There has been a lot of speculation right after Alber Elbaz’s ‘unexpected’ departure from the House of Lanvin,yet truth is he had presented us with a multiplicity of reasons during his acceptance speech at Thursday night’s Fashion Group International Night of Stars event.Reasons that could be summited to one-need for space/time.Apart from highlighting the industry’s flaws( hectic schedules,need for constant innovation and pressure), he set a dignity barrier-he wanted to be perceived as a designer,a creator not a creative ”director”.In doing so he set himself apart of all those promotion savvy peers like Mark Jacobs and of course,Olivier Rousteing.
He also pointed out that fashion design appeals to different audiences than,say,some years ago.The modern fashion perceives fashion under the prism that ultimately the ”means is the is the message”.Instagram accounts,image leaks,snapchat promotions aim at young-and-rich people from Europe to Asia and (as Lagerfeld reminded us!) Latin America.Yet this is the very audience that does not have enough knowledge of each House’s history,sartorial codes and thus carry no emotional attachment to a House’s basics.They go fast,judge fast,change trends fast.Olivier Rousteing took the chalenge and created Balmainmania,a name for Balmain that mostly related to the House’s edgy yet youthful looks,the full social media coverage and the tv celebrities to back this up.Not to mention Hedi Slimane’s sartorial approach to Saint Laurent.Both i feel are paradigms of what Elbaz had been unwilling to devote time to-advertise himself and his work via those channels.Its a crucial difference in strategy.His decline of a possible ‘lanvinmania’ showcased a morale and an ethos that brought dignity to designers as such,not as seat fillers and expendable material.’‘The screen has to scream, baby — that’s the rule. And loudness is the new thing. Loudness is the new cool, and not only in fashion.I prefer whispering. I think it goes deeper and I think it stays longer.” I cannot agree more.After all,to quote Nietzsche,aren’t ethics the aesthetics of the future?