Alber Elbaz’s wish to unite the fashion family and celebrate her creativity and her heart came true on Tuesday night at AZ Factory’s “Love Brings Love” tribute fashion show, closing Paris Fashion Week with a poignant event in memory of a fashion greats.

Cannons detonated heart-shaped confetti at the end of an electrifying parade that saw top designers and heritage brands each create a look in tribute to Elbaz, who died last April at the age of 59 from COVID- 19.

the First Lady of France Brigitte Macron; the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo; actress Demi Moore; luxury titans François-Henri Pinault, Diego Della Valle, Marc Puig and Antoine Arnault, as well as a who’s who of top designers came for a show that extolled Elbaz’s design heritage and its fabric toolbox dress, grosgrain, ruffles, bows, industrial zips and candy colors.

“I did it out of respect for Alber and everything he did for fashion,” said Dries Van Noten, who layered one of Elbaz’s charming sketches of her bow tie over a thin red coat. with a flowery shoulder. “He added so much, especially the joy, the happiness, the fun of fashion. We all loved Alber for who he was, what he did – everything.

Bruno Sialleli’s ruffled backless dress with a spectacularly puffy train for Lanvin was printed with another self-caricature of Elbaz, who became a fashion superstar with his 14-year stint at Lanvin from 2001 to 2015. (The style was a nod to the Spring 2008 Lanvin collection, one of Elbaz’s prettiest.)

“Alber, with only a few lines of sketches, could describe the world and capture an emotion,” said Olivier Rousteing of Balmain. “We are here tonight to celebrate his talent, his energy and his happiness.

Pierpaolo Piccioli spoke about the kindness and generosity of Elbaz. The Israeli designer gifted a couture apron, decorated in his inimitable way, when Piccioli assumed the reins of Valentino’s solo design in 2016.

“It was all about the touching connections,” Piccioli recounted, which is why he chose Mariacarla Boscono, a mutual friend, to model her one-shoulder flared pink dress trailing a big red ribbon.

Before the lights went out at the Carreau du Temple, designers from several generations mingled and chatted, including Jean Paul Gaultier, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Glenn Martens and Giambattista Valli. Rick Owens, in towering platform boots, leaned in to hug Anthony Vaccarello, while Givenchy’s Matthew Williams happily posed for photos with his peers.

When the lights finally went out, Alex Koo, Elbaz’s life partner, greeted everyone in a taped address, explaining that before his death Elbaz had wanted to put on a live parade of top talent, a take a look at the Théâtre de la Mode’s traveling exhibition of miniature fashions to revive an industry devastated after World War II.

“Alber would have been incredibly honored to be surrounded by his peers, colleagues, associates, friends and family – he would be in tears of joy and happiness,” Koo said. “He made us dream.

Suddenly, a small projection showed Elbaz peeking behind a curtain, cooing, “Time to start!”

Tribute looks were paraded alphabetically, from Alaia’s sheer pink tube dress, with heart shapes covering the essentials, to Y / Project’s elegantly crumpled minidress – 45 interpretations of Elbaz’s polished designs sprinkled with detail sewing.

Owens captured the late designer’s romantic spirit in a whimsical yet melancholy hooded cape and dress, and Thebe Magugu his flair for the theater in a feathered hat and languid silk ensemble, all in white. Heart patterns abounded, protruding from a Gaultier corset, in front of a Dior dress and highlighting a jumbo trench coat by Viktor & Rolf.

Elbaz’s design team at AZ Factory, his new fashion business with Compagnie Financière Richemont, capped the show with 25 looks that echoed his scribbles of ruffles and puffs of volume, while venturing into beaded catsuits and the understated black cut that Elbaz himself favored.

In interviews conducted before the event, Riccardo Tisci called Elbaz a “master” of fashion who stoked his love of the industry, while Thom Browne hailed him as “a true designer who inspired so many. by his generosity of spirit and pure creativity. “

Iris Van Herpen, who worked under Elbaz at Lanvin, credited her with her fashion philosophy. “Honestly, he taught me everything I know. I started when I was 25, so I was like a kid, and I left when I was 31. So literally all of my own fashion DNA I learned from him, ”she said.

Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli agreed that Elbaz was unique.

“When you think of the traditional trajectory of a designer, there is often that very tortured or tragic part, and Alber’s life has been a foil to that,” he said. “I think the joy with which he approached his work was an example… When other designers really emphasized the obscurity and selfishness of their own feelings, Alber was really service-oriented.

At the end of the parade, the black background fell to reveal all the models on a vast scaffolding at three levels grooved for the O’Jays’ 70s hit “Love Train”.

Rousteing perhaps summed up the event best: “One night is too short to say what it meant to me.


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