PARIS — When the designer Alber Elbaz, who died from Covid-19 final spring, left his longtime job as inventive director of Lanvin in 2015, he didn’t simply leap straight into one other model. Instead he took time to discover different industries, meet new individuals and take into consideration what it was that might make him actually blissful. He had loads of concepts.
One of them grew to become AZ Factory, the brand new enterprise that merged style, know-how and leisure, which he launched with the backing of Compagnie Financière Richemont in January, just some months earlier than he handed away in April.
And one other, one he by no means realized however at all times dreamed of, was to create what he generally referred to as a touring theater of style, or a circus of style, impressed by the French théâtre de la mode, a touring exhibition of mini-mannequins in couture meant to promote the trade in the post-World War II interval. Only he didn’t need to make his model doll-size; he wished to enlist a cohort of his designer friends to create “love, beauty and hope” (in the phrases of his companion of 28 years, Alex Koo) by bringing their vocation to the world for anybody, and everybody, to get pleasure from.
Designer friends working collectively in the pursuits of affection and hope? People patted him on the again and wished him luck.
But on Tuesday night time in Paris, on the ultimate night time of style month, solely 5 months after the information of his dying rocked the trade, it occurred.
Forty-five designers from all over the world had been introduced collectively on the invitation of Mr. Koo to every make a single outfit in Mr. Elbaz’s reminiscence, impressed by their relationship with the designer or their recollections of him. Together with a set from his last design staff, the work made a style present, held in entrance of his actual household, flown in from Israel, and his style household. Not as a memorial, however as a celebration.
Rick Owens was there, speaking to Jean Paul Gaultier. So was Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli and Maria Grazia Chiuri of Dior. Antoine Arnault and Sidney Toledano of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton had been sitting with Philippe Fortunato of Richemont (who helped notice the night time), François-Henri Pinault of Kering and Diego Della Valle of Tod’s. Demi Moore and her daughter, Scout Willis, had been shut by. So was Brigitte Macron, the primary girl of France.
Around them waiters circulated with Champagne and multicolored éclairs, as a result of Mr. Elbaz believed in meals and hospitality (regardless that he fretted about his weight). The entrance to the occasion was papered with a few of his favourite sayings. “When nothing goes right, go left” being quintessential.
If his phrases had been on the partitions, nonetheless, his picture was stamped on the garments.
Sometimes actually so, as in the case of Dries Van Noten, who made a crimson coat out of a techno materials developed with Mr. Elbaz’s AZ Factory collaborators, and Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, who made a white satin mini gown with large crystal-studded sleeves: each included the caricatures Mr. Elbaz used to draw of himself on notes and invites.
But generally the connection was extra summary.
There was loads of sizzling pink, Mr. Elbaz’s signature shade, as in the ruffled silk float from Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino, the enormous nylon taffeta-bowed bubble from Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga and the leather-based bubble from Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton. Big, boa-constrictor ruffles, just like the tulle frills that Tomo Koizumi snaked round his little black gown. Funny Charlie Chaplin fits and bow ties, which had been Mr. Elbaz’s uniform, interpreted by Ralph Lauren (who additionally made a Teddy Bear sweater, as a result of Mr. Elbaz was famously cuddly) and deconstructed right into a gown by Rosie Assoulin, the New York designer who had as soon as been Mr. Elbaz’s intern.
And there have been hearts, as a result of Mr. Elbaz signed all the things with a coronary heart, as in the pajama swimsuit from Guram Gvasalia of Vetements. Ms. Chiuri embroidered “I love you” in script on her ball robe.
It was a reminder that Mr. Elbaz had that often-rare factor in style: a private and identifiable design signature and such a fertile physique of labor it could dwell on as inventive fodder for others (rumor has it the clothes might turn into a part of a touring exhibition, as Mr. Elbaz hoped). But additionally that his work was not the one affect he had.
The title of the night was “Love Brings Love,” which was just about Mr. Elbaz’s motto in life. He believed that if he noticed the great in different individuals, they’d show equal to the expectation.
For that night, in Paris, the style world wiped away the stereotype of itself as a aggressive, elitist trade, and proved him proper. If that isn’t a lot a second as a recalibration, his dream actually could have come true.