Bouchra who? If most of you had the same reaction when Lanvin announced its pick for a new artistic director, you are not alone. After all, Bouchra Jarrar (say “boo-shra jahr-arr”) is one of Paris’ best kept secrets. That is not to say she lacks the chops for the top job vacated by Alber Elbaz after 14 years at the helm. (FYI: Lanvin staffers Chemena Kamali and Lucio Finale designed the prefall ’16 and fall/winter ’16 womenswear collections).
Trained as a jewellery designer at Jean Paul Gaultier, Jarrar was later handpicked by Nicolas Ghesquiere to be his studio director during his Balenciaga days. She has a first-hand experience at how to transform a fashion brand into a happening commodity in the industry. But Jarrar is also an old school designer at heart. Her atelier business (in the same hood that houses the couture workshops of Chanel and Schiaparelli) was started in 2010 and is a hit among haute couture clientele, especially from the Middle East.
So obsessed is she with tailoring and masculine-tinged designs, that she reportedly never showcased a dress until last year. That shtick runs throughout the five looks that Lanvin unveiled recently to mark Jarrar’s debut outing for cruise ’17. The pieces ride high on the utility of separates in a modern woman’s wardrobe. A tuxedo, a scarf blouse, and cigarette pants cut close to the body, highlight Jarrar’s deft hand at tailoring. Meanwhile, the dresses hark back to the elegant and delicate designs that the maison’s founder Jeanne Lanvin was famous for.
If you think the silhouette at Lanvin in the past decade or so is one that embraces the romantic side in a witty, jubilant and energetic way, then the new Lanvin does not lack that sense of romance. But that is now done in a discreet, refined and respectful manner.
- alber elbaz
- bouchra jarrar