An Individual Voice
I have come to the conclusion that a woman's voice in couture gives a collection an individuality that goes beyond trends.
I only wish there were more female designers to make their clothes an expression of self, in a way that Coco Chanel and Jean Lanvin's work was self expression - that struck a chord with their peers.
Is there is a single piece created by Bouchra Jarrar that would not inspire female lust? Not the fur-trimmed sleeveless coat (nor its bold sleeveless version in blue velvet), nor the military jacket with its gilded buttons and decoration, not the pleasing contrasts of a satin dress slithering under a houndstooth-tweed coat.
The effect of Bouchra Jarrar's collections is to say to her peers, I know your intimate feelings and that you may need to conceal them.
So few couturiers these days are making clothes for the closet that it is a pleasure to know that fashion can fulfil its function: dressing women for the real world.
***Bouchra Jarrar is teaming up with historic French jeweller Maison Mauboussin to create a collection of fine jewellery to be shown during the July 2016 haute couture.
Blooming Ashes was the title of Yiqing's collection - and I saw that visual effect in the burnt orange of a draped dress or the shades of ginger and ash grey in a fur stole.
The colours burnt with flaming intensity on a long dress, where chiffon faded from yellow through orange to a red-brown glow.
But inspite of the dramatic expression of this Parisian designer with Chinese roots, it is her technique of shaping and draping that brings her collections ever closer to haute couture.
The skill of her creations and poetry of her vision put Yiqing Yin in a commanding position that should be nurtured by those who want to refresh 21st-century couture.
The woven, hedge-like backdrop at the end of the runway was symbolic of the theme of the Dice Kayek show.
Turkish designer Ece Ege called her craftsmanship Woven Tales. And although there might be chapters experimenting with the puffed-up shapes of full-pleated skirts and jackets, the real message came in a bird's flight.
Clothes opened up like wings, or had actual bird patterns printed on to the fabric.
It made for an interesting mix of strictness and fashion that - literally and metaphorically - was spreading its wings.