Bouchra Jarrar's true love is tailoring. She is a master—both technically skilled and inventive. But we're already well aware that she cuts the best pants in Paris, and we've ogled her Perfectos, in leather or hand-woven tweed, for seasons. The challenge for Jarrar going forward is building on this strong foundation; for her reputation to grow, she needs to build her repertoire. She took several steps in that direction at her show today: sampling from the world of sport; tweaking her signature Perfectos; and, most persuasively of all, because it's so far removed from her usual formula, experimenting with flou.
First the sport: Jarrar's silk track pants were as faultless as the pleated wool trousers that came later. Polos and jerseys made from metallic thread tweeds accented with black leather and finished with striped rib looked cool—more casual than anything she's previously done. Fashion has been borrowing from activewear for a while now, but if this part of the show registered slightly familiar, it didn't detract from the appeal of an outfit that teamed a black leather vest with a pleated full skirt boasting a ribbed athletic waistband. To update her Perfectos, Jarrar added sculptural fillips of fabric at one hip, as if your favorite biker jacket had gotten together with a hot little 1950s cocktail number and reproduced. The effect was sexy and charming. Newsiest of all the developments were the multilayer leopard-print chiffon plissé dresses. A single trapeze dress required an astounding 50 meters of fabric because of the layers and pleats, and yet it was completely effortless, with a buoyant sense of movement. We're looking forward to more of this kind of thing from Jarrar. At the opposite end of the flou/structure divide: The black-and-white-striped pheasant feather vests were subtly spectacular.