Lanvin ushers in a new era, Dries Van Noten reinvents florals, and Lemaire abandons its ethos
If Bouchra Jarrar's first capsule collection for Lanvin was anything to go by, a polished collection filled with sleek, tailored suits and timeless gowns is perhaps an obvious (and expected outing) for her Spring/Summer 2017 debut. And the French designer didn't disappoint, delivering a plethora of day to eveningwear that was inspired by the late founder of the house, Jeanne Lanvin. Held within the decadent halls of Hôtel de Ville in the daytime— a stark contrast to Alber Elbaz's evening shows that always imbued an upbeat soundtrack, the show kicked off with pinstripe pantsuits, feathery collars and a touch of sheer by way of negligees. But herein lies proof of Jarrar's expertise with fabrics—her ability to cut, fit and make fabrics work for the female body were demonstrated by satin gowns that draped eloquently on the front and well-fitted jackets of all sorts, including two-toned cropped bikers and tuxedo jackets that serve as delightful alternatives from the usual floor-length gowns for a black-tie event.
Along the runway of Dries Van Noten's SS17 show were frozen flowers immortalised within towering blocks of ice created by Japanese artist Azuma Makoto—an impressive installation that gave us an inkling of what's to come this season. As per every collection by the acclaimed Belgian designer, the only way to make a statement is to go bold wisely without trying too hard. Florals for springtime might be a tad too obvious, but florals in the form of randomly scattered prints and sequin embroideries were a refreshing spectacle to take in, especially when juxtaposed with high-neck Victorian-like collars and blouson sleeves. Amidst a palette of black, off-white and khaki green were splashes of vivid sky blue and summery yellow—all in all a collection that posed as a welcoming respite this fashion month.
Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran went against their functionally-driven ethos this spring with a lineup that had all the makings of a trend-focused collection. Amongst our favourite looks include an off-shoulder ruffled top had a ruched detailing in the middle, paired with trousers that gathered at the ankles, and a cool gray look made of a kimono inspired top and crinkly pleated skirt with an obi belt detailing. While they scored with loose yet voluminous silhouettes, their attempt on prints on prints might have fared better if they stuck to a just solely one standout print (not so much the apricot-hued florals).