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Paris Fashion Week closes with a tribute to the life and work of Alber Elbaz

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

6 Oct 2021

Fashion

Image: AZ Factory Alber Elbaz tribute

In the spirit of Love Brings Love, an ode and celebratory show of Alber Elbaz closed Paris Fashion Week. As the founder of AZ Factory, what would have been his first PFW collection, the house paid tribute to his joyful spirit, humility, creativity, humor and iconic legacy. 45 guest Maisons and designers participated to create one-off looks for their friend and peer, one of the industry’s most-beloved designers who passed away from Covid complications earlier this year.

Closing an emotional SS22 season, one that heralded a return to live shows, an international community came together in united spirit. Participating designers including Raf Simons, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rick Owens, Thom Browne, Dries van Noten, Stella McCartney created one-off looks for the tribute part of the show, as did major fashion houses Gucci, Fendi, Alaïa, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Comme des Garçons, the list goes on. On the front row was Brigitte Macron, France’s First Lady, seated amongst a sea of celebrities and fashion cognoscenti.

The presentation began with one of Elbaz’ own looks for his fledgling label AZ Factory, a simple black dress with a shoulder wrap, styled with a multitude of pearls and veil, funereal and beautiful all at once. Dries van Noten created a coat with a print featuring a self portrait of Elbaz. Saint Laurent paid homage to his playful personal stye with model Anja Rubik wearing his uniform of a black suit, white shirt and pink oversized bowtie. The bowtie also returned in a gown by Comme des Garçons.

The collection lives on

In his final days, Elbaz worked on AZ Factory’s fashion week collection, one that bears his signature style of joyful, playful details he was so well-known and loved for. The brand partnered with a European textile company on the development of a unique fleece fabric made from organic cotton and innovative seaweed blend, as part of its commitment to inclusivity and sustainability.

Image: AZ Factory

At the end of the show the tribute became a celebration of someone who always designed with the person in mind, who championed positivity and who’s generous disposition was unique in the cut-throat world of fashion. As for Lanvin, the house he headed from 2001 to 2015, he single-handedly put it back on the map. As a rainbow of pink confetti dropped from the ceiling and the models danced in celebration, it was proof his legacy will live on.