(images by Getty) Moroccan born Israeli clothing designer for Lanvin, Albert Elbaz, unveiled a collection of greater depth

and versatility on Friday evening in Paris than anything he has previously presented.  As the Wall Street Journal noted:

Mr. Elbaz has become more versatile as a designer the more years he has under his belt at Lanvin. That was clear as he swerved from shiny trench coats to a gauzy veil of a dress and a series of tightly-pleated skirts and frocks - beyond his old repertoire of day-to-night dresses.

Observing the evolution of a designer and artist from an economic perspective poses a unique set of challenges and opportunities.  It’s difficult to dissect the work of artists using economic tools, as the discipline has traditionally been concerned with behavior in aggregate, not the behavior of the individual.   Economist David Galenson is the only academic economist of note to study creativity and innovation in the artistic marketplace.  His work focuses on the life cycles of artists, dividing them into two groups, Conceptual and Experimental Innovators.  The former, constituting those who, among other things, generate their greatest works early in their careers, and the latter, being those who produce their greatest works later in their careers. Using these and other of economics’ analytical tools provides a new opportunity to understand how creative innovation happens in the course of an artist’s life.

It’s probably too early to evaluate the influence/import of Elbaz’s work, but the piece in the WSJ caught my attention because it eluded to the maturation and creative evolution of the Lanvin designer.   The unveiling of these new works in Paris on Friday could signify a major moment in the life cycle of this fashion-artist. The key question that remains is one of determining Mr. Elbaz’s long run influence and import to the fashion community. Will his work significantly influence future generations of designers? Does anyone involved with fashion have a comment or perspective to share?

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful