This time of year, fashion reporters like to talk about the red carpet. It connects our rarefied business to the real world better than anything else, the thinking goes (if you can call five-figure dresses and armies of stylists, hair, and makeup people the real world). Bouchra Jarrar has never gone after celebrity: Despite showing on the couture calendar for the last five years, she had yet to put an evening dress on her runway. The fact that she finally did so today seemed like a statement of intent: “Hollywood, here I come.”
With all the money that exchanges hands between fashion houses and stars (many are paid to wear the dresses they choose), it’s probably unlikely that Jarrar’s bias-cut, open-back gown in ivory silk will make the trip from Paris’ premier arrondissement to Los Angeles. Too bad, because what a story it would be for the stylist who took a chance on the relatively under-the-radar Jarrar. Two names made at once: that of the actress and that of the couturier—not to mention what it might do for the stylist’s own résumé.
All that said, the success of this collection won’t be judged on whether or not Jarrar’s name gets uttered on the E! network. She’s always made chic daywear the centerpiece of her collection; it’s what sets her apart from the couture club’s more long-standing and higher-profile members. As usual it was her main focus this afternoon, but there were some developments. To start, miniskirts. Jarrar is a pants girl, but she did a bang-up job on her minis; with their diagonal zips (an echo of her signature Perfectos) and super-short hems, they’ll go down as the sexiest things on any catwalk this week. The shiny black PVC pants were a different kind of surprise. They added a touch of kink—a testament, maybe, to the fact that Jarrar, who has moved her atelier from the second to the heartbeat of fashionable Paris in the first, feels well situated enough to let her freak flag fly. Otherwise, a metallic-shot tweed coat with a generous fox-fur collar may have been familiar—Jarrar has long had her fabrics woven specially for her—but it was still fabulous.