There is a reason why I chose the Musée Bourdelle for a streetstyle shooting, beyond the fact that I love this place: I was wondering why Bouchra Jarrar, who I’m really fond of, decided to organize her Haute-Couture Fashion shows since SS 2012 at this location.
I. Antoine Bourdelle & his passion for Greek Myths, Beethoven and I.Duncan
There is a real sense of drama in Antoine Bourdelle’s life (1861-1929), and his choices of models for his -usually monumental- sculptures: many of his works represent Beethoven -whose powerful and intense pieces reach a sacred dimension- and most of the others are inspired by Greek myths, especially by Heracles. Only a few know that he also used to draw, lots of his drawings representing the American danser Isadora Duncan, a real muse to him. Both Duncan and Beethoven experienced drama in their life and their presence in Bourdelle’s work may be explained by his passion for arts that can exceed human understanding (such as music or dance), and for motions that can’t be reproduced with sculpture but that he is nonetheless trying to instill in his work. What he wrote about Duncan is quite enlightening:
« Le marbre est rebelle à la danse, aussi voyez, Isadora penchant et renversant sa fine tête ferme, les yeux pour danser en dedans, en sa propre émotion. Ses mains frôlent le ciel du marbre, elles semblent mourir et leur vie s’envoler dans leurs encore, ses pieds osseux repoussent loin le sol mais le bloc retiendra cet homme qui porte en lui le génie ailé des oiseaux” Antoine Bourdelle, 15 mars 1912
II. Bouchra Jarrar, her knowledge of fabric and her passion for silhouettes
It seems that Bouchra Jarrar aesthetic stands between the strength of Bourdelle’s sculpture and the lightness of Duncan’s choreographies. Her sense of structures and proportions but also her consciousness of modern femininity and elegance are a testimony for 21st century women who want to express themselves, be sophisticated, authentic and show their masculin side at the same time.
Why a fashion show at the Musée Bourdelle? Beyond the symbolic coherence mentioned above, strong visual advantages are born from such an environnement: first of all, Bouchra Jarrar’s looks have a strong structure, but respect the body, its shape, its movement. The models consequently detach themselves from the huge and fixed figures behind them (pay attention to the beginning of the SS 2012 show). The colors, rarely strong, gain intensity against the beige tone of the sculptures’ stone. The body’s moves seem to be a lot more real, compared to regular shows, simply because a fixed audience takes part in it. There is also probably an influence on the audience: sculpture is a difficult art, that requires attention, and an ability to SEE. Here the audience is pushed to SEE and not merely WATCH the fashion show.
Once again, as we saw for Chanel, the scenography is not only a way to express the story of a collection but also a tool used to shape an audience’s look.