(AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
NEW YORK – Alber beads, bows and very French poufs played well in New York as he previewed a glitzy version of the much-anticipated Lanvin collection for H&M that will be in stores this weekend.
He didn't hold back on glamour or attitude even though for many mainstream consumers this will be the first time they see a Lanvin label, a favorite of fashion insiders since Elbaz took over the house in 2001.
The small fashion show Thursday night at the Pierre Hotel drew actress Emma Roberts, director Sofia Coppola and designers , Tory Burch, Alexander Wang, and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, among others.
There was a cabaret singer, an elaborately painted runway and archway of white flowers, rare theatrical touches for a Manhattan runway, which is typically known as the no-nonsense sister of the dramatic Parisian catwalk.
The collection opened with a gray tulle dress with a bow at the bustline, and it ended with a model in a Lanvin (hearts) H&M dress, carrying — you guessed it — Lanvin (hearts) H&M — shopping bags. Between those looks were skinny-leg tuxedos, a lipstick red cocktail dress, a faux fur coatdress topped by a similar coat and a French maid get-up.
All were customized couture versions of what will be on sale at H&M; the runway pieces will be auctioned for Unicef.
One model accessorized her one-shoulder hot pink frock with a French poodle wearing a complementary bow.
"It's fantastic, of course. He (Elbaz) is such a great designer — so influential," said Margareta van den Bosch, creative adviser for H&M. "What he wanted to do with this collection is make it more playful, less serious and less classic."
She already has in her closet one of the menswear tuxedos and a woman's overcoat. "I have some of the accessories, too, but not the shoes. I can't walk in those high heels."
The prices are on the high side for H&M — up to $250 for a dress — but that's a bargain for Elbaz's work, she said.
Collaborations aren't new for mass retailer H&M: Previous partners include Stella McCartney, and Karl Lagerfeld. - By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL, AP Fashion Writer