from new york to milan to paris, the fashion pendulum has either swung to an eighties revival or to something quite dark and aggressive. leave it to alber elbaz to remind everyone that in these times when everyone is trying to answer the question on how to confront the gloomy economy, the answer lies in the simplest, purest purpose of fashion...beauty. its the same formula he's always referred back to since becoming creative director at the oldest surviving house in paris. and it is that formula that turned a what was once almost forgotten house into one of the most successful brands of the new millennium. and it owes it all to the sincerity of its designer. he's never once ventured away from what the true purpose of a designer is. and that is to enhance the innate beauty that lies in all woman. this season he sent down a parade of clothes that bears the now unmistakable signature of lanvin through elbaz's hands and did so by giving what most of the collections lacked this whole entire show season, clothes for every occassion. there were forties inspired suiting with a peplumed waist line worn with a knee length pencil skirts that attenuated the woman's silhouette and cocoon coats for day. and when the sun comes down there is of course the beautiful cocktail dresses that seems to dance around the body with the lightest movement. all done with the luxurious sophistication that comes with everything elbaz touches. and while the colour palette was sombre, this collection erupted with optimism. but not in a blatant excessive way. it didn't need bright colours or sparkles and big shapes to achieve it. as always he was able to express all the strengths of a man, but with all emotions of a woman. elbaz managed to accomplish that by giving it what he's given every single collection he's designed. a soul. a commodity more precious now than ever before.