August 31, 2015
Alber Elbaz, artistic director of French fashion house Lanvin, is the subject of a new photography exhibit in Paris.
In the digital age, Mr. Elbaz stands out as unique as the designer does not have an email address, does not use social networks and tasks out to others the documentation of his work through photography or film. The new photography exhibit, housed at Paris’ Maison Europeene de la Photographie, showcases Mr. Elbaz’s career at Lanvin and will be on view from Sept. 9 through Oct. 31.
Lights. Camera. Alber.
To celebrate its artistic director’s success, the house of Lanvin shared the details of the exhibit on its social media accounts, originally posted by Maison Europeene de la Photographie. On Facebook, the brand created an events post, and as of press time more than 5,000 of Lanvin’s fans have already RSVP'd as attending.
In the link accompanying the save-the-date posting, interested Lanvin and Mr. Elbaz enthusiasts can read additional details. The article explains that although Mr. Elbaz does not use many of the technological innovations of today, digital design still directly influences his work because the “image is also his job,” meaning that even though something looks beautiful on a screen it is not a given that it will look beautiful or comfortable on the human form.
The exhibit, organized by Mr. Elbaz and his team, brings viewers into the intimacy of Lanvin fittings, the emotion of the house’s runway presentations and the beauty of creation. Divided into five “thought” rooms, the exhibit seeks to highlight Mr. Elbaz’s work as a creator, not as a monologue but as a dialogue between fashion and photography.
More than 350 signed photographs comprise the exhibit with works by photographers such as Purpose Sou Lai, Mark Leibowitz, Katy Reiss, James Bort, Juliette Da Cunha and Alex Koo. The exhibit also includes a video installment narrated by Mr. Elbaz, animated by Jean-Christophe Moine and directed by Seraphin Ducellier.
Mr. Elbaz often shares his anti-technology rhetoric while acknowledging its usefulness and potential in the fashion industry.
During the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference April 23, Mr. Elbaz said computers will never be able to replicate the imagination and intuition of a designer, but they may help fashion houses look back at yesterday while keeping an eye on tomorrow.
During his speech, Mr. Elbaz contemplated if computers will one day replace the creative mind of a fashion designer. He concluded that although fashion shows some degree of fear toward technology, there is potential to combine the disciplines for the greater good of the industry (see story).