WHY BOUCHRA JARRAR’S APPOINTMENT AT LANVIN IS BITTERSWEET

In honour of its original founder, Lanvin today announced the appointment of Bouchra Jarrar as creative director

This morning confirmed the rumours that had been circulating for the last week in fashion circles from Paris to New York. Bouchra Jarrar will assume the reigns at the maison of Lanvin with her debut collection hitting the runway in spring/summer 2017. The appointment of Jarrar raised some interesting questions. With previous creative director Alber Elbaz citing the lack of time and burn-out as reasons for his departure, Jarrar whose repertoire has been mainly haute couture, will have to contend with the high demand for turning out new ready-to-wear collections every season. However, unlike her predecessor Alber Elbaz, Bouchra Jarrar will only design for the womenswear collections, while Elbaz was also responsible for menswear.

When it was announced that Alber Elbaz was to leave Lanvin, no-one seemed more surprised than Elbaz himself. The man who had been credited with reviving the brand, dressing many a red carpet screen siren, appeared to be thoroughly disappointed to leave the storied maison of Lanvin, which was almost synonymous with his name. The announcement was originally made via Instagram and WWD and what followed was consternation that rocked the house with rumours of poor treatment of the much fêted designer. The Israeli-born designer had been at the helm of the French label for over 14 years and made an impassioned speech about the lack of time designers have for artistic experimentation, a note echoed by his contemporary at Dior, Raf Simons.

“We designers started as couturiers with dreams, with intuitions and with feelings…Then we became creative directors, so we have to create, but mostly direct.” Alber Elbaz

Only a week before Elbaz’ surprise resignation which was fuelled by creative differences with owner Taiwanese media mogul, Shaw-Lan Wang and CEO Michelle Huiban, Raf Simons announced that he would be leaving Dior due to similar time constraints.

Bouchra, Bouchra, who the f*&^ is Bouchra?

Jarrar established her eponymous label in 2010 (available at Net a Porter) having worked under Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga (my favourite ever Balenciaga designer – sorry Alexander Wang) and at Christian Lacroix. Known for her sharp architectural tailoring, killer tuxedos and impeccable attention to detail, Jarrar has dressed Jennifer Aniston and Ciara but she claims that dressing celebrities doesn’t interest her. Her fresh approach to haute couture, including the addition of studded motorcyle leather jackets, patent joggers and leather trenches (without a trace of Neo from The Matrix), has earned her plaudits, including a membership to the Chambre Syndicale, the chamber of haute couturiers in Paris. While Alber Elbaz was known for his soigné, feminine designs, Bouchra Jarrar’s razor-cut tailoring and nods to menswear will certainly add a fresh new element to the house of Lanvin. Although I certainly regret the departure of Elbaz, who appeared to be a true gentleman in every sense of the word, this new appointment certainly brings with it excitement and promise. Who could have predicted the success of Alessandro Michele at Gucci? Not I. Perhaps Bouchra Jarrar will have the same effect? Only time will tell.

All images via Vogue.com

 

 

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