Technically Bouchra Jarrar showed her first collection for Lanvin for resort a few months ago—but it was a quiet in-person appointment and pre-photographed clothes. Not the bells-and-whistles of the runway with all eyes and cameras pointing her way. Where her resort collection adamantly proposed a new direction for the brand, one that focused on day wear, Jarrar chose to further separate herself from the Alber Elbaz years—where the infectious Elbaz was worshipped by editors, buyers,clients and the design team — by showing during the brightly lit day, as opposed to the dark, glittering night of yore.
But day or not, her spring show was her way of saying, “I can do glamorous, feminine evening, too!” An arsenal of silk evening suits and diaphanous sheer black gowns came out. Variety was introduced via pinstripes or feather and flower details.
Bouchra designed her own couture collection for years, and before that worked for Christian Lacroix and was the studio director for a decade for Nicolas Ghesquière at Balanciaga. All that training was evident in the lovely way she draped floral gowns, silk cocktail looks and glitzier metallics. But the final product felt a wee bit safe. It was beautifully done, but it didn’t have oomph — even the see-through gowns tied bows jauntily at the neck.
Which isn’t to say that there wasn’t plenty of things a woman could buy and happily wear. Commercial viability is something Jarrar has been talking about a lot in recent interviews, aware of Lanvin’s sliding numbers. Her tuxedo trousers were cut impeccably, as were the more fluid pajama-style versions.
But change and a clear vision, which Jarrar has, might be a good thing ultimately for Lanvin. It’s been a rough year for the brand with the acrimonious parting with Elbaz, his design team literally revolting and the company subsequently taking them to court. It’s a lot for any designer to walk into and wrestle. But if Jarrar’s calm and collected designs are an indicator of how she operates, hopefully smoother waters lay ahead for the Lanvin team.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US