First Raf Simons resigns from Dior, and then seven days later Alber Elbaz makes a shock exit from Lanvin, part of the extraordinary break-up in current fashion.
"In this digital age, we live through our screens, documenting the moment. We no longer look: we film. We no longer listen: we tape. And we no longer talk: we post."
This poetic, intuitive and inspirational designer has a highly personal and original view of fashion, artistry and luxury that he shared with the CNI Luxury Conference audience, which you can watch here
For my views on the rarity of longevity as head of a fashion house, read my story, "Why Fashion is Crashing
", and for the fashion community's reactions to Alber's news, here's how it rolled out on @suzymenkesvogue on Instagram, where I've been posting on the road, from Seoul to Sydney...
1 #ALBERELBAZ was pushed out of #lanvin after 14 years at the helm — according to the tone of the comment issued by the house of #lanvin. This was the bald statement: "Today the House of Lanvin ended its collaboration with Alber Elbaz. We would like to thank him for the chapter he has written in the House's over-125-year history." It does not seem too generous a "thank you" to the much-loved designer who followed the power, passion and insecurity of the modern woman and re-kindled the spirit of Jean Lanvin and her appreciation of women's rights and feelings.
2. The Lanvin Creative Director's generosity and courtesy to other designers is legendary. Alber was utterly respectful toYves Saint Laurent when he took over YSL ready-to-wear, before #TomFordkicked him out. This is what Alber said as he left the house of Jeanne #Lanvinyesterday: "At this time of my departure from Lanvin on the decision of the company's majority shareholder, I wish to extend my gratitude and warm thoughts to all those who have worked with me passionately on the revival of Lanvin over the last 14 years; to express my affection to all my wonderful colleagues in the Lanvin ateliers who accompanied me, and who enriched and supported my work. Together, we have met the creative challenge presented by Lanvin, have restored its radiance and have returned it to its rightful position among France's absolute luxury fashion houses.”
Gracious and inspiring, Alber will be much missed. But I do not believe for one moment that this is the end of his fashion career. There is not only the inventiveness we see each season at his shows, but also the extraordinary depth and feeling he pours into every aspect of his work, displayed to perfection at his exhibition in Paris.
3. The elegance of #alber at #lanvin. More than 350 images by photographers including James Bort, Juliette de Cunha, Mark Leibowitz, Katy Reiss and Alex Koo are on display at "Alber Elbaz/Lanvin: Manifeste", an exhibition that he curated to show not only his work at Lanvin, but to explore the relationship between photography and fashion and celebrate the art and craftsmanship of clothes making. The exhibition is on at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris until 31 October.
4. #alberelbazmanifesteimages to show why women love Alber Elbaz at Lanvin
5. The Lanvin look from Alber Elbaz.
6. Alber Elbaz — the designer who loves and serves women. A mannequin from his "Manifeste" exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, which closes Saturday 31st October. Followers and friends in Paris, catch it while you can - that's THIS weekend!
I had a great time with Alber Elbaz at the very first Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, Italy, last April. Alber is always so funny yet profound. You can hear what he said on vogue.co.uk
7. Alber Elbaz at the first Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, April 2015, with Suzy Menkes (left) and Angela and Rosita (far right) Missoni.
Alber's talk was the talk of the town, and he proved himself ahead of the times in his analysis of fashion on fast forward. If anyone can transform an unpredictable situation into a triumph, it's him.
For more insights into the creative process of design, shared experiences from the frontline of fashion and predictions of future market trends, join us at Future Luxury
, the Condé Nast International conference in Seoul, April 2016.
For a taste of what to expect, watch our archive of interviews and talks from the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, in which Karl Lagerfeld, Tory Burch, Jony Ive, David Lauren, Nadja Swarovski and a host of fashion luminaries and industry legends spoke frankly and from the heart on their adventures in fashion.