Bouchra Jarrar and Julie de Libran treat guests to intimate Haute Couture shows
For her return to the catwalk, Bouchra Jarrar opted for an intimate show. On Wednesday, she invited a handful of friends and journalists to her apartment, welcoming them personally to what felt like a warm and friendly reunion. Founded in 2010, the French designer's namesake brand has not presented a runway show since 2016, when Jarrar joined Lanvin, serving as creative director there until 2017.
For her comeback, she wanted to present an "ideal wardrobe," sending out some 15 looks that included something for everyone: men and women, young and old. "Edition n°1," as she entitled her collection for next summer, was made up of desirable basics tailored in beautiful fabrics.
A military coat with silver buttons, a maxi-trench in boiled wool and a long jersey dress cut low at the back shared the catwalk with a leather perfecto worn with creased trousers in midnight blue gabardine and a tuxedo with satin lapels. Not to mention the extra-large rocker t-shirt decorated with an "Edition n°1" logo and sequin-embroidered sleeves. All the essentials were there, worn with mix-and-matchable pieces for every mood.
Jarrar dressed one model in a flannel banker suit with no shirt and topped off the ensemble off with a fascinator, reimagining the suit jacket on another model as a sort of waiscoat in black wool, shearing off its arms, adding a feathered collar and opening it up at the back. White poplin shirts were worn back to front, while a classic black skirt was paired with a simple white t-shirt and elevated by a handwoven Berber scarf, just like those that the designer's grandmothers used to make – another personal touch at this most intimate of shows.
From this calm little street in Paris' 16th arrondissement, it was then time to head out towards the Rive Gauche, to Saint-Germain. Julie de Libran was also receiving her guests at her home/showroom-atelier, inviting them to sit down by the fire, which crackled in a beautifully modern fireplace, nestled between sofas and wooden shelves displaying old cognacs.
This season was also a debut for the designer and former creative director of Sonia Rykiel, as it marked the first official Haute Couture show of the brand that she launched in 2019. According to de Libran, the label's founding concept is the dress, "the garment that best expresses the woman." On Wednesday, she was unveiling her second collection, as the first had been presented off-calendar last July.
The models arrived from the garden, stepping through a glass door and closing it softly behind them, as though they were returning home from a brisk walk. The first model through the door wore a rhinestone-spangled jacket-dress and was soon followed by others, all wearing dresses, which they complemented with thigh-high boots or booties worn over vivid tights in warm hues of orange, red and yellow.
The dresses were super-short and light, and were made in printed or polka-dotted silk, gold sequin-covered fabric or twilight satin peppered with starry diamonds. They were all simply cut, without sleeves, or with long sleeves that left the models' elbows bare. Some were tight, while others puffed out with cape-like volumes. For the evening, the designer offered up a particularly noteworthy mermaid dress with shimmering scales, as well as a bird dress with flowing plastic fringe.
The collection also offered dresses that fell as far as the knee or the ankle, in a wide range of materials: from leopard-print to lurex, via silk, chain mail and taffeta. Some tone-on-tone pieces could be deconstructed into a long skirt and top, offering a flexibility and rewearability that fit comfortably with the designer's eco-friendly philosophy.
"Some dresses are cut in two, so they can be worn separately or interchangeably. I'm hoping to be involved in a more responsible kind of fashion by giving new life to materials. Among other things, I use the ends of fabric rolls collected from brands. Each dress is numbered and made as a limited edition in order to avoid overproduction," she explained at the end of the show.
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