Cover The “Love Brings Love” Show in honour of Alber Elbaz by AZ Factory at Paris Fashion Week (Photo: Peter White / Getty Images)

From Jean Paul Gaultier to Guo Pei, 44 designers and brands each created a special piece to honour Elbaz who passed away this April from Covid-19

You need not have known the late Alber Elbaz to be moved by the touching tribute show that took place in Paris last night in his honour. But if you were one of the lucky people to have encountered Elbaz—legendary designer known for his grand romanticism at Lanvin, but best known for his big heart—then the show, entitled “Love Brings Love” would turn you into a sobbing mess.

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That was the case for the hundreds of editors and friends present, as well as the epic front row of designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Maria Grazia Chiuri of Christian Dior, Rick Owens, Daniel Lee of Bottega Veneta and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino. They were part of an impressive list of 44 designers who were invited to create a special piece inspired by Elbaz to be showcased that night.

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The room was abuzz with anticipation (and champagne) as technicolour spotlights in the shape of Elbaz’s AZ Factory logo, a circle with two dots for eyes, roamed the floor. Then supermodels glided gracefully in each designer’s unique pieces, from frothy, jewel-toned confections by Pierpaolo Piccioli to suits mimicking Elbaz’s glasses-and-bowtie look by Ralph Lauren.

Shortly before his passing due to Covid-related complications, Elbaz was in the midst of promoting the debut of his new label, AZ Factory, a line of athleisure-meets-couture, or, as he said in our interview, clothes that allow women to go from “gym to dream in under two seconds.” Elbaz, after all, loved to dress women, and spent his career striving to make them feel beautiful. His team continued his work with a fresh collection that same night, with more vibrant duchesse satin frocks and figure-enriching shapes.

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Finally, supermodel Amber Valletta came forward in an ensemble that was unmistakably Elbaz in spirit and imitated his sombre bow, as heart-shaped confetti descended onto the stage and the rest of the models were revealed, dancing on scaffolding to a roaring and teary-eyed audience.
 
Few designers could have brought the fashion world together, and the night was a testament to Elbaz’s legacy both for his talent and for the genuine warmth he shared with those he touched. He will be missed.

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