The rumour mill ramped up this week as top editor’s on the front row at Paris Fashion Week shared the news that haute couture deisgner, Bouchra Jarrar, was the front runner to replace Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. This morning, the house finally confirmed Jarrar as its new artistic director, set to show her debut collection for spring/summer 2017 in October.
Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2016
‘Who?’ we hear you ask. Not exactly a household name, the 45-year-old French deisgner's quiet but extraordinary ascent has been impressive: she worked in the jewellery design department at Jean-Paul Gaultier, before becoming studio director under Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga (if you haven’t checked out Demna Gvasalia’s debut autumn/winter 2016 collection for the label you need to see this), for ten years. She then had a brief stint as director of haute couture for Christian Lacroix, before launching her own eponymous label in 2010. In 2013, she became a member of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture (meaning her label is officially haute couture).
Jarrar's appointment makes an interesting statment about the fashion industry right now, and its division between couture nostaligia and 'disruptive' rookies (the afforementioned Gvasalia being one). This recent shift towards old school couture techniques includes game-changing moves by power players such as British RTW designer Giles Deacon, who recently join the haute couture schedule, and Hedi Slimane, who threw a couture curveball during his autumn/winter 2016 show.
Jarrar brings a modernity to traditional design: renowned for bringing a sporty ease to the red carpet, her impeccable tailoring and attention to detail (especially with regards to her suits, jackets and trousers,) have made her popular with low-key dressers like Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston.
Editors love her too: WWD’s Miles Socha described her spring 2016 couture collection as ‘mouthwatering’, again underlining the tailoring in her ‘universe of great-fitting pants, killer peacoats and alterna-tuxedos.’
So, what will she bring to the effervescent house of Lanvin? ‘The harmony and consistency of a fashion designed for women, a fashion of our time,’ Jarrar explained in a statement.
‘Her timeless style is in keeping with the style and values of our company,’ Lanvin chief executive officer Michèle Huiban said in a statement released earlier today. ‘Her talent, her high standards and her mastery of cuts and fabrics will bring a breath of freshness and modernity into the house, while respecting its soul as the oldest Paris couture house, a symbol of French elegance.’
With Lanvin in seemingly safe hands, it’s all eyes on Dior…