Although Lanvin is one of the oldest fashion houses around, it was Alber Elbaz, its creative director from 2001 until 2015, who really defined its aesthetic, turning it into one of the most admired labels of the 21st century. His was a tough act to follow, which is why expectations were running high when his successor, Bouchra Jarrar, unveiled the label’s spring/summer 20017 collection in Paris on Wednesday.
Jarrar, who cut her teeth at Balenciaga and Christian Lacroix, definitely broke with the past, offering a sober line-up of column gowns and pajama-like outfits in a muted palette of black and white, with only a smattering of purple dresses and floral prints. Gone were the jewel tones, one-shoulder cocktail dresses and cascading ruffles that characterized Elbaz’s tenure.
Sheer negligees worn under biker jackets, feather embellishments on coats and dresses, and silk robes paired with oversize striped silk suits gave the collection a sense of lightness and fluidity that speaks to Jarrar’s ability to flatter a woman’s body. Most models came down the runway wearing chic bedroom slippers but the killer accessories were crystal mesh anklets and bracelets that will definitely be bestsellers when they hit stores next spring.