Intensely provocative, seriously sexy or femininely flirtatious, Alber Elbaz has created something enchantingly clever and aesthetically magnificent for every woman, wherever she spends the hotter months of the year. Inspired by strong and stylish Argentine women, lunching in a cafe in Argentina, the culmination of love, lust and life come together to create an anthology of ensembles perfect for the real woman.
The show opened up with a black dress, slick hair pulled back in a hard pony tail, eyes dark and rocky in smokey black, the face bare and framed by a projecting structured, saucer like collar. The silhouette continuously transformed itself, from tailored a Le Smoking, leg o mutton, one shouldered, puffed sleeved, harem, tulip and bubble hemmed dresses and all-in-ones in a selection of jet blacks, powder and fuchsia pinks, soft peaches worn against nude and cappuccino colours. Draped and voluminous dresses billowed and fluttered, taking on a life of their own as the models breezed dreamily down the runway. Elbaz reiterated the intricacy and difficulty constructing this collection, but they breathed an air of comfort, of ease and that heavenly feeling of luxury when cool materials brush against hot skin.
Motifs of spiralling and tumbling ruffles, waterfalls of soft pleats and supple folds fell to perfection. Svelte dresses were embellished with exaggerated tousles of material that snaked their way across the entire length of the dress, working its way across the body, titivating the peplum dress.
V necks, collapsing plunging necklines and sleeves purposely falling off the shoulder in asymmetry bought the décolletage to the focal point. Gold tribal antic chokers, necklaces and chains embellished with pink and green lacquer piled up around the model’s necks and chandelier earrings cascaded from their ears in a beautiful overkill. Leather ankle strapped court shoes in nude, black and ivory ornamented with shackle like chains forming t-bars or ankle chains accompanied the dresses, occasionally worn with a single long black leather glove, ruched down the wrist adding a tough edge to the ensemble.
As if there wasn’t enough mouth watering extravagance overwhelming the audience, the final part of the parade, models left behind the subtle colours and lit up the catwalk with dazzling emerald greens, flaming reds and burnt oranges. Bullions of gold beads, sequins and studs reminiscent of the flapper girls’ dress spilt down mushroom brown polyester. Black leather as soft and supple as lame made fluid cocktail dresses.
The collection was as exciting as a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel; a hint of magic, a Latin zing and just enough reality to create a completely hypnotic experience. Young, modern, yet completely classic – the show worked entirely to my taste, the feminine wasn’t too girly, the sexy wasn’t too suggestive and the rich colours weren’t too bright. Hail stones and snow haven’t prevented me from feeling the heat from this work of art, this summer I will Tango dressed up in Lanvin. X