It was a quintessentially French collection at Lanvin this week, and what could be better than that? Creative director Bouchra Jarrar has had no difficulty defining her own point of view at the iconic French fashion house after the outrageously successful tenure of her predecessor Alber Elbaz. Despite an unapologetically feminine collection dominated by layers of tulle, masses of ruffles and sheaths of sheer chiffon in shades of buttercream and blush, nothing about the pieces felt fussy or contrived. There was a beautiful languidness to the collection, in fact. The French make everything look easy.
There were punctuations to the frothiness, of course: leather trousers, a sweater dress paired with fishnet tights, utilitarian boots in patent black and navy and an impeccably tailored black trouser suit. I loved the leather culottes worn with a high-neck, ruffle-trim blouse.
Slip dresses featured strongly, too, in a nod to fashion’s ongoing love for boudoir dressing. But there were no mix-matched paisley prints and PJs. It was a far more elegant affair in vanilla coloured silk satin dresses, one of which had a gorgeous twisted asymmetric neckline. Bags were mostly mini – more like jewellery – and feathers were a continuous motif, on shoes, jackets, belts, bags and collars.
Jarrar has done that very clever thing of producing a collection with strong contrasts that is completely cohesive nonetheless. If anyone can make we want to wear ruffles, it’s her.