Day two at Paris Fashion Week and another debut, this time at Lanvin. Bouchra Jarrar, like Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, has big shoes to fill. Alber Elbaz departed the storied Parisian house under a cloud but he had been instrumental in reinventing the Lanvin woman as a youthful good-time-girl, decked out in crystals and silk evening dresses, but still endearingly rough around the edges. Following his dismissal in October, Elbaz is reportedly seeking 40 million euros in damages, according to the French economics weekly magazine, Challenges. Profits are down, the design team is seriously depleted following several firings and resignations, and one senses the mood is febrile.
Jarrar seemed determined to make a fresh start from the off. Change was symbolised in the new noontime slot (no more early evening with a glass of champagne upon arrival), the super bright lighting of the new Hotel de Ville venue (out with the dusky Elbaz-directed shadows), the stated aim of a new focus on daywear. Furthermore, as the models came out, it appeared Jarrar had stuck to a largely monochromatic palette, in order to further wipe the slate clean.
She also called in the big guns: Karlie Kloss, Guinevere Van Seenus, Sasha Pivovarova, Arizona Muse, Jourdan Dunn. They slunk through the chandelier-hung state room in striped silk pyjama separates, languid floor-sweeping silk dresses, sheer chiffon pleated skirts and ivory suits, progress often aided by flat embellished slides. Everything looked tasteful and considered, not least the crystal corsages applied to waistcoats and jackets. Most successful were the sparkly black mini dresses, some work with sheer lace under slips, which injected the collection with some much needed youthful energy. The final section of cobalt blue sheer dresses and splashy floral prints aimed at reintroducing a feminine softness. But overall this lacked a certain kors swagger.
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