A poignant SS22 season, thanks to the return to live shows, aptly ended with the most touching show, a tribute to the late Alber Elbaz held at Paris’s Le Carreau Du Temple. The “Love Brings Love” themed spectacle saw Paris Fashion Week close with 45 renowned guest maisons and designers showcasing unique looks in memory of one of the industry’s most-beloved designers. Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton Gucci, Fendi, Stella McCartney, Raf Simons and Rick Owens were just some of the industry giants who united with the design team at AZ Factory, the fledgling Richemont-backed label Elbaz founded in 2019. And as they honoured the brilliant yet humble creative mind, who died in April of COVID-related complications, a star-studded audience, whether peers, colleagues or friends, sat amongst his family. The front row included the likes of Farida Khelfa, Demi Moore, Anthony Vaccarello, Jean Paul Gaultier, Olivier Rousteing and Brigitte Macron, France’s First Lady.
“Love brings love. It was Alber’s mantra. This evening, we witness this beautiful phrase become a powerful expression of love and respect by the industry in his honour,” Alex Koo, Albez’s long-time partner, could be heard saying before the looks debuted. “Most of all, Alber would have been incredibly honoured to be surrounded by his peers, colleagues, collaborators, friends and family. He would have been in tears of joy and happiness. Simply, a beautiful love letter to Alber.”
On what would have been Elbaz’s first Paris Fashion Week collection for AZ Factory, the first look was the designer’s own creation, a simple black dress with a shoulder wrap, styled with oodles of pearls. A look the designer, who always supported females, described as one that “can hug a woman” and hold her when she needs it. Additionally, the incredible celebration in memory of the former Lanvin designer included several pieces that were a nod to the theme, like a white dress featuring heart designs and a white coat embellished with hearts around the edges.
There were also lots of bright colours that hinted at Elbaz’s joyful spirit, including two looks with ruffles, an Elbaz signature. As well as the elegant green ruffled outfit and the bold blue ruffled top worn with leggings, there was a flowing yellow evening gown and a boxy red dress Plus, of course, loads of pink, another Elbaz trademark, was spotted on the catwalk. Meanwhile, other looks were a tribute to his playful and humorous side, like a Minnie Mouse-inspired dress and a cartoon T-shirt of Elbaz wearing a red bow tie, styled with a bright pink coat. A bow tie, a staple in Elbaz’s wardrobe, was also seen on a gown and on Anja Rubik as she modelled in a suit, something the former Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent employee always sported too, usually featuring a velvet jacket.