Bouchra Jarrar Couture Fall Collection 2020

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Jarrar dubbed this collection Edition 2.

During the lockdown, Bouchra Jarrar found salvation in haute couture, realizing some of the prototypes for her fall collection at her Paris apartment with her own two hands.

“I became a little Azzedine Alaïa,” she said with a chuckle, alluding to the late Tunisian designer famous for toiling at all hours, forever tinkering with his exacting silhouettes.

The comparison isn’t silly, for Jarrar is also the kind of couturier who seeks less to invent something new, and more to perfect things with proven style chops. Who in fashion would ever turn their back on a pair of great-fitting black pants?

While Alaïa was about exalting female curves, Jarrar plies a masculine-feminine style rooted in tuxedos, white shirts, tailored coats and her fetish perfecto jacket, interpreted for fall as a sleeveless vest edged in zipper teeth. She enlivens her spare silhouettes with well-chosen embellishments: half of a peaked lapel on a meaty tuxedo here; jutting feathers on a corseted belt or headdress there.

Jarrar dubbed this collection Edition 2. She returned to couture last January after a four-year pause, and proved that her flair for imbuing classic and familiar clothes with a soigné spirit remains intact.

Then the coronavirus hit. A small yet encouraging stack of orders from her devotees were canceled, and it was difficult to produce the few that remained.

Yet she soldiered on, and managed to pull together 10 fetching new looks, including frothy tulle skirts, bustiers and a pretty draped top shaped like a bow. Her short black-and-white film, directed by Marcel Hartmann, takes place mostly at her home, where she unveiled her comeback collection.

She cast twin sisters Aissa and Aida Kane to bring her quiet, impeccable clothes to life, which they do with much tenderness, whether hugging on the sofa, or rambling through a park and laughing.

“I wanted to express vitality,” said Jarrar, who also found salvation during the lockdown in the Bois de Boulogne, where she took her new Australian Shepherd, Nash, for frequent walks. Watch out for the pup’s brief, a heart-melting cameo in her charming film.