As speculation swirls about impending cost cuts at Lanvin, Bouchra Jarrar continued to chart her course for the house with a pre-fall collection that she described as the logical next step after her palate-cleansing debut last fall.
“We are working in a very energetic and constructive way on building the foundations for the house’s new start. I am tackling this revival head-on and with a lot of enthusiasm,” she declared.
Jarrar cast a wide net with a wardrobe spanning from daywear to cocktail looks and evening gowns, all infused with her trademark precision cuts and graphic use of color. A tailored, androgynous silhouette contrasted with feminine pussy-bow blouses and slit skirts.
The designer revived a primitive black-and-white print from 1939 that recalled founder Jeanne Lanvin’s love of travel. It appeared on items including a sleeveless georgette blouse, which was versatile enough to be worn with a sharp red trouser suit, or a ladylike matching skirt and coat.
She worked in African influences with a light hand, most conspicuously on a zebra-print sleeveless parka with black sheepskin lining. Eveningwear skewed retro, as in column gowns embellished with feathers and rhinestones.
But where Jarrar’s approach most differs from her predecessor Alber Elbaz’s is in her focus on real-world dressing, with options like flared white jeans or a brown velvet trouser suit. “I don’t like the word casual — I don’t even know what it means — but you can be chic and relaxed at the same time,” she said.
Time will tell if a steady pair of hands can steer Lanvin to calmer waters.