Alber Elbaz. Photo: Supplied
A poignant tribute to late designer Alber Elbaz is set to close out the upcoming Paris fashion week. On October 5, creative directors and designers of more than 40 emerging and esteemed fashion houses will present their looks created in memory of the Morocco-born creative, who passed away at age 59 in April from Covid-19.
Photo: Courtesy of AZ Factory
The tribute show titled Love Brings Love is being organized by Elbaz’s label AZ Factory and will be livestreamed to the public. The round-up of designers has been described as “from haute couture to streetwear,” by AZ Factory chief executive officer Laurent Malecaze. “I would say it’s a large spread from very young designers to very renowned designers,” she shared with WWD. The complete lineup is yet to be revealed, however, according to sources, the runway could feature looks by Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière, Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, and Rick Owens. They will be joined by a number of looks that are being created by the AZ Factory studio and atelier for the occasion. While the tribute dresses by the enlisted houses are not being made for sale or commercial purposes, they may be exhibited by museums and foundations for public viewing in the future.
AZ Factory. Photo: Courtesy
Promising to be an event for the fashion history books, the tribute show is also bringing together artists known to have worked with Elbaz during his career spanning more than a decade. They include hairstylist Guido Palau, makeup artist Pat McGrath, Etienne Russo of production house Villa Eugénie, stylist and editor Babeth Djian, and musician Ariel Wizman for the soundtrack. The theme of the show is inspired by Théâtre de la Mode, the touring exhibition from 1945 that brought together top Parisian fashion designers including Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, and Cristóbal Balenciaga, aiming to revive the post-World War II fashion industry.
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Alber Elbaz. Photo: Supplied
The Moroccan-born designer best known for reviving the couture house Lanvin for 14 years, with his signature romantic vision, passed away today at 59 years old, at the American Hospital in Paris.
Scroll through below for a selection of some of his most pivotal career moments:
1- From 1996 until 1998, Elbaz worked for the French house Guy Laroche, putting the brand and himself at the forefront of the fashion elite
Le couturier Alber Elbaz et ses top models à la fin du défilé Guy Laroche lors des présentations de mode Prêt-à-Porter Automne-Hiver 1997-1998 le 13 mars 1997 à Paris, France. (Photo by Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
2- Having been scouted as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent in 1998, he was replaced by Tom Ford after three seasons following the Gucci Group’s acquisition of the label
Le styliste Alber Elbaz en compagnise d’un mannequin lors du défilé Yves Saint-Laurent, Prêt-à-Porter, collection Automne/Hiver 1999/2000 à Paris en mars 1999, France. (Photo by Pool SIMON/STEVENS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
3- Elbaz began designing for Lanvin in 2001, holding the post of creative director for fourteen years. His time there is regarded as one of the m0st successful pairings of the decade
4- Bringing an element of excess and luxury to H&M during the Lanvin for H&M Haute Couture Show at The Pierre Hotel on November 18, 2010 in New York City.
NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 18: A model walks the runway during the Lanvin for H&M Haute Couture Show at The Pierre Hotel on November 18, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for H&M)
5- The Lancôme x Lanvin collaboration in 2013 was Elbaz’s first foray into cosmetics
6- In 2008 Elbaz designed Lanvin’s first denim line, manufactured by jeans label Acne
7- To commerate the 20th anniversary of Disneyland Paris in 2013, Elbaz designed a dress for Walt Disney’s Minnie Mouse
8- Alber Elbaz’s 10th year anniversary book contained 3,000 photographs of every single person involved in Lanvin’s production
9- In October 2015, Elbaz shocked both fans and the industry by announcing he had been let go from Lanvin after a stellar 14-year tenure
Photo: Marcus Tondo / Indigitalimages.com
10- Following his departure from Lanvin, Elbaz designed the costumes Natalie Portman wore in the 2016 film A Tale of Love and Darkness which she also wrote and directed.
11- This year, Elbaz launched his own brand AZ Factory in January. Aiming to reinvent the basics and dedicate design that represents the essence of every women and every shape. “Our products are here to solve problems and create joy. Help, not hinder.”
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Selena Gomez Instagram/@Kateyoung
Alber Elbaz, who stepped off the hamster wheel of fashion when he left Lanvin five years ago, might not have predicted that his new “solutions-based” brand would have its first major moment on a Gen-Z star via Instagram. But in the absence of red carpets and photocalls, super stylist Kate Young gave AZ Factory, which takes the first and last letters of the much-loved designer’s name, the only premiere available during the pandemic: a series of social-media portraits.
Selena Gomez, who Young helped shape from Disney star to fashion plate, proved game for the challenge. The 28-year-old posed for a series of home photos to use for the promo around her latest project, a Spanish EP entitled Revelacíon and due for release on March 12.
Look one: a starry pink pyjama top made for dancing, according to Young and illustrated by Gomez who took to TikTok in Elbaz’s ’fits. The second? A cream one-shoulder dress from Elbaz’s “My Body” line, made from an AnatoKnit that’s “magical” owing to its curve-enhancing qualities.
“I did 10 dresses, where I used to do three, four hundred pieces,” Elbaz told Vogue of streamlining his output for his showcase on the digital Couture Fashion Week schedule. “The inspiration is not coming from Émile Zola; it’s from me walking by the Seine, seeing people running, and thinking, how come people wear these clothes all year round, but fashion has to change four times a year?”
Courtesy of AZ Factory
Elbaz’s strict editing process has not cost him the whimsy that Lanvin fans loved about his tenure at the house. From the bespoke prints, including Gomez’s interstellar shirting, to the peppy hybrid sports pieces, AZ Factory is joyful as well as practical. Its price point, from £ 182 for tops to £ 545 for the dresses, means the hard-working pieces are affordable to Gomez’s generation, too. That social-media moment suddenly doesn’t seem so abstract after all….
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Originally published on Vogue.co.uk
Following a five-year hiatus from fashion, Alber Elbaz is back, rejuvenated, with his new brand AZ Factory bursting with fresh ideas.
Alber Elbaz. Photo: InDigital.tv
Alber Elbaz is running late for his Zoom call. “I had technical issues!” he apologizes, his familiar face – black spectacles framed by a freshly dyed platinum coif – appearing on the screen. Considering that it’s been five years since his unceremonious departure as creative director at French fashion house Lanvin, a few minutes more is well worth the wait.
If, over the years, Elbaz didn’t altogether disappear – resurfacing every so often on fashion’s news pages to unveil varied product collaborations – his great comeback never materialized, until now. “I needed to fall in love with fashion again,” he says of his time off. “I asked questions about our métier and where we were today. I wanted to imagine the future of what would come next.” While admitting to being bored, he considers ennui a vital step to reinvigorating creativity. “The fear is that when you have done so much, you just recreate and don’t innovate,” he comments. “I listened to women and tried to understand them. How are women evolving? What changes are they traversing and what’s next?” He proposed a reset and the birth of his AZ Factory, where he positions himself as producer. “I believe in beauty,” he shares. “Beauty and comfort define modernity but purpose and hope are what I want more of,” he says of his new brand, which is backed by Swiss luxury goods holding company Richemont and occupies a floor at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.
AZ Factory rolls out with three “projects” or collections. The first is inspired by a woman’s body. “I’ve seen how women struggle with weight all their lives,” comments Elbaz. I wanted to create a smart fabric, a dress that hugs you, with areas having more compression and others where tension is released,” he continues, adding that it “looks like a sneaker.” While it is perforated for breathability like a sock sneaker, it looks more like an updated little black dress that women can finally get in and out of themselves, thanks to an embellished puller attached to the zip. The fabric was created with the support of a microfiber yarn laboratory in Spain that makes microfiber of nylon mashup with a 3D pattern for AZ Factory from a startup in Amsterdam. The technical fabric, which could best be compared to activewear, is of superior softness and stretch and can be rolled up and thrown into a suitcase, pandemic permitting. “Technology doesn’t kill the dream, it only makes me dream differently,” Elbaz states.
The clothes come in all sizes and at an accessible price point “From €350 to €1 300 – in my previous job, we had T-shirts that cost more!” remarks Elbaz. A second collection offers what the designer refers to as switchwear; the idea of going from leisure to evening wear in two minutes. Hoodies are paired with duchesse skirts and tuxedo jackets made from recycled yarn. “We’re always told we need to design for young people – I don’t understand the concept,” he notes. “It’s more democratic.” The third collection consists of pajamas to wear inside and out. Prints feature hugging – “What I missed most this year” – and kissing, though “not French kissing!” he laughs. Pointy sneakers are featured throughout and women who miss how pumps elongate a leg will be swift adopters of this silhouette that appears like an instant signature. “I’ve done my share of showing what I can do,” says Elbaz. “Now, it’s about giving women solutions and things that they wish to have in the world we are living in. ” He pauses. “My dream was always to be a doctor and now it’s a chance for me to have my laboratory – my factory – and have the time to make it happen.”
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The excitement is mounting for this year’s first-ever virtual and global iteration of the Vogue Forces of Fashion summit—and as if the event wasn’t major enough already, the iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell has also signed on to participate. On November 16 and 17, industry giants and Vogue editors will join together digitally to discuss topics such as racial equality, social justice, sustainability, and the future of the industry. The lineup of speakers includes Lizzo, who will be in conversation with designer Jeremy Scott, along with Virgil Abloh, Victoria Beckham, and Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. Also participating this year will be Alber Elbaz of AZ Fashion, creative director Craig Green, Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee, photographer Ethan James Green, Loewe creative director and founder of JW Anderson Jonathan Anderson, and writer and director Reggie Yates.
Campbell’s panel will be hosted by a yet-to-be-announced special guest, but the discussion promises to be one of epic—or shall we say, super—proportions, with Campbell talking about her stellar career and political activism. The two-day event schedule will include opening remarks from Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, along with keynote sessions with Campbell, Abloh, Lizzo, and other industry leaders. Other components to this year’s virtual schedule include live Q&As with Vogue editors, networking sessions, and virtual drop-ins from surprise guests as well as a morning wellness session and happy hour on the second and final day.
More details and tickets are available on the Forces of Fashion website. Check back for updates ahead of the event, which will take place on November 16 and 17.
Vogue’s 2020 Forces of Fashion is presented by Jeep Wagoneer.
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Originally published on Vogue.com