Paris match

It may seem an un­likely friend­ship: Bouchra Jar­rar, un­til re­cently artis­tic di­rec­tor of women’s col­lec­tions at Lan­vin and prior to that owner of her own cou­ture house, and Éric Can­tona, for­mer foot­ball star, cur­rent ac­tor and poet. The duo, both na­tives o

Wallpaper - - September - Pho­tog­ra­phy: Thomas gold­blum Writer: amy serafin

Bouchra Jar­rar talks fash­ion, footie and Paris’ 14th with Éric Can­tona

W*: How long have you known each other? Bouchra Jar­rar: Two or three years? Éric Can­tona: Yes. BJ: Éric’s wife Rachida [Brakni, an ac­tress and singer] is one of my best friends. She fol­lows my work and I fol­low hers. I was proud to have them both at my last show, be­cause in fash­ion to­day you must in­vite this per­son or that per­son — who are doubtlessly won­der­ful peo­ple, but I don’t know them. I was lucky enough to have both of you. I was think­ing – oh lˆ, Éric is go­ing to be bored. ÉC: I never go to fash­ion shows, though it’s true that it is art, it’s mag­nif­i­cent. I loved it. But I thought it went too fast. They walk too fast. Be­cause there are de­tails we don’t see, and fash­ion, par­tic­u­larly Bouchra’s work, is full of de­tails.

BJ: There is a sen­si­tiv­ity I dis­cov­ered in Éric, who is like a king for the men in my fam­ily. His sen­si­tiv­ity touched me. Thanks to him I have learned about many artists. I re­cently vis­ited Éric and Rachida in Lis­bon [where they now live], and dis­cov­ered Por­tuguese artists.

ÉC: Yes, there’s a mag­nif­i­cent artist called Gil Heitor Cortesão. He paints in re­verse, on glass. It’s very im­pres­sive.

BJ: It must be a psy­cho­log­i­cally in­ter­est­ing way to see the world. In fact, the less I have on my walls, the bet­ter my brain works and cre­ates. The emp­tier a space, the bet­ter I can breathe. I’m a lit­tle claus­tro­pho­bic. I can ap­pre­ci­ate the in­te­rior of a friend’s apart­ment or gallery. But I have to quickly find my­self some­where empty again be­cause my brain – ev­ery­thing is so open, my ideas have been flow­ing for a few years.

ÉC: You wouldn’t want to put up a monochro­matic paint­ing by Yves Klein or some­thing like that?

BJ: Maybe Klein or Daniel Buren, and I think it will be the big­gest thing I’ll ever buy. It will take up a whole wall. I dis­cov­ered Klein when I was an art his­tory stu­dent in Nice. The city’s mu­seum of mod­ern art had just been built, a book­store opened next to the mu­seum, and I was a sales­girl. All sum­mer dur­ing my lunch breaks I went to this mu­seum that was prac­ti­cally empty, and I was sur­rounded by Klein paint­ings. His work with blue, with gold, with white and blue, or gold and blue — it’s mag­nif­i­cent. W*: Do you cre­ate in your head all the time? BJ: All the time. Right now there’s a part of me that’s cre­at­ing. When I sketch or work È

‘There is a sen­si­tiv­ity I dis­cov­ered in Éric, who is like a king for the men in my fam­ily’

in three di­men­sions with fab­ric on a Stockman man­nequin, there’s a part of my brain that works on the vol­ume, an­other com­pos­ing sil­hou­ettes, an­other part al­ready on the fi­nal de­tails, and so on. The brain is like a lit­tle fac­tory, where ev­ery­thing is pro­grammed. It’s fluid, it’s Char­lie Chap­lin’s

Mod­ern Times. It’s tir­ing. When I work I need all my pos­i­tive en­ergy, be­cause I work in a holis­tic way each time.

W*: What’s your start­ing point for each new col­lec­tion?

BJ: It comes from what the last col­lec­tion left in my head, which is a bit like a strainer. There are things that pour through and oth­ers that stay. Ev­ery­thing that re­mains is there so that we can pur­sue it in some way. That’s what we call a creator’s sig­na­ture; it’s bring­ing some­thing new ev­ery six months – or in fact ev­ery three months – while keep­ing one’s own sig­na­ture, yet never re­peat­ing one­self or los­ing peo­ple’s in­ter­est.

ÉC: That’s what it is to be an artist. There are film di­rec­tors who make very dif­fer­ent films but al­ways on the same sub­ject. There’s a thing you ex­press that’s strong – that comes from deep in­side, and all your life there will be some­thing of you in it.

BJ: Yes, the essence of an artist or a creator is to have a vi­sion. W*: Are you a foot­ball fan? BJ: Of course. Grow­ing up, foot­ball was sa­cred in my fam­ily. My lit­tle sis­ter and I pre­pared our broth­ers’ bags. They came back from sports and we emp­tied their bags and did the laun­dry. Ev­ery evening when there was foot­ball on TV, they would stick us in front of the screen so we couldn’t clown around or make noise in the house. So we were pun­ished for – I don’t know how long. ÉC: 90 min­utes. BJ: But in the end we ended up lov­ing it. My dad and broth­ers used to yell, ‘Oh Canto, go, go, Canto, oui’, when there was a goal. W*: Éric, are you still act­ing? ÉC: I’m do­ing dif­fer­ent things. I shot a film in Croa­t­ian. I don’t speak Croa­t­ian or un­der­stand it, so I worked on it in French, then learned it pho­net­i­cally. I had to be able to say it with­out think­ing about it. It drove me crazy, for three months I was talking to my­self – in the bath­tub, the car, on the train, the plane. Rachida would say, ‘Stop talking to your­self.’ So I said, never again will I work on a thing like that. And now I’m go­ing to shoot a film in Chi­nese. So it turns out that in fact I loved the work. It was a great chal­lenge.

W*: You both grew up in the south of France, in mod­est homes. Did fash­ion seem like an­other world?

BJ: Fash­ion is some­thing com­pletely ac­ces­si­ble – you can buy it or you can just look at it, and it be­comes a cul­ture. I grew up in fash­ion solely through an aes­thetic sense and the idea that things were pos­si­ble. I never asked my­self too many ques­tions, I al­ways worked. Peo­ple around me would al­ways say, ‘Be care­ful, it’s com­pli­cated’. But I didn’t lis­ten. I never weighed my­self down with prin­ci­ples, not even pos­i­tive ones, be­cause peo­ple can put you in a box. And then you’re afraid to be dis­il­lu­sioned. What I re­ally want to say, es­pe­cially to young peo­ple, is don’t box your­self in. Your eyes are made for look­ing far and wide. ∂

‘Fash­ion is com­pletely ac­ces­si­ble. You can buy it or just look at it, and it be­comes a cul­ture’



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09 10 10 Si­mone de Beau­voir’s plaque ‘De Beau­voir lived here, in one of these big lofts from the 1930s. Ev­ery morn­ing on my run I go by this plaque, and I love to say hello.’ 11 Film di­rec­tor Agnès Varda’s home ‘She lives on rue Da­guerre and has long...

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