There has been a musical chair of sorts happening in the fashion world since Raf Simons vacated Dior last October. The dust has settled somewhat with the latest news of Hedi Slimane’s replacement after his departure from Saint Laurent, being fashion’s worst-kept secret as rumours began circulating for months prior to that. Here’s our Designer 101 of the latest cohort to join three of Paris’ high-ranking fashion houses recently.
Balenciaga Demna Gvasalia, an influential emerging force in today's creative world is the new artistic director of Balenciaga. Demna Gvasalia personifies a unique approach to the profession, marked by a sociological observation of the wardrobe's essentials and the way he remains modest and rigorous in his creative work. Gvasalia was also acknowledged as a low-key designer known for his work with underground streetwear label Vetements before replacing Alexander Wang at Balanciaga. Having studied at Antwerp’s well-known Royal Academy of Fine Arts, he went on to design for Louis Vuitton and Maison Margiela. He comes to Balenciaga with experience: a stretch at Maison Margiela (after Margiela himself had retired), and a year or so as a senior designer at Louis Vuitton.
Lanvin Bouchra Jarrar is Lanvin’s new creative director and is taking over Alber Elbaz who departed the fashion house last October after 14 years. Jarrar created her own couture house in 2010 after 20 years at a number of Parisian houses, including working as head of haute couture design at Christian Lacroix and as studio director at Balenciaga, under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière. Her couture collections are focused on practical luxury and tailoring, and her mastery of cuts and fabrics will bring a breath of freshness and innovation into the house while respecting its soul as the oldest Paris couture house, a symbol of French sophistication.
Saint Laurent Anthony Vaccarello has been named the new creative director for Yves Saint Laurent, the fashion house, as confirmed by parent company Kering. Vaccarello, 36, spent three years at Versus Versace, initially as a consultant and, since 2015, as creative director. Born in Belgium to Italian parents, Vaccarello studied at the art-and-design school La Cambre in Brussels and graduated in 2006; that year, he took home the top fashion prize at the annual Hyères Festival in France, which emphases on emerging talent. Over the years, the young designer has amassed a long list of fans. His runway regulars include the insanely famed models Karlie Kloss, Anja Rubik and Joan Smalls; and Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez have worn Vaccarello ensembles on the red carpet.
Saint Laurent Runway for Fall Winter 2016/2017 by Hedi Slimane
Dior Studio heads Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux did the honours for Dior Fall/Winter 2016-17 ready-to-wear and the house has yet to firm up on the top spot vacated by its ex-Belgian Creative Director, Raf Simons. The million-dollar question remains: who will replace Raf Simons at Dior? Your guess is as good as ours.