10 Years of Lanvin with Lucas Ossendrijver

10 Years of Lanvin with Lucas Ossendrijver

Celebrating a decade with Lanvin, Lucas Ossendrijver shares his ambitions for the future of menswear.

Celebrating a decade with Lanvin, Lucas Ossendrijver shares his ambitions for the future of menswear.

Photography: Fumi Nagasaka

Styling: Julian Antetomaso

Text: Joseph Akel

“The hardest thing to do in fashion,” Lucas Ossendrijver notes, “is last.” Such sentiments, coming from Lanvin’s menswear creative director, are especially salient given that the Dutch designer is celebrating his 10th anniversary this year with the storied French fashion house. “It’s easy to start, people are excited and you get attention for a few seasons.” But, he continues, the real challenge is: “How do you stay relevant? How do you not give up and become institutional and boring?”

However, while Ossendrijver may entertain such concerns, judging by his Fall 2016 collection, he most certainly looks to be at the top of his game. Once again displaying his knack for combining traditional techniques with an eye firmly set on embracing the new, pieces from the collection include a shearling patchwork jacket and shoes spray-painted to create a marbled effect. Accompanied by meticulously constructed garments accentuated by exaggerated stitching details, the overall feeling for the show was both sophisticated and coolly insouciant.

“I’m always referring to things that are well-done, well-made, high quality,” he points out, but just as importantly, “how to make that modern, how to make that contemporary.” And it is that interplay between stylistic flourish and functionality that lies at the heart of Ossendrijver’s design sensibility.

In part, Ossendrijver ventures, his aesthetic draws inspiration from what he sees as a uniquely French approach to menswear. “It’s kind of a studied nonchalance. Although it might be very nonchalant, a lot of effort goes into it to make it look that way. It takes more finesse and feeling for clothes to put something together that looks like you don’t care, but you do.”

But undoubtedly, too, Ossendrijver credits his time working alongside Alber Elbaz, Lanvin’s former creative director for womenswear, as a lasting influence. “I love Alber,” Ossendrijver notes before pausing reflectively. “He was the reason I came to Lanvin. I wrote a letter to Alber asking if he could spare me five minutes and look at my work.” A week later, Ossendrijver met with Elbaz at Lanvin’s Paris atelier and, from there, the rest is history. “The Fall season, of course, was kind of a strange season for me,” he adds, “because it was the first I did without Alber. His [2015] departure made me think more about what I do, and why I do what I do, and why I love doing what I do.”

Now, looking back on his time with Lanvin, Ossendrijver points to his Fall 2011 collection as a defining moment. Staged at the Palais de Tokyo, the visually dynamic setting showcased the designer’s talent for playing with classical menswear elements in a decidedly modern way.

“For that season,” Ossendrijver notes, “I felt more in control. The scale had changed.” Critics at the time were quick to applaud the collection and many saw it as a high note for the line. And yet, for Ossendrijver, reflecting on the past 10 years, including the departure of Elbaz, is cause for excitement more than nostalgic reverie. “What I love about fashion,” he concludes, “is that it gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself every six months, the possibility to question everything, every time.”

FROM LEFT: LEO WEARS CLOTHING LANVIN S/S ’16 SADIK WEARS CLOTHING LANVIN F/W ’16 SASHA WEARS CLOTHING AND GLOVES LANVIN F/W ’10 JUSTIN WEARS CLOTHING, NECKLACES, BAG LANVIN F/W ’14 HANS WEARS CLOTHING LANVIN F/W ’15 PHILIP WEARS CLOTHING AND GLOVES LANVIN F/W ’13
Credits:

GROOMING Cedric Jolivet (See Management)  Hair Marco Braca (Kramer+Kramer)  Models Leo Bruno and Philip Witts (Ford), Sidik Francis (Red Model Management), Justin Crichlow (IMG), Hans SINGER (D1 Models), Sasha V  Photo assistants Eduardo Silva and Kohei Kawashima  Stylist assistant Angela Braidi  Retouching Urban Print and Motion  Location ROOT Studios

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