“A younger, more modern feel.” That, according to Bouchra Jarrar, must be the template for the new couture, one that retains all of the genre’s haute while leaving fussy in shreds on the atelier floor. Boy, is she doing her part.
Since launching her house, Jarrar has combined ready-to-wear and couture in her shows, with the emphasis on the former. No longer. She is so committed to and intrigued by the viability of “accessible couture” that for fall, she changed the ratio, upping the haute to about 70 percent of the lineup. Make no mistake, in Jarrar’s hands “accessible” means neither mundane nor watered down, but clothes with real resonance for daily life. She loves a mannish, tailored silhouette and delivered it in arresting jackets and vests, often with military or motocross details, over slim trousers. The tailored constructions were exquisite. Several jackets made liberal use of bold zippers for functional and decorative ends; a simpler vest featured two hand-woven tweeds in contrasting textures. Throughout, the lines were spare but not minimal, the looks completed with elaborately draped tops and multistrand leather and belts. Jarrar also played to a woman’s feminine side with airy tent dresses in graphic, off-kilter combinations of blush, beige and black.
These clothes pulsed with an elegant raciness rare in couture circles. Yet lest anyone miss — or dismiss — their haute grounding, Jarrar went overt with a crystal-embroidered feathered harness and an iridescent pearl-encrusted vest, both worn over white pants. These flaunted traditional couture craftsmanship even as they challenged its traditional perceptions. They rocked.