There is a certain something about Alber Elbaz, something that cannot be put into word. Maybe it is his charming personality, maybe it is his sense for contradiction, but without a doubt there is something magical about Alber Elbaz. The Casablanca born Israeli designer is known for his romantic and timeless designs, which reinvigorated the sleeping beauty that is Lanvin, but it is more than that, it is his unique personality and creativity that makes Elbaz so fascinating.
It was clear from the very beginning that this would be one of the most interesting, entertaining and captivating talks of the entire weekend. The talk began with the video of the 2013 Spring/Summer campaign for Lanvin (if you don’t know it, I encourage you to watch it), it was at the end of the video that Alexandra Shulman entered the stage and introduced Elbaz. During the interview Elbaz shed light on why he loves clothes, the women who wear them, and the contradictions of his live. His admissions entertained and amused keeping us at the edge of our seat.
Elbaz was funny, charming and one of the most interesting people at the entire Vogue Festival. He made it clear from the very beginning that is was not the “story of design or clothes, it was the fantasy of women that made” him work in fashion. Elbaz infused the discussion and talk with anecdotes and remarks about conversations with his psychiatrist: “I asked him once: ‘Why am I such a control freak, but can’t resist cake?’” His contradictions made Alber charming and accessible, commenting on his personal live and work.
“I like first class, but I don’t like first class people – I prefer the people in coach,” he said. “I like fine restaurants, but prefer the taste of McDonalds. I like to be perfect, but I don’t like perfection – I think it’s dangerous. There is nothing after perfection. I know, I am a walking contradiction.”
Talking about his career in fashion, Elbaz stated that he loves to design for women, he wants them to feel beautiful, he “want[s] them to be able to get into a car, to be able to have dessert. Fashion should not be about having a second skin – it is about fantasy; about putting on a red chiffon dress, looking in the mirror and feeling amazing.” He also only had kind words when questioned about Hedi Slimane work at Saint Laurent
“When you come into a house like Saint Laurent, or Chanel, or Lanvin, and you go into a place that existed before you were born and will exist after you die, it takes some time to get in, to get to people, and to get the energy of the place. Hedi is a very, very, very talented designer. It’s not that I say that because I know him, but I know his work, and both of us worked at Saint Laurent at the same time. I think he’s a very, very talented guy, and we just have to give him time to really build a story. We’re living in a time where everything we are doing needs to be better, bigger, faster and cheaper. And we don’t give the time, because everything is instant. But not everything is coffee.”
Elbaz work at Lanvin embodies the love for design and women, or to put it in someone else’s words “Every time I wear Lanvin, a man falls in love with me.”
Take a look by Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman introduction:
For more information click here. Images curtsey of Vogue.com, and Christian S.