At Lanvin, Bouchra does polished yet romantic for her French fans
Poetic yet never prissy, romantic yet assertive, the second collection for Lanvin by Bouchra Jarrar showed how remarkably quickly this designer has made the house her own. And how much more French is the house of Lanvin today - once famed for dressing Hollywood heavy hitters, its front row today was crammed with Gallic notables.
Born in Cannes, Jarrar packed her front row with local icons – Eric Cantona, his actress wife Rachida Brakni, thesp Lambert Wilson, Isabelle Adjani and rock legend Christophe Bevilacqua. But if the audience was eclectic, the clothes were finely focused and the palette strict – flesh, powder pink, black and ivory.
Crossed, draped ballerina dresses with lace sleeves; perfectly cut English wool redingotes paired with power-hued lace blouses; or zigzag fur coats worn over lace flapper dresses.
Plus Jarrar mixed in her own DNA – with tough chic Perfecto biker jackets in glazed black deerskin, their sleeves cut off, and worn over silk and lace shirt dresses. On the catwalk, the models marched to a remix of David Bowie’s “Where Are We Now.”
“She has injected rock 'n' roll into Lanvin,” smiled cult singer and composer Keren Ann, who came attired head to foot in Bouchra’s Lanvin – stunning in a faux zebra-skin coat. “I have time for one show in-between work. I am doing the soundtrack to the latest movie of Anna Mouglalis, 'The Most Assassinated Woman in the World.'”
It’s impressive how quickly Bouchra has remade Lanvin in her own image. Under her much-admired predecessor Alber Elbaz, the house was famous for its bulky and quirky jewelry. Jarrar has used the house’s resources to dream up a whole series of small exotic diamante bird brooches and buckles that flew across chiffon blouses or held together black boleros.
“I began working with jewelry, real feathers and extremely precious metals. And this allowed me to develop all this whole aviary,” the designer explained.
“I wanted a pure moment of fashion. Not politics or moralizing,” said Bouchra backstage, where a speech by Général de Gaulle at the Liberation of Paris was stenciled onto the wall of a paneled drawing room overlooking the Seine.
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