Bouchra Jarrar has been showing at Couture for six seasons and has yet to put a single beaded ball gown on her runway. Rigor is her stock in trade, and there was more of that at her Musée Bourdelle show today. She opened with tailoring. It's as precise as ever—she cuts a mean pair of trousers. But notice the ruffle at the hem of the first look's ivory vest. That small detail told the whole story of the collection, which was notable for its new sense of femininity.
"Everything has a waist," she said backstage. "It's very constructed, but A-line and flared." A year ago, her jackets were boxy and her frocks were almost egg-shaped. Here, belts played a starring role, whether cinching dresses made from shirting stripe fabric or buckled over the black, peplumed bustier that topped a pair of gabardine pants.
Women have fallen for Jarrar because she's given them something new to wear for work. This season, seduction is the order of the day. A silk gown in a lily print turned to reveal a plunging draped back. Another long dress was made from shifting layers of georgette and crepe de chine in black and a green she aptly called "very profond"; the effect was captivating. And, yes, she even did a beaded gown, or at least it was partly beaded on its bodice. Lovely all around.