If you've been paying attention to the headlines, you'll have noticed that France's big fashion conglomerates have been in major acquisition mode lately. The designers in whom they're investing are mostly out-of-towners, and mostly men. Their prerogative. But why hasn't one or the other of them snapped up Bouchra Jarrar? Jarrar doesn't receive the editorial attention of a J.W. Anderson or a Christopher Kane, partly because she presents on the runway during the Couture shows and not ready-to-wear, and partly because she specializes in real-world chic. But her clothes are worth getting excited about—really excited, if you're the kind of woman who can appreciate a perfectly cut trouser, a leather biker jacket that isn't trying too hard, or a draped, asymmetric dress in a patchwork of tonal silk and crepe.
Jarrar's Spring ready-to-wear collection, which she presented in her atelier today, was a clever diffusion of her July Couture show: similar shapes, more attainable, everyday fabrics. The ivory bead-encrusted vest that nabbed so many raves was redone here sans embellishment, save for a zipper-trim martingale that gave it a dose of cool. The patchwork dresses lost their extravagant drape; in two different shift styles they looked more office-ready. And a black and white striped cotton sleeveless coat would make a versatile fashion investment. Jarrar has built a very nice business on her skills, but just imagine what she could do with a supportive, smart backer.