Lanvin's Fall 2017 Show Was Gorgeous (But the Casting Left Room for Improvement)

A surprising result from designer Bouchra Jarrar.
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A look from the Lanvin Fall 2017 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from the Lanvin Fall 2017 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

Bouchra Jarrar's Fall 2017 Lanvin show was basically the exact opposite of Tuesday night's Saint Laurent spectacle. It was shown in the eminently civilized and classically stunning, chandelier-bedecked Hôtel de Ville. The models walked slowly down a white carpet — somehow still immaculate despite having been stepped on by a room full of rain-soaked boots — and everyone had a front-row seat, better to see Jarrar's masterful work up close. There was a good amount of daywear — including trousers, romantic blouses and elegant pantsuits, but the airy, well-draped silk dresses were the highlights. They were all done in quiet, solid shades of white, pink and black, and most were cut above the ankle, allowing the models to move beautifully and easily. Even better, most of them wore flats — either ballerinas or ankle boots in python or calfskin — often accessorized with fishnets. The beauty look was simple and pretty, too. The whole collection felt a tad more wearable and modern than Jarrar's Lanvin debut back in September.

But speaking of the models — which included some big names like Bella Hadid, Julia Nobis, Lily Donaldson and Sasha Pivovarova — there was a noted lack of diversity. The cast's whiteness was especially egregious amid an unusually diverse season and given that casting director James Scully recently called out Lanvin (and other Paris brands) about its casting practices, claiming that the label sent a mandate that asked it not be presented with women of color. (Lanvin later denied the claim). In the end, the show only had two black models: Joan Smalls and Alicia Burke, and two Asian: Yue Han and Luping Wang.

It's disappointing to say the least — and, in a way, prevented the collection from feeling as fresh and modern as it could have otherwise.

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