Monday, 2 August 2010


Alber Elbaz has not only been a fashion messiah to most of the population, he has continued to expand the iconic, valuable creations developed by Jeanne Lanvin almost a century ago in a new Madison Avenue townhouse. Creating a 3-story flagship store in a five-story townhouse in east Manhattan, all womens prayers can now be answered. The store holds womens RTW and accessory collections, the ground floor is peppered with a whimsical and vibrant array of touching gifts and miscellaneous items, including their intricate hand-painted porcelain dolls. It is these unique, playful items that keep the early relationship between Jeanne Lanvin and the beginning of a cultural blossom in the clothing designs for her daughter. The store is sprinkled with showcases from Lanvin's capsule collections such as the bridal range 'Blanche', youthful, vibrant sketches from the '22 Faubourg' collection and casual 'Denim' collaborations.

It should come to no suprise that Lanvin's interior stays true to both its aesthetic and philosophy. The interior amalgamates admirable luxury and sophistication with areas which both appear intimate and welcoming as well as comfortable; necessary for confident, credit-busting clientele. Spaces seem both industrial and sparce, yet luxurious and plush. With anitque chandeliers, toughened iron hanging-rails, metal and glass display cases and floor to ceiling ebony shelving units, all of which must intensify the layout.

Continuing upstairs, the first level has a remarkable mono-chrome flooring pattern in tiled marble. This floor showcases accessories and displays a black and white mid-shot of Jeanne Lanvin's house model across one face of the room. Reflections of industrial spotlights against delicate glass cabinets containing a mixture of accessories employ a profound allure to spend what you shouldn't. This dense choice becomes even more itemized on the second floor. The inspiring and dramatic format of the townhouse becomes apparent with a 2-story Palladian window. Dramatic touches become more subtle as the floor is explored, the ready-to-wear collection faces Madison Avenue and pieces are cradled within the grandeur of the 2-story window. Following arch-ways through to a separate chamber of this industrial palace, large glass shelves boast the striking jewellery pieces. Exotic zebra-rugs are juxtaposed with Lanvin archive images.

The third floor appears as though you have reached heaven. Contrasting to the previous industrial floors, this floor displays the 'Blanche' collection, the 3rd floor mezzanine seems incredibly intimate, romantic and delicate. Encased in white walls, traditional french furnishings and lavish fur rugs. Hues are matched with crushed cream dresses, punctuated with pinks and frothy white gowns are mirrored in delicate directions.

With only small pictures to keep my dream of seeing this alive, writing this almost felt as if I had been there. There will be a point where I make my way to New York, but staying realistic, a shop I did actually go in which gave me more profound feelings (probably because I've actually been inside) was London's Louis Vuitton store on Bond Street. A true shopping experience. The staircase made me go a bit blind though.

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