Hers was not a music soundtrack, but a reading in French of Marcel Proust. Which perfectly summed up Bouchra Jarrar’s work: her presentations never fail to feel like moments of reflective calm amid the often bombastic mega shows. This time was no exception.
From the first look, consisting of white satin trousers and a white satin top covered by a masculine navy blue coat with badger fur, we knew this was going to be the kind of couture that we’d like to own, and actually wear. The next few looks only confirmed that. Inspired by the 18th century navy, they mixed brocaded jacquard vests and lavaliere lace blouses with simple satin trousers with tuxedo stripes deliciously piped in yellow, the kind of piece that you could imagine worn with a cashmere hoodie, a tailored coat and sneakers. Here, it was worn with flat brogues, as were some of the bias-cut dresses, which crept away from the Oscar-worthy gowns Jarrar has presented in the last few seasons towards more understated territories, even if they still felt equally luxurious. A backless cocktail dress in ivory panne silk (actually a two-piece ensemble) was shown in its mid-calf and full length versions, along with variations on the smoking including a black smoking vest worn with a milefeuille organza skirt and a long grain de poudre and silk jacket, Jarrar’s downplay on the little black dress.
But if the collection was mostly discreet, very much in tune with the French ideas on chic and good taste, one look gave us a hint of a more rococo, extravagant Bouchra: it was a gorgeous gold brocade trouser, worn with a feathered redingote that doubtlessly pumped up the volume. We can’t help but wonder what would happen if the designer decided to explore that path even further. Maybe in her next collection?