“Love Brings Love” was a characteristically upbeat mantra of Alber Elbaz, the brilliant and widely adored designer who died in April of this year at the age of 59 from Covid-19. So it was fitting that Paris Fashion Week ended under this banner, in front of a crowd of the designer’s family, friends, colleagues, and peers, including Dries van Noten, Olivier Rousteing, Rick Owens, Iris van Herpen, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Jean Paul Gaultier—and France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron.
45 designers and Elbaz’s design team at AZ Factory collaborated on the show in honor of his talent, personality, and design legacy, and many were in the audience that night.
“We wanted to find a way to celebrate Alber’s spirit,” Elbaz’s long-term partner Alex Koo explained during a preview of the clothes created by the contributing designers in tribute. “It is beautiful to see how each designer revealed a different aspect of Alber.” It was truly a labor of love.” ose.
oo explained that Elbaz had long wished to recreate the Théâtre de la Mode, an extraordinary 1945 project that brought together Paris’s 60 preeminent haute couture designers, as well as milliners, hairdressers, and accessory designers, to dress a series of doll-sized figures that were then arranged in vignettes resembling fashionable Parisian life—say, a stroll through the Palais Royal or a night at the Opéra. The dolls and their decors toured the world, vividly demonstrating to an enthralled public that the arts of Paris fashion had survived the hardships of the German occupation and continued to set the bar for technique and imagination.