In the latest high-stakes shakeup at a major Parisian fashion house, Alber Elbaz is leaving Lanvin, where he has served as creative director for 14 years. This follows last week’s news that Raf Simons is out at Dior (and incites speculation that Elbaz may succeed Simons at that legendary design house), as well as Alexander Wang’s departure from Balenciaga earlier this year.
Elbaz, a beloved figure in the fashion community, had many high-profile fans and huge red carpet successes, and WWD reports that employees were in tears as he announced his departure. “I wish to express my gratitude and warm thoughts to all those who have worked with me passionately on the revival of Lanvin over the last 14 years; express my affection to all my wonderful colleagues in the Lanvin ateliers who accompanied me, and who enriched and supported my work,” Elbaz wrote (and WWD adds that he signed his letter with a heart). Below, we look back at a few of our favorites from recent years.
Emma Stone attended the Met Gala as Elbaz’s date in 2012 and gushed about her fabulous, flirty mini. “Those plastic flowers! It was fantastic,” she said. “It was pretty exciting. And I did love my dress.” Stone went on to wear the designer on many more major red carpet moments, including this year’s custom pants look at the Golden Globes, as well as this faux-leather midi from a Spider-Man press event.
Natalie Portman is another F.O.A. (Friend of Alber), wearing his gowns to many of her most important moments — who could forget the Audrey Hepburn-esque gown she wore to the Knight of Cups premiere earlier this year? Others we especially loved: his plunging sequin creation for the Oscars in 2005 (left) and the red-and-pink confection at the Golden Globes in 2012 (right) … as well as one of his designs for H&M, which she wore to a N.Y.C.party in 2010 (center).
Blake Lively’s hot pink, bow-embellished pink party dress landed her on many best-dressed lists in 2012. That hair! That color! It may have been a personal best for her.
Zoë Saldana also loved the designer’s pieces, and the belted dress in shades of metallic copper she chose for the 2011 Teen Choice Awards proved that he could do fresh and fun as well as he could do feminine and elegant.
Kim Kardashian has worn many a glam white dress in her day, but this may be one of our favorites: A goddess-inspired, draped ivory gown with a twisted halter neck and cinched waist. And though Nicole Kidman may have the most divergent style possible from the reality star, she looked equally statuesque in the gown: This is one Fashion Faceoff for which it may be impossible to declare a winner.
And though his dresses were some of his most standout designs, he could do menswear like a pro as well; Anne Hathaway’s 2011 Oscars tux will always have a place in the pantheon of “Best Girls in Suits.”
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Which was your favorite Lanvin design? Share in the comments!
— Alex Apatoff