Lanvin show kicks off carousel of new designers in Paris

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Models present creations for Lanvin during the women's 2018 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear show. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - France's oldest fashion house, Lanvin, sought to draw a line under a period of upheaval on Wednesday (Sept 27) with a sleek, largely monochrome collection by its newest artistic director.

Designer Olivier Lapidus, appointed in July after the short tenure of his predecessor, Bouchra Jarrar, unveiled a pared-back line-up dominated by black, with wispy gowns and shorter, asymmetric ensembles.

Lapidus' debut is one of several closely watched maiden collections at Paris Fashion Week, at a time when brands are jostling to make a mark and ride an upturn in the luxury goods industry.

Among the top names, France's Givenchy, owned by luxury firm LVMH, will present the first outing by ex-Chloe designer Clare Waight Keller on Oct. 1.

Lapidus - who had recently set up his own label and is the son of the late, well-known French couturier Ted Lapidus - is Lanvin's third artistic director in three years after star designer Alber Elbaz was sacked in 2015 following a boardroom spat. Sales have since faltered.

Nicolas Druz, a close adviser to Lanvin's majority owner, Shaw-Lan Wang, a Chinese-born media magnate, said the fashion house would be looking to experiment more with technology as part of its makeover. This included the manufacture of fabrics, he said - one of Lapidus' specialities.

"We are going to try and create something new," Druz said after the show inside Paris' ornate Grand Palais exhibition hall. Druz is to shortly take up a seat on Lanvin's board.

The latest collection included a voluminous black jacket in a neoprene-style material. Lapidus also introduced splashes of colour with silk prints bearing the Lanvin logo, in red, white, green and blue combinations.

France's Guy Laroche presented designs by its new artistic director, Richard Rene, on Wednesday.

Chloe's first collection by Louis Vuitton alumnus Natacha Ramsay-Levi will air on Thursday, when Carven's new designer, Serge Ruffieux, will also make his debut. Paris Fashion Week runs until Oct 3.

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