BOUCHRA JARRA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
If you want to understand the ways in which the runway can be bad for a designer—and for fashion in general—look at the career of Bouchra Jarrar. She’s never once put her ready-to-wear collection on the catwalk in the five years since she launched her company, and—guess what—she’s got one of the strongest, most consistent voices in Paris fashion. That’s because she listens not to magazine editors and image makers, but to her clients and her own heart.
The large, light-filled space in the first arrondissement that she moved into late last year seems to have gotten her creative juices flowing. The new Fall collection was Bouchra, but amplified. There were the perfectly cut pants she’s known for, but now in more silhouettes, the best and timeliest of which was an ass-hugging velvet flare. There were coats of many colors, including a gorgeous double-face ocher, a trench in an oversize menswear check, and an olive green style with fuzzy army-blanket sleeves and a luxe fur collar. (More often, the coats were shown with Jarrar’s signature ribbed-knit or fox-and-buckle snoods.) And—here is where the line is really growing—there were prints: black-and-white zebra on wispy silk blouses and bold leopard spots on a cocoon coat.
Jarrar isn’t on her way to global domination. She enjoys the intimacy of working with private customers one-on-one in her salon too much for that. But her expanding repertoire means she’ll attract new and different kinds of women with this collection. She’s still not showing on the runway, but she won’t be Paris’ best-kept secret for much longer.