Artistic Director of Lanvin Alber Elbaz attends Day 1 of the International Herald Tribune Heritage Luxury Conference at theInterContinental Hotel on November 9, 2010 in London, England

Alber Elbaz at the International Herald Tribune Heritage Luxury Conference in London, 2010

Lanvin creative director, design collaboration superstar and all-around loveable fashion gnome Alber Elbaz did time at the British Vogue Festival this weekend–and Simon Burstein, CEO of London luxury boutique Browns, saw fit to ask Elbaz what he thought of Hedi Slimane‘s critically-derided, commercially viable collections for the newly revamped house of Saint Laurent.

Elbaz, ever the diplomat, replied:

“You’re sure I would say, ‘No comment,’ right? But I comment on everything. […] When you come into a house like Saint Laurent, or Chanel, or Lanvin, and you go into a place that existed before you were born and will exist after you die,  it takes some time to get in, to get to people, and to get the energy of the place. Hedi is a very, very, very talented designer. It’s not that I say that because I know him, but I know his work, and both of us worked at Saint Laurent at the same time. I think he’s a very, very talented guy, and we just have to give him time to really build a story. We’re living in a time where everything we are doing needs to be better, bigger, faster and cheaper. And we don’t give the time, because everything is instant. But not everything is coffee.”

He added, “You know, to be a fashion critic is easy, because you just say, ‘I love it, I hate it,’ but life is more than love and hate. Already I hear that it’s selling very well, and a lot of people are wearing it, so I think he’s doing a good job and I wish him all the best, really from the bottom of my heart.”

Well, to be fair, being a fashion critic isn’t ‘so easy’ when designers are as thin-skinned as Hedi Slimane, but…

(photo via Getty)