Alber Elbaz Put His Models in Flats So They Wouldn’t Stumble on the Runway Like Drunks

Lanvin, spring 2011.

Some designers get off when models stumble or fall in their heels. Miuccia Prada said she "liked it" when girl after girl went kersplat on her spring 2009 runway, owing to an anything but fortuitous socks-and-sandals combination. "I don't care!" was Max Azria's response to the three models who fell on his fall 2009 Hervé Léger runway. But Lanvin's Alber Elbaz is very concerned with his models looking classy, instead of like they're on something.

He spoke to WWD about his spring 2011 show:

“It was a nightmare,” recalls Elbaz, noting that the models were initially shod with towering titanium heels. “We did the rehearsal and all of a sudden I saw the girls couldn’t walk. I saw the agony in their faces. They were shaking; they looked like alcoholic girls.” Luckily, he had the sandals from the commercial collection backstage. “We bring everything [to the show site],” he explains. So off the stilettos went and on came the flats. “Only 10 or 12 [of the models] said they could walk in the heels,” he continues. “But the ones that couldn’t were, like, 37 of them. I got very emotional — not that I got mad at them — but I got very emotional that they didn’t complain. You know what? Damn it with image. You can be stubborn and go after an image, but I’m not an image-maker; I’m a dressmaker. If you don’t feel good in something, you don’t look good with it.”

So that's how trends happen. We thought designers sat in a secret basement together and schemed over how to get us to buy things, but not necessarily.

The Brilliantly Uncool Alber Elbaz [WWD]