Lanvin Spring 2017 Menswear Collection
“It’s a strange time in fashion, and in the world in general,” said Lucas Ossendrijver, clutching a bouquet of white roses like a spring bride. You bet it’s weird. The roses were actually foisted on him by Lanvin’s owner Madame Wang, whose wide grin indicated approval.
She tried to get Ossendrijver and Bouchra Jarrar, the quiet new head of Lanvin’s womenswear, to pose together for photographers. But the press descended first, to get their sound bites. To go back to the start: If it’s a strange time in fashion, it’s particularly strange at Lanvin, where the architect of the house’s contemporary success was ousted, and has been replaced by Jarrar, a designer yet to show her first collection. All this in less than 12 months. We’ve seen a selection of timid Resort looks from her, but the real test comes in September. Which makes this an odd time for Ossendrijver, unsure of how this changing of the guard could affect his own aesthetic. Ossendrijver finished that opening sentence by declaring “I decided to be creative. There’s not much else I can do.” Which is all you want to hear of a fashion designer, really.
Appropriately enough, given the bouquet he was cradling, Ossendrijver talked about romance. “Lanvin is all about romance,” he said of a collection with belts and necklaces pierced with metallic arrows, the same knitted into intarsia sweaters above love poems wound around the waist. Those were the literal; you could also ally the general blowsiness and breeziness to Romanticism of the 19th-century breed.