Slumberland, LANVIN’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection pays homage to Little Nemo, a hero emerging from the deepest of dreams.
Created by illustrator Winsor McCay in 1905, the adventures of Little Nemo in Slumberland appeared as a weekly comic strip in the New York Herald that portrayed the escapades of a young boy who had fantastical adventures in his dreams. Bruno Sialelli’s own childhood memories in the south of France often resonated with Nemo, where nothing was impossible, full of happiness, fantasy and dreams. This world is perfectly aligned with the story of Maison Lanvin; a house that began with Jeanne Lanvin drawing clothes for her dear daughter Marguerite.
For his Spring/Summer 2020 collection – its 64 looks for men and women – Bruno Sialelli adds a new chapter to the Lanvin story. In addition to Nemo, he revisits the elegance of the 1950s-60s and its Swans, as Truman Capote called them. Veritable goddesses of style, these jet-setters such as Lee Radziwill and Babe Paley strutted their elegance from the Hamptons to the Riviera with irresistible effortlessness.
Jackets are cocoons for comfort and are accented by ball suits and kimono coats, all architectural pieces where the details (square sleeves, swan necks, hidden buttons) highlight the couture look. Whole pages of Nemo’s adventures can be found on shirts, pleats and flowing jerseys. The opulence of the cuts and fabrics (wool gazar, silk, lurex, linen, voile…) is disrupted by the equally luxurious but ultra- contemporary accessories: XXL chain bracelets, cheeky yet stylish mules, Pharaoh loafers in gold leather and also bags such as the Knocker and the Toy, a bucket bag in resin and cashmere leather, for an endless summer on the beach or on the road.
For men, more casual looks join the LANVIN galaxy: raglan t-shirts with 60s prints by Jules-François Crahay, then Lanvin’s Creative Director; oversized blanket parkas in narrow-striped poplin with tons of pockets…you need them for tidying away souvenirs and other talismans from your escapades in Nemo’s world.
The final parade borrows elements from mukesh, an ancestral embroidery from Egypt that Jeanne Lanvin collected. This technique – linen mesh set with gold staples – is hardly used any more in Egypt, so Maison Lanvin went to India to find exceptional seamstresses who use similar practices. The five Grecian dresses bestrewn with coloured metallic sequins required fifteen thousand hours of work. Ethereal and swirling, they close this almost surreal collection.
Bruno Sialelli purposefully chose the Quai Branly Museum and its magnificent gardens as the setting for his Slumberland. Designed by Gilles Clément, the gardens encourage daydreaming and contemplation, far from the tribulations of the urban world. Adjoining this peaceful haven, a lounge-room has been created for the occasion in the style of famous American interior designer Dorothy Draper. It could be Nemo’s room: wallpaper with wide stripes, deep pile carpet, a happy and carefree exuberance.
The show will take place in silence. Each member of the audience will be given headphones to make the experience even more physically immersive in these dreamlike surroundings. On the programme: an experimental mix designed for the occasion in binaural sound also called “3D sound” with extracts from the King and the Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies and Anna Meredith.
This sound approach is also a reflection on our era and the millennial generation, described as hyper-individualistic and in their own bubble. With this show, Bruno Sialelli does the opposite as he invites the audience to a fun and immersive experience in his own bubble, the bubble of his era: the LANVIN bubble.