It has been a year since Bruno Sialelli was appointed as the creative director for Lanvin. Hailing from Loewe—he spent about three years designing menswear—Sialelli's first two collections for Lanvin had that similar off-kilter, bohemian style that has become a Jonathan Anderson signature at Loewe. But with his latest spring/summer 2021 collection, it's a far more confident aesthetic that is more his own.
Lanvin's spring/summer 2021 collection made its runway debut in Shanghai a couple of nights ago, a city where the effects of the ongoing pandemic have been relatively low of late. And what was presented played a lot on old-school Chinese design influences mixed in with '20s Lanvin aesthetic. Think silk shirting with prints matching that of the inside of a parasol, Mary Janes and loafers that resembled traditional Chinese footwear, and an overall Wong Kar-Wai-film vibe.
There was more breathing room in each look as compared to Sialelli's previous efforts. He showed restraint in styling and focused more on the ready-to-wear aspect as opposed to piling on accessories—a move that helped in moving away from the Loewe comparison. But where accessories were present, they were sufficiently highlighted.
Look and feel: It's definitely a different Lanvin menswear since Sialelli took creative reins. Because he's been consistently showing menswear and womenswear together as one cohesive runway collection, the overall look has evolved. Spring/summer 2021 especially, was reminiscent of former creative director Alber Elbaz's work for the fashion house. There were elements of whimsy and romanticism in the way the silhouettes took shape, and a stronger focus on tailoring as opposed to sportier separates that marked the Lucas Ossendrijver era.
While the collection was peppered throughout with Chinese influences, the prints used were reworked paintings by late French-Swiss artist Jean Dunand, who was also a close friend of the house's founder, Jeanne Lanvin.
Favourite looks: It's hard to resist a wonderfully constructed outerwear (we know you can't possibly wear one now if you're stuck in Singapore, but one can't help but dream), and look 19's bishop-sleeved coat that's designed with oversized cuffs is one to covet. For something more climate-appropriate, the proposal of a thin but ornately embellished cardigan worn over a neck-tie shirt (with, again, cuffs extended beyond the norm) and paired with roomy cream trousers as seen in look 40, would make for the perfect outfit to usher in a new season. Or (hopefully) the end of a rough year.
Favourite accessories: They may looked like an amalgamation of some of the it-bags that are already out in the market, but there's something about the oversized leather bags (looks 21, 29 and 34) that looked soft, supple, and not to mention, pillow-like. They're designed as a trio of padded leathers with look 21's version the biggest in the series, and appeared to be quite a decadent accessory to hold on to.