Magazine Anna Kelly

Cécile Boccara,

haute couture nature designer


Interview on Anna Kelly Magazine

to read here

From the tips of her fingers, hands and arms, all of Cécile Boccara's creations are made in her sewing workshop in Paris. The manufacturing is handmade, unique pieces or small series. Needlework, simple gestures, high quality materials, carefully selected: chiffon and silk lace, freshwater pearls and beautiful stones. Bougainvilleas, hummingbirds, dragonflies, hot sand, corals... Objects from around the world, diverse and varied. Gleaned at the Clignancourt flea market and elsewhere at auctions. Dyeing silks with tea, exaggerating volumes, aging and speckling gold threads and ribbons... transforming the material. Imagination at work, free, light. A dragonfly in colored raffia is at the origin of a collaboration with the fashion designer Christian Lacroix... meeting.

Cécile Boccara, can you tell us about your background and what led you to this profession?

I began by training at the Charpentier Academy, which prepares students for art schools. Then I went to the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris where I learned the techniques of haute couture: small stitches, roll neck, the history of costume, color, fabrics, manual techniques, fine and light.

I never had this precise and clear desire to make jewelry. I began by working on the garment, the cut... Then the attraction of the fabric, the pleats, the color, led me little by little to the accessory: I began to realize brooches flowers out of fabric and silk beads.

It is rather a research of forms, the pleasure to conceive and realize pieces, small objects in volume and especially the work of the material which led me to assemble these small achievements on earrings, brooches, or necklaces.  Sewn, folded and rolled pieces, presented for the first time at Christian Lacroix in 1997.  Then began a participation in haute couture shows that lasted ten rich years. Other meetings will follow: Valentino, Roger Vivier, Kenzo, Givenchy.

Cécile Boccara, there is a strong relationship with nature in your work.

Yes, there is almost always a relationship with nature: the proportions, the volumes in the manner of a light and colorful plant world. An inspiration always renewed as nature renews itself with the seasons. Leaves, flowers, birds, insects, corals.

In addition to nature, I draw much inspiration from the baroque era and from haute couture. Rich, precious, mixtures and associations of materials, which recall the atmosphere of the cabinets of curiosities. I love it when my jewelry reminds me of the light, colors and materials of my childhood Morocco, the artisans of Marrakech, the artist family.

Cécile Boccara, what materials do you work with ?

Silk, crystals, mother-of-pearl beads, stones, metal.

What do you like best about being a designer?

The workshop (of Cécile Boccara)

What do you like less ?

The administration, although... it keeps me grounded.

Among all the pieces you have created, which one was the most difficult to realize?

A headdress for a Christian Lacroix fashion show during the last passage of "the bride" that the designer always wanted richer, higher, more...

Can you tell us about the process of creating this piece?

As is often the case with Haute Couture pieces, we are provided with moods and moodboards of the collection's theme.

We start by proposing small samples, then the piece is put together as we go along, always in a hurry, and often with the collaboration of others who will work on other techniques and enrich the final piece.

... Tell us more about the techniques and materials used?

A lot of shine on this headdress, with patinated crystals from Swarovski. Gold-plated brass stamps, baroque pearls, lace with small underwires, petals in ivory silk organza.

You will find Cécile Boccara's jewels in the boutique, 8 passages du Grand Cerf in Paris and in many sales points in France and abroad.

Translated with (free version)


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