing suits.

 As ever, the archives of Lanvin and the rich creative universe of Jeanne Lanvin inspire. Naïve and graphic patterns are drawn from gentlemen’s ties in the archive, printed onto radzimir for brief dresses and skirts. The eighteenth-century silhouette of Lanvin’s 1920s Robe de Style is sketched in plissé silk chiffon, delicate and weightless. And draped dresses in gossamer silk tulle echo Lanvin’s goddess gowns of the 1930s.

The human touch – the soul of couture – translates to accessories. The Lanvin Concerto handbag is now offered with Brut metal hardware; a new pouch style folds leather and combines with a clasp that seems hand-forged. Minaudières in textured metal resemble ice-cubes, melting in the sun; a humble openwork bag becomes an act of couture, executed in hand-made macramé, lusciously embroidered. Shoes sport the ‘J’ heel, easy sandals and precise pumps, sometimes frothed with feathers for a touch of the ludique; men’s styles are classic Oxfords, sometimes embossed and hand-painted with flowers. The Melodie jewels, in crystal strass fashioned to resemble hand-tied knots.

An interplay of the rigour of couture with the impulse of emotion, an attitude of today with gestures that honour the past. Simple pleasures, pure joys.

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