I am in love with a gay man. There I said it. I am completely besotted with Alber Elbaz, the head designer for Lanvin, the world's oldest running couture fashion house.
My love of Lanvin has been an ongoing affair, but I have only taken up with Elbaz quite recently. It started about five months ago when I read a quote of his in a magazine about women that was so beautiful I was dewy eyed by the final line.
It was love at first read.
Elbaz is famous for his poetic quotes that adore the female form and just reading them make me feel better about myself. Every interview I have read as research for this article has unearthed another Elbaz thought to live my life by.
I've assembled a collection of the best below - just try not to fall in love with him too.
I love and respect women. I work mostly with women. And you know, our logo for Lanvin is a mother and a daughter. I’ve always said, “It’s not a lion, and it’s not a horse. It’s a mother and a daughter.”
Sometimes you have a sketch, and the sketch looks wonderful in your head or on the paper, but women are not two-dimensional beings. It’s not about the front and the back. It’s about what’s in-between. That’s fashion. That’s 3-D.
I read an article about a mother. Her son got injured in a terror attack and he lost his legs. He was 7 years old. This mother left her other four kids and her husband and her job and took this boy to a little room they rented near the hospital. She took care of him for two years. Every time they put prosthetics on him, he’d grow, and they wouldn’t fit, so they’d have to start all over. At that moment, you have to ask yourself: Is fashion important? Is it important to talk about luxury? Does it really matter if you’re going to wear a red dress or not? Finally, I thought, Because of that woman, it is important. You make people dream. You make people think. You have to give them stories. You have to introduce fantasy. Fashion is how we bring them into the world today. That is my job.
Independent, April 2008
I remember a woman telling me that every time she wore a Lanvin dress, men wanted to sleep with her. Later, I thought that I'd rather she fell in love.
The whole idea of instant fashion that you wear for one day and then throw out the next is no longer relevant. When I work, I always think about the women that I know, the women that I want to know, and the people that I love. I'm very romantic and, if we open a dictionary, romanticism is a desire to go back to the past.
The Guardian, October 2004
I love women and I'm not here to make them look like tarts or try to make myself look very original. My clothes are about comfort, simplicity and not stealing attention from the face. If you change a woman's look, you change her persona. I am here to make her look and feel good about herself.
Even his name is poetic... Alber Elbaz. Perfection.