When Alber Elbaz left Lanvin earlier this year, the sound of tears was heard through all of fashion. Elbaz had taken a label that was in the doldrums and single-handedly revived it to something great. How could the brand continue to survive with him gone, especially at a time when there is so much change swirling about? As it turns out, Lanvin will do just fine, thank you.
Not too many people were familiar with Bouchra Jarrar when Lanvin named her its next Creative Director,but she has been around. Notably, she worked for Nicholas Ghesquière during his time at Balenciaga. She also has experience with her own label. She knows fashion, but more importantly, she knows women. Before the show she said:
“I love to dress women, to reveal them to themselves, to cross borders between femininity and masculinity. I’ve been exploring the paths of intimacy, building clothes around the body, unveiling and veiling the silhouette.”
Jarrar is also the first female creative director the house has had since Jean Lanvin herself. Not that there was any undue pressure, mind you. Jarrar just need to be perfect.
Perfect might be a matter of opinion, but the designer certainly came close, exceeding general expectations and delivering a collection that was stunningly beautiful. If this is how she starts her tenure at Lanvin, we’re in for years of fantastically great design.
She started with stripes and they kept repeating but were not overwhelming. In the first piece, it was a striped, silk robe with only the center button buttoned, wore under a satin suit. The look was astonishing and immediately had guests in a good mood for what might come next. Stripes were often paired with masculine tailored suits and Jarrar shows an affinity for satin tuxedo jackets layered with softer, more feminine elements. There were also white tux shirts with no back or jacket that were especially appealing
The palette was simple, mostly all white or all black with just a touch of blue to keep things from being monotonous. Sensuality glides through almost every piece, with plenty of lace and sheer fabrics. Ms. Jarrar also likes glittering embellishments and isn’t afraid to make them large and use them in abundance. She doesn’t leave out the leather, though, using it in fun places such as jacket lapels. There is a creative twist to how she fastens skirts. Jarrar also includes a flurry of feathers that brings some lightness and a sense of humor to some of the pieces.
Buzz immediately after the show was all positive. Women are anxious to purchase and wear this collection. While we’ll still miss Elbaz and look forward to whatever he does next, it’s good to know that Lanvin is in good hands. Having a woman at the wheel is a good thing. I think we’re going to be very pleased with what we see over the next few years.