RIP

Every Celebrity Loved Wearing Alber Elbaz’s Dresses on the Red Carpet

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When Tilda Swinton and Chloë Sevigny were nominated for their Oscars, both chose to wear designs by Alber Elbaz, the beloved designer who died this weekend at the age of 59 from Covid-19. For a certain segment of the fashion world, that might just say it all, but Elbaz’s designs weren’t just for the cool girls. Women of all stripes simply loved wearing his designs, especially on the red carpet. First coming to attention with a three-season stint at Yves Saint Laurent between 1998 and 2000, Elbaz’s biggest contribution was reviving the storied French house of Lanvin between 2001 and 2015. When Beyoncé shocked the world with her first pregnancy reveal at the red carpet of the MTV VMAs, she chose to do so in an orange Lanvin gown. Emma Stone, too, was a major fan of Elbaz’s Lanvin designs during her rise to stardom, wearing the label to two Golden Globes. Kim Kardashian attended her second Met Gala in Lanvin. Stars as varied as Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Ellen Pompeo, Julianne Moore, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep (who wore Elbaz’s dresses to the Oscars multiple times, including when she won for The Iron Lady) were all repeat costumers. Perhaps most tellingly, even stars who had official relationships with other major houses still found time to wear Elbaz’s work.

It’s not hard to see why. Elbaz’s designs added just enough glamour and drama to a dress without the risk of wearing the wearer, or, perhaps worse, coming off boring. They were sophisticated, interesting garments that conveyed a unique point of view without overdoing it. It’s worth noting that often, they seemed quite comfortable, relatively speaking, too. In other words, they were the platonic ideal of what many were looking for when it came to red carpet dressing (his menswear work at Lanvin also attracted numerous fans, including Pharrell Williams).

Here, a look back at some of Elbaz’s greatest red carpet moments—although, perhaps, not a complete one. It’s truly hard to underestimate just how beloved his designs were for red carpet occasions.

Chloë Sevigny at the Academy Awards, 2000
SGranitz/WireImage

Nominated for Boys Don’t Cry in 2000, Chloë Sevigny wore one of Alber Elbaz’s designs for Yves Saint Laurent. “They’re very elegant, very classy, very ladylike,” Sevigny once told Vogue of his designs. “It will stand the test of time more than any other collection right now. You could wear it today or in 60 years.”

Chloë Sevigny at Cannes, 2003
Photo by Toni Anne Barson/WireImage

When Elbaz was fired from YSL and reemerged at Lanvin, Sevigny was one of the earlier celebrities to support his new role.

Natalie Portman at the Oscars, 2005
Photo by KMazur/WireImage

Portman was a repeat Lanvin fan throughout the years. When she was nominated for her first Oscar in 2005 for Closer, she wore a Lanvin gown.

Charlize Theron at the BAFTAs, 2006
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Theron was a major Elbaz fan too. She wore Lanvin to the BAFTAs when she was nominated for North Country.

Tilda Swinton at the Oscars, 2008
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Tilda Swinton wore a black Lanvin gown when she collected her Oscar for Michael Clayton.

Mary-Kate Olsen at the Elle Style Awards, 2010
Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Mary-Kate Olsen doesn’t step out in just any other designer’s work—but back in 2010, she chose a black Lanvin ensemble (Ashley was wearing Christian Lacroix couture).

Emma Stone at the Met Gala, 2011
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Emma Stone wore Lanvin to the Met Gala twice, including in 2011.

Beyoncé at the VMAs, 2011
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

After revealing she was pregnant with her first child on stage, Beyoncé changed into a striking orange Lanvin gown.

Meryl Streep at the Oscars, 2012
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Meryl Streep wore Lanvin to the Academy Awards multiple times, including for her last win. Fittingly, it matched the trophy.

Nicole Kidman at Cannes, 2012
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage

Kidman, a red carpet hall of famer, wore Elbaz’s Lanvin multiple times, including to the 2012 premiere of The Paperboy at the Cannes Film Festival.

Jennifer Lopez at UNESCO’s Charity Gala, 2012
Photo by Luca Teuchmann/WireImage

When you think of Jennifer Lopez’s style, you might think of the “va-va-voom” of Versace, but for a few years, Lopez wore Elbaz’s sophisticated gowns quite regularly.

Jennifer Lawrence at the Independent Spirit Awards, 2013
Photo by Michael Buckner/BAFTA LA/Getty Image

J. Law, too, was a fan.

Anna Wintour at Moët & Chandon's 270th Anniversary Party, 2013
Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic

Yes, even Anna wore Lanvin.

Anna Dello Russo at Moncler’s Store Opening, 2013
Photo by Victor Boyko/French Select via Getty Images for Moncler

To have Wintour and the notoriously eccentrically dressed editor Anna Dello Russo wear similar dresses from the same collection within a few weeks of each other, well, that’s something of a fashion world feat in and of itself.

Lupita Nyong’o at a BAFTA event, 2013
Photo by Michael Buckner/BAFTA LA/Getty Image

Nyong’o chose this two-tone Lanvin gown for a BAFTA event.

Rooney Mara at the Dubai Internation Film Festival, 2013
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DIFF

Rooney Mara was a frequent Lanvin fan.

Sandra Bullock at the SAG Awards, 2014
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Bullock wore a green Lanvin gown when she was nominated for Gravity.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Met Gala, 2014
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic

Mbatha-Raw was also one of Elbaz’s biggest celebrity fans, attending the 2014 Met Gala alongside the designer.

Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala, 2014
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

For her second Met Gala in 2014, Kim Kardashian wore Lanvin. It was perhaps the simplest garment she ever wore to the event, but also one of her best.

Selena Gomez at the American Ballet Theater Opening Night, 2014
Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage

Just two years removed from her Disney Channel days, Gomez showed an elegant side in black-and-white Lanvin.

Emma Stone at the Golden Globes, 2015
Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Nominated for Birdman, Stone once again chose Lanvin for the Golden Globes.

Cate Blanchett at the Carol premiere, 2015
Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage

Blanchett wore Lanvin to the premiere of one of her trademark roles.

Reese Witherspoon at the Critics’ Choice Awards, 2015.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Nominated for Wild, Witherspoon wore a pink and black gown.

Natalie Portman at the Berlinale International Film Festival, 2015
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Portman wore Lanvin right up to the end of Elbaz’s run.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the Mortdecai premiere, 2015
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Gwyneth Paltrow also knew the power of a good Lanvin gown.