How did it get started? Jeanne Lanvin was born in 1867. She became an apprentice milliner in Paris at the age of 16, before training as a dressmaker and setting up her own millinery store. As well as hats, Lanvin made blouses, dresses, men's suits and children's clothes. By the 1920s, she'd opened several stores featuring home decor, menswear, furs and lingerie. In 1924, she started a perfume business, launching her signature fragrance, Arpege, three years later. Over the years, Lanvin made a name with her unique trimmings, embroideries, loose dresses and beaded decorations in clear, light, floral colours. She died in 1946. After several changes of ownership L'Oreal bought the company in 1996. Who's behind it now? In 2001, a group of investors led by Taiwanese media magnate Wang Shaw-lan bought the brand, and hired Israeli designer Alber Elbaz (right) as artistic director. Dutch designer Lucas Ossendrijver oversees menswear. The look Elbaz has become a favourite with editors and fashionistas, thanks largely to his flattering designs - typically fluid silhouettes made from luxurious fabrics, with details such as raw edges, exposed zips, frayed seams and heavy embellishment. For the autumn/winter women's collection Elbaz references Lanvin's dress sketches from the 30s with a silhouette that focuses on the shoulder. Who wears it? Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman and Sofia Coppola. What else can I buy? Lanvin also has a line of accessories and perfumes. Where can I buy it? There is one women's boutique in Hong Kong (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7323) and three menswear boutiques (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7686; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2523 9512; Hong Kong Airport, Lantau, tel: 2261 2611). A selection of ready-to-wear and accessories is available at Lane Crawford and On Pedder boutiques.