From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the ’80s, the French house’s latest collection drew from disparate eras to modernize bygone design

​​Bruno Sialelli’s Winter 2023 collection was an “observation of the history of Lanvin”—evoking, by the label’s own account, not just the ’40s and the ’80s, but also the 18th century as a whole, the Renaissance, and the Middle Ages. Though Lanvin is the oldest fashion house still operating in Paris, these influences may still seem overly broad. They’re united, however, by the timeless joy of making, and their status as the eras which Jeanne Lanvin drew from herself.

The presentation was staged at the Collège des Bernardins, a vast Cisterian structure harkening back to the 13th century. Under its vaulted ceilings, the new and the old came easily together: embellished hoods mimicked armor, where metal studs formed polka dots; double-breasted suit jackets were modernized with mohair trim; modest silhouettes were rendered translucent, or slit up the thigh.

“Creation is a gift to our ‘thirsty eyes,’” reads a statement from the house, referencing a poem by Claes Oldenburg, from his exhibition Shelf Life. “A fashion collection, like a film or a novel, is an expression of pure imagination made reality.” The concept underscores Sialelli’s collection—driven by narrative from the pages of history, imagined anew for the future of Lanvin.