It’s no secret that Bouchra Jarrar has a soft place in her heart for what the French call the perfecto jacket. It’s a perennial in her collections but in this show, the biker classic was omnipresent. Since her start in 2010, Jarrar has played the couture tailor. In the midst of Paris’s haute evening poufs, she delivers credible daytime couture for women who one imagines go to work both before and after lunch. This has inevitably led her into menswear interpretations. Jarrar has repeatedly taken the trench, monk’s kimono and military dress coat, transforming them with asymmetrical cuts, stylized flounces rich fabrics and embellishment until they become truly couture, feminine and very Bouchra.
The couture collections presented in Paris this week have been full of feminized menswear from the embroidered flight suits by Raf Simons at Christian Dior to pajama tops and ball gowns from Giambattista Valli and the bike shorts Karl Lagerfeld showed under every skirt at Chanel. So Jarrar was right on trend as she turned the perfecto into a scarf-like accessory displaying a bare back, as a dress in iridescent tweed unzipping to leather, or a precious bird in black and white feather stripes. The biker variations were scattered throughout this sporty collection. The perfecto was cinched at the waist, flounced with a slinky-style peplum, and elaborately patchworked in a mix of tweed, glazed leather, feathers and Lesage crystal embroidery.
This is Jarrar’s second outing as an official French Haute Couturier having been given the appellation by the Chambre Syndicale last December, but instead of adding gravitas, the acceptance seems to have acted like an elixir of youth on the house’s style. The silky polos, sporty side-striped pants and school girl oxford lace-ups with mini chain trim put a gamine spin on couture. RV