Lanvin's Invisible Decade

1970's Lanvin. Yep, we said it. It's one of fashion's taboo topics. It's the dirty little secret no one wants to talk about. In discussions of Lanvin, one would seem to think they jumped straight from Lanvin/Castillo to Alber Elbaz. We have a beautiful coffee table book on the history of Lanvin and it does the same -- no mention of anything produced between 1964 - 2002 when Elbaz took the reigns.

Like many companies in the late 70's + 80's (think Cardin, Dior, etc), the brand was watered down and their licensed goods were far from what was expected of such a prestigious company. We can glaze over that because they weren't the only ones. But, the work produced in the late 60's + early 70's is, unfortunately, practically invisible. It often gets mistakenly lumped into the slightly-later era of the Lanvin "shirt dress" that is getting to be common on the market these days + seem to be hit-or-miss on the wearability of the patterns.

However, Lanvin of the late 60's + early 70's produced some spectacular pieces. Under the direction of Jules Francois-Crahay + Bernard Devaux, Lanvin was a playground for pattern. Bright colors, stripes + some incredible geometric patterns cover everything from this era. While the garments themselves weren't always groundbreaking, the patterns were. It's the simplicity of the garments that help make them classic, timeless pieces. This Fall's runways showed a divide between color-blocked Minimalism + decorative brocades + lames. Early 70's Lanvin seems to bridge that divide with the greatest of ease making it truly on point.

1967 Lanvin caftan maxi dress | 1967 Lanvin plaid ruffle maxi dress

1970 Lanvin circle print dresses

1971 Lanvin striped maxi dress | 1971 Lanvin red/black coat

1971 Lanvin metallic lame brocade maxi dresses

1971 Lanvin square/grid print dress

1971 Lanvin pleated geometric diamond print dress + jacket

Jane Birkin in 1971 Lanvin geometric print ensemble

1971 Lanvin colorful grid striped maxi dress

1971 Lanvin polkadot stripe peasant maxi dress

1971 Lanvin black/white pattern ensemble | 1972 Lanvin green/white blouse + skirt ensemble

1972 Lanvin baroque tapestry maxi dress | 1972 Lanvin red puff shoulder maxi dress

1972 Lanvin Southwestern stripe pleated maxi dress

1971 Lanvin Turkish/Southwestern pixelated maxi jacket/dress

Newly added to the webstore is this beautiful, c. 1971 Lanvin silk maxi dress:

Truly gorgeous c. 1971 Lanvin maxi dress. AMAZING Turkish/Southwestern pixelated ethnic pattern. Incredible collection piece made from the softest silk. Tons of tiny buttons down the front, inset pleat + long skinny sheer sleeves. Nehru collar. Hidden zipper in the FRONT.

Available at http://www.bustownmodern.com.

Images courtesy of Honorata Queen, Holly Gab/Lucitebox, Elinora Couture, Scream For Ice Cream + L'Officiel

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