07/02/2012 10:02 EDT | Updated 09/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Bouchra Jarrar plays up her feminine side in haute couture Paris show

PARIS - Bouchra Jarrar is relishing her feminine side.

The lauded Moroccan-born designer opened Paris' haute couture week on a breeze of soft A-line silhouettes.

"I explored femininity, right up to the red lips," said Jarrar, who is slowly gaining a reputation as one of haute couture's emerging talents.

The 22 highly wearable dresses — in a gentle palette of lavender, black and white — floated by with clean draped collars and backs with effortless elegance.

But the simplicity of the collection was deceptive.

At work here was the atelier of the last great embroider, Francois Lesage, who passed away last year — a huge loss to Parisian fashion.

Lesage was the last living link to Charles Frederick Worth, haute couture's 19th century founder with whom he worked.

But here his techniques carried on.

"I stayed to the spirit of haute couture by working with Lesage's atelier," Jarrar said.

A perfect example was on one silk georgette knee-length dress with a deep green flash of crepe de chine. Its hand-woven draped collar in tweed showed off couture's accomplished fastidious technique.

"It was like magic," added Jarrar. "(The atelier) worked with Lesage for 30 years: you can see it in the clothes."

And you could.


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