If the clothes that Bouchra Jarrar showed for her second haute couture collection weren't quite as severe as the austere stonework of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs that provided their backdrop, they definitely had a classical rigor about them. Jarrar set out to offer a complete wardrobe—from jackets, dresses, and a trenchcoat to the goddess gown that closed the show—in a way that reflected the breakfast-to-bedtime ideal of traditional couture. That meant her emphasis was on what she felt was essential, and things were pared down to the max. The palette, for instance—navy, black, ivory, with gold accents. And the silhouette, streamlined for an athletic impact that felt very much now (the trench was sleeveless).

There was delicacy in the balance of a two-piece outfit in ivory crepe that met at a single point on the waist. The slashed wool pieces with a glint of gold lamé underneath had a subtle glamour. But the most encouraging aspect of the collection might have been Jarrar's faith in her own voice as a designer. After the show, the Balenciaga and Lacroix alum counted "my maturity, my age" as influences. If enough customers feel the same way, then Jarrar's voice could become that of contemporary couture, too.