This year, 3 big luxury houses, Lanvin, Christian Dior and Saint Laurent, have presented new collections from their new creative directors. Now in the midpoint between the 2017 spring/summer fashion show and coming 2017 autumn/winter fashion show, it is high time for us to look back at how well the new creative directors poised between the house tradition and their aesthetics. How did they conjugated market expectations and artisanal traditions; and what should we all expect their next performance?

Lanvin

The first collection by Bouchra Jarrar, the new creative director of Lanvin, had gained vast attention before the show day. Held in the Hôtel de Ville, the occasion held the most dramatic and opulent air, amongst all the Paris fashion shows. Jarrar’s signatures and classic Lanvin aesthetic presented itself all over the runway. Feather-trimmed jackets, slim-cut suits have been recommended by fans and critics alike as pieces worth splurging on.

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Lanvin ss2017 | Photography courtesy of INDIGITAL

The buzz around Jarrar’s first show was her ode to femininity. Many designers choose to tailor their collections for their model muses. However, Jarrar focused her designs on women everywhere of different shapes and sizes. The fluid and dark pieces excited the market. No longer the idea that only slim and tall models can bring the collections alive. This could be considered a homage to the original house of Jeanne Lanvin who sparkled in the beginning of 20th century of couture history.

“I have been exploring the paths of sensuality and intimacy – building clothes around the body, veiling and unveiling the silhouette – crossing borders between femininity and masculinity.”

Bouchra Jarrar, 2016

After years led by male designers, Jarrar’s appointment as Creative Director should not be considered a notable success, rather a nod to the correct direction. Finally introducing a female director, more of Jarrar’s exploration in the aesthetic world of Lanvin waits to be seen.

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Lanvin SS2017 | Photography courtesy of INDIGITAL

Christian Dior

The debut of Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior jumped on the feminist concept trend with the ‘We Should All Be Feminists’  T-shirt. Maria Grazia also transformed the catchphrase “J’adore Dior” to “J’adior”. Used throughly within the collection, it was woven on bra stapes, the stripes of black sandals, the heels of boots, the bags, the earrings, and the belts.

Maria Grazia portrayed silhouettes with a romantic rock feel, with pleated tulle skirts and stitched leather canvas jackets. Don’t let the light fabrics and beautiful Tarot card patterns fool you. These Dior women were built as to be warriors.

“I strive to create a fashion that accompanies them in their transformations. To escape stereotyped masculine / feminine, Young / less young categories.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri , 2016

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Christian Dior ss2017 | Photography courtesy of Vogue

With experience as creative director in Fendi accessories and Valentino, Maria Grazia naturally took on the ecological process from design to creation in Dior. She knew exactly what she wanted. And she kept close relationship with ateliers. She proved that women can play an equally important role in the hall of fashion by succeeding as another first female women creative director in the historic brand.

Although Chiuri’s reverence to Monsieur Dior was clear, her signature of mastering colours and fluid gowns seen in Valentino took both the audience and Dior onto a new adventure. After the show in the back stage, Maria Grazia was smiling and content with her works in front of interviews. With heritage as heavy as Dior, it is always a big challenge for new designers. This has been depicted directly in the movie ‘Dior and I’ where former creative director, Raf Simons put in his all in his first Dior show.

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Christian Dior SS2017 | Photography courtesy of Vogue

Saint Laurent

Anthony Vaccarello signed off his first show for Saint Laurent with a sexy 80s collection. Leather and black drew attention, but it was the transparencies stressed in the established looks that truly surprised everyone.

After departure of Hedi Slimane, Anthony Vaccarello was invited into Saint Laurent house as the sole candidate. He renewed Saint Laurent’s look with the classic rock style. Off-the-shoulder silhouettes, tulle and laces exposed the chest.

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Saint Laurent, ss2017 | Photography courtesy of Vogue

Anthony Vaccarello interpreted the Saint Laurent dress from 1982 with sharpened cut and different fabrics. More fabric options like leather, vinyl, velvet, lace added different dimensions of sensuality and rigor to the Saint Laurent girls. Vaccarello also weighed in his personal philosophy about luxury. Expressing, it’s about being luxurious instead of looking luxurious. Attitude is the core: the true spirit of Saint Laurent. French, free, elegant and cool.

The new designer has amplified the Saint Laurent brand with his bold contouring of the female body. Anthony Vaccarello strived further beyond the expectations of Saint Laurent, and instead invented pieces to the appetite of the modern woman.

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Saint Laurent SS2017 | Photography courtesy of Vogue

“I wanted to have fun.”

Anthony Vaccarello,2016

References

Carine Bizet (2016) About [Online] Available at http://www.lemonde.fr/fashion-week/article/2016/09/29/anthony-vaccarello-le-lisse-ce-n-est-pas-saint-laurent_5005211_1824875.html#RYVJg49LQ0imAQi1.99

Suzy Menkes (2016) About [Online] Available at http://www.vogue.fr/suzy-menkes/la-chronique-de-suzy-menkes/diaporama/pe2017-fashion-week-paris-defile-lanvin-courreges-maison-margiela-suzy-menkes/37493#fashion-week-paris-maison-margiela

Marie Périer (2016) About [Online] Available at http://en.vogue.fr/fashion/fashion-news/diaporama/six-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-lanvin-show/37483#les-mules-pailletees

Steff Yotka (2016) About [Online] Available at http://www.vogue.com/13487000/paris-fashion-week-spring-2017-recap-dior-loewe/