Bouchra Jarrar Couture show fall-winter 2016 collection
Numéro talked to Bouchra Jarrar and her sound designer, Frédéric Sanchez, just after her couture show at Paris's Lycée Henri IV.
Numéro: Let’s talk about the importance of sound in Bouchra Jarrar runway shows. Each season, rather than a classic soundtrack you use a collage of music and spoken words, taken from film clips, that are essential for telling the story of your show.
Bouchra Jarrar: Yes indeed, they’re compositions. Frédéric Sanchez is someone I talk with a lot when I’m preparing my collections. He’s influenced me enormously – he’s like an artist brother. I talk to him a lot about sensations, about feelings… He’s someone I need so as to be able to tell my story. When I’ve found my central theme, once I’m at the stage of pure creation, that’s when we start to exchange ideas, four to five weeks before the runway show. We imagine a story, but without necessarily translating it into words, and we borrow from the words of authors we like. Today it was Agnès Varda.
Frédéric Sanchez: Our exchange is crucial, but the venue is also very important. The question is, how can you inhabit this space with sound? This was my high school, so my school memories from the 80s are mixed in with the story. I remember that at the time Jane Birkin was playing in a production by Patrice Chéreau, and that simultaneously Chéreau had also produced a Mozart opera. This mixture of things is woven into the story we tell – it’s a collage of memories and emotions.
Bouchra, in this collection, you give place of honour to two colours, champagne and azure, both of which are evocative of a rather 1970s, Studio 54 sensuality, and are very refined and very chic.
Bouchra Jarrar: I created my own textiles for the collection, so I also created these exact colours. They tell a story that is both strong and diluted at the same time. To say it very simply, they’re the colours of the sky.
Among the outfits that stand out are those that combine a sleeveless trench coat with trousers – we’re a long way here from the flouncy cocktail dresses so typical of haute couture.
Bouchra Jarrar: Cocktail dresses are a reality, and I can do them, but I wanted to show something else too, something that’s closer to our everyday experience. So this season I treated my trench coats like dressing gowns, like men’s terrycloth robes.
Interview by Delphine Roche