Devotees of the exquisitely draped dresses Alber Elbaz conjures up as Lanvin’s creative director have reason to rejoice: The designer has written a covet-worthy book commemorating his 10th anniversary helming the iconic Paris atelier. Alber Elbaz, Lanvin, available now in select stores, raises the bar on the experience of going behind the scenes to witness the process of a collection’s creation—in this case, Fall/Winter 2011.
Elbaz has crafted a book that tells a concept-to-runway story largely in its photography (by the acclaimed But Sou Lai), yet also in its details. A simple note pinned to an unfinished dress, for example, reveals not only the intricacies of its construction, but also the multitudes of thought that can go into something as simple as the length of a zipper. Those who wonder why a fabric is chosen for a particular dress, or an embellishment is deemed vital, will likewise be sated in the sketches and notes, from inspirations to swatches to sessions with fit models to ultimately the high-wattage presentation of a Paris runway show.
But in a nod to where the fantasy of fashion ultimately originates, Elbaz chose to kick off the 704-page, gilt-edged tome—and at $450, it is a fashion keepsake—with the moment his own creative thoughts begin: sitting in front of a piece of stark white sketch paper. “I face a blank page each day, and I have to fill it with a dream. That’s my work,” he writes in this feast for the fashion senses. Lanvin. Crystals, CityCenter, 702-982-0245