Thursday, December 23, 2010

Enjoy The Show

Alber Elbaz of Lanvin is the latest to join the likes of Jimmy Choo and Comme des Garçons as a guest designer for H&M. The collection launched on November 4th of this year, and was available in stores on the 20th. I am one of the unfortunate humans who does not have regular access to an H&M (nearest one is two hours away), so I was not afforded the pleasure of waiting in a five block line and fighting with other fashion-hungry tiny people for the last extra small Lanvin for H&M frock. 

While I am currently unable to figure out which Canadian H&M stores were graced with the presence of this collection, it doesn't really matter; from what I've heard, it sold out everywhere as soon as it hit the racks. Ah well, time to hit up eBay...

Anyway, this film, called "The Show", has since hit the internet:

Interesting, right?

This is apparently meant to reflect a typical dream had by a designer. Hence the sketches and the surrealism of the whole thing. In a behind-the-scenes discussion of this promo video, Elbaz himself explains that he wanted to portray the demographic Lanvin caters to, which is both mother and daughter; the older woman is wearing the same asymmetrical yellow dress as the younger woman. Everything in this video comes in pairs, it seems, as the mistress meets the girlfriend, and the two women on their phones meet in the hallway. This is different from the usual image of uniqueness fashion labels like to uphold, but it does make me feel like even the most unfortunate of incidents can be overcome with a mutual love for a little black dress.

The most important thing here is that the dresses, which seem to be the base for the collection, are shown off. Every piece is seen from many angles, how it moves, what to pair it with, and even how to cover up a stain with a handy Lanvin for H&M necklace. 

The main problem that I noticed in terms of the actual modelling of the pieces was that the only "average" sized woman in the entire video was... on a treadmill. Now, I do not know what was behind that decision, but I am surely not the only one who had to go back and check that out again. If you're going to cater to an atypical demographic spanning across generations, let's try not to discriminate based on weight, yes? 

There are certain stigmas within the fashion world, especially when it comes to the size of models. It's sad when an industry that produces such beauty and facilitates amazing creativity is blamed for the poor body image that many of us have, and throwing the only normal-sized woman in your video on an exercise machine does nothing but pad that argument. I love you, Lanvin, but seriously, you know better.

Apart from that slight misstep, the film is beautifully shot and definitely approaches the noisy world of fashion advertising in a unique way. I have yet to see a magazine ad for Lanvin's new collection, and I have yet to see a similar viral video approach to raising awareness of a fashion line. While I do appreciate the fresh approach, I still see this film as a supplement to the guaranteed success of all H&M collaborators: accessible designer clothing that flies off racks faster than you can say, "holy crap, that's Lanvin and it's only a hundred bucks?!" Which I can say pretty fast.

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