As another Paris Fashion Week comes to an end, AZ Factory closed the season with an emotional “Love Brings Love” tribute to the founder and creative director, Alber Elbaz. The 59-year-old designer had just debuted the brand in January with Compagnie Financière Richemont before passing away in April due to Covid-19. Beloved by many in the industry, 45 fashion houses came together to collaborate with AZ Factory in a collection that celebrated the memory of the late designer. The show was an artistic interpretation of Elbaz’s long life dream to recreate a Théâtre de la Mode, or a circus of fashion, inspired by looks from prominent designers as an expression of creativity, love, and solidarity within the fashion industry.
Known for his transformative leadership during his time with Lanvin, Elbaz’s guidance propelled the luxury brand into a new era of creativity and glamour. His skilled craftsmanship with ruffles, bows, dressy fabrics, candy colors, and more, solidified the designer as a force within the industry, making him revered by many of his peers. Of course, the sentiment was reflected in the guest list as industry powerhouses like Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli, François-Henri Pinault of Kering Group, Giambattista Valli, Naomi Campbell, and the First lady of France, Brigitte Macron was in attendance. A true pioneer, Elbaz’s contributions to fashion influenced many of today’s leading designers including Christopher John Rogers and Iris Van Herpen, who both participated in the show. With every outfit being inspired by each designers’ personal connection with Elbaz, it was fitting that many of his signature techniques were celebrated throughout the collection.
As 45 looks paraded down the runway, each was placed in alphabetical order from Alaïa’s sheer pink tube dress to Valentino’s extravagant gown of hot pink volutes, a nod to one of Elbaz’s most iconic silhouettes from his Spring/Summer 2008 collection. Rick Owens offered his interpretation of Elbaz with a stunning hooded gown that captured the romantic and whimsical nature of the designer while Jean-Paul Gaultier presented a layered couture dress with three-dimensional ruby hearts that skillfully protruded from the silhouette. With numerous designs existing within Elbaz’s archive, many designers used other artistic elements to present their interpretations. Dries Van Noten developed a bold slim red coat complete with a charming sketch of Elbaz while Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing depicted Elbaz on the bodice of his fluid white satin evening dress.
Elbaz’s own AZ Factory also premiered its Spring/Summer 2022 collection with 25 looks that emphasized the designer’s love of squiggled ruffles, voluminous puffs, and refined black tailoring. Amber Valletta embodied the designer seamlessly as she closed the collection wearing a coat cut from the same pattern as the original design made for Elbaz by his team, which also featured the designer’s signature tilt-bow and an embroidered hem filled with images of Elbaz’s most iconic looks.
The grand finale of the show ended in true Elbaz fashion— a joyous celebration complete with cascading heart-shaped confetti and groovy tunes. In an industry where competition and elitism run rampant, the homage to Alber Elbaz showcased the immeasurable influence of the late designer and was nothing short of a historic moment for the fashion community.
Click through the gallery to see every look from AZ Factory Spring/Summer 2022.END
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