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Sep 29, 2016
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Jarrar lifts pall over Lanvin with classy Paris show

Sep 29, 2016

Bouchra Jarrar pulled off an impeccable debut Lanvin show on Wednesday at Paris fashion week despite the storm clouds still swirling around the troubled French label.

Lanvin - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

The 45-year-old French designer took the helm of the fashion capital's oldest couture house in March, five months after the shock sacking of its charismatic guiding light Alber Elbaz.

The hugely popular Elbaz had dragged the house from near oblivion during his 14 years in charge, and his departure sparked a revolt by staff and a haemorrhage of talent.

Jarrar's appointment has not ended the turmoil surrounding the brand, with rumours persisting that a takeover could be in the offing to oust its redoubtable Taiwanese owner Shaw-Lan Wang.

But her first collection betrayed none of the behind the scenes drama, a procession of refined and elegant creations which exuded class.

All the Lanvin signatures of feathers and slightly bohemian narrow jackets were there, with pyjama-stripe coats, embroidered flowers and silk trousers cut to fall perfectly over beaded flat sandals.

Unlike her own label's daintily minimalist business day wear, these were clothes for parties, premieres and launches, and Jarrar brought in the big guns of the catwalk to model them, including Imaan Hammam, Liu Wen and Karlie Kloss, who finished the show.

Jarrar told AFP that she was zen despite all that was riding on the show, with Lanvin's turnover sharply down.

"I hate stress, I am someone who likes to anticipate things even if it means I have very full days," she said.

And in as near a declaration that she is there for the long-haul, the quiet-spoken creator added, "I love to dress women, to reveal them to themselves... to cross borders between femininity and masculinity. Hence a wardrobe which shall evolve and echo itself from one season to the other."

And the critics seemed to agree, with the Wall Street Journal's Christina Blinkey tweeting afterwards that "Lanvin's fortunes are about to change for the better".

- Intergalactic Galliano -

John Galliano is another designer who knows all about riding out high altitude turbulence.

Maison Margiela - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

His show for Maison Margiela was in his own words a "cross-pollination of codes (which) draws the eye to focus in desire and delight."

What that meant for those who witnessed it was a fun-filled, ingenious take on what humans -- or indeed Martians -- might wear if Elon Musk ever gets us to the Red Planet.

While some of his combinations might look improbably futuristic, there was plenty of individual pieces that had critics swooning, not to mention the 1940s style suits and trench coats worn with scuba boots.

Dries Van Noten - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

Few designers have clients calculating their credit card limits quicker these days than the Dutch master Dries Van Noten.

His flower powered show was a sumptious ode to silk in all its incarnations, with striking floral patterns in crimson, gold and blue contrasted with black, purple and green flapper-gothic inspired dresses, suits and dressing gowns.

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