Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz narrowly avoided a disaster on the catwalk -- he told WWD that all of the models at his Spring/Summer 2011 show were initially sent strutting in 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."
Incidentally, Elbaz also revealed that when he left the fashion world years ago after Gucci Group took over Yves Saint Laurent, he considered becoming a doctor -- a side-job that might come in handy if he continues to craft shoes that look like medieval torture devices.
"I'm a hypochondriac -- big time. I'm fascinated by doctors. If you had a stethoscope now, I'd be fainting here," Elbaz said. According to WWD, Elbaz got back into fashion after he read an article "about a mother whose son was hurt in a terror attack."
"At first I thought to myself, who needs fashion?" he recalls. "Look what life is about." Yet the next morning, he woke up with the thought that fashion makes women feel good. "A doctor will give you a Tylenol," he says. "I will give you a beautiful red coat, and you will feel as good with Tylenol as with the red coat."
Check out the heels in question, which some of the models did manage to wear (although do note the Band-Aids...yikes!):