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Last Thursday, the new Lanvin boutique on Rodeo opened, almost literally under the cover of night (well, dusk -- they opened at 5pm). We were in the area Saturday afternoon; we imagined it would have been filled with curious and exalted fashionista and lovers of pretty, but we imagined wrong. The salespeople to customer ratio was 10 to 1 (that one being your truly). The windows are whimsical and magical, with balloons, mannequins in brightly colored frightwigs and hotly hued spring frocks. But inside, it's all terribly serious and Parisian. You go down some stairs and at the front of the store is a sitting area, with a cooly elegant sofa and coffee table, fresh-cut flowers, and the oversized Lanvin book published by Rizzoli. Everything is displayed "just so", and there are a few artfully tended display cases filled with Alber Elbaz's obsessions (coloring pencils and stationery, crystal globes). But the store is curiously devoid of the cheeky yet sophisticated fun that's become a hallmark for the brand. Witness the very back room, with its total lack of the zinging colors of the new spring collection, and it feels like the most somber bridal boutique ever. The store carries RTW, men's, jewelry, and they've even got a shoe wall. The gorgeous but slightly austere store seems to be saying, "You know that H&M collab we just did? We really don't want those commoners buying our clothes."
· Lanvin [Official Site]