Kenzo : Men Autumn/Winter 2010/11
Born Jacques Tatischeff of a Russian father and a French mother, Tati began his observation of the world around him at an early age in school. As a young man he got his start in cabarets and music halls. From 1936 onwards he began working in cinema, directing and starring in short films. In 1947, he replaced Rene Clement as director of “L’Ecole des facteurs”. Immediately after this he produced “Jour de fete”  which enjoyed worldwide success. Tati henceforth began his lampooning of modern society which he saw as dehumanizing for all. To this end he created his dreamer: Hulot. He became his leading man and protagonist in “Mr.Hulot’s Holiday” , “Mon Oncle” , “PlayTime”  and “Traffic” . Despite the financial failure of “PlayTime”, this film remains for many critics and cinema-lovers alike, a major part of the landscape of French cinema. The entirety of Jacques Tati’s work was recognized with an honorary Cesar in 1977.
“ I watch people in their daily lives, I go for walks. I go to football matches and to exhibitions at the Porte de Versailles, I accept some invitations I stay for hours on the motorway to watch the cars passing by. I listen to the dialogue and observe the tics, the details and the ways of being that reveal every individual’s personality. ”
One day in Paris I met, just by chance, Mr.Hulot, who was walking and whistling on the Place des Victories. I wanted to stop him to ask about his nephew, his bicycle and his sister’s ultramodern house, filled with futuristic gadgets and crowned out front by a fountain in the shape of a fish.
I instantly liked his eccentricity and his anarchism: a non-violent revolutionary; simple, free and happy. But he was too absorbed in his thoughts and, aware of the constant and absurd
problems that he encounters every day, I decided not to risk interrupting him. Pipe in mouth, wearing his raincoat and hat, and carrying his umbrella, he had an inimitable silhouette.
Sitting in my DS, I dreamed of dressing Mr.Hulot; with his face like Prevert and the build of Charles De Gaulle; in small slightly tight jackets and wide legged, short trousers revealing his coloured or striped socks, in plaid and micro-motif prints. I dreamed of dressing him in 50’s style geometric and flower print shirts. Or even trying to put him in monochromatic “total looks”: redbrick, ochre, light greens and red in Prince of Wales check, houndstooth, zigzags and stripes.
On top of this there would be tweed, crumpled velvet, bobbled wool; layered, mixed, technical and stained fabrics. I wanted to put him in heavily worked oversized wool in jacquard, intarsia, cable stitching, Milanese wool and plenty of jersey. Added to this would be a plethora of hats, glasses, gloves, scarves, ties and bowties. A final flurry of bags, satchels, backpacks and even miniature suitcases combine to create a little army of Mr.Hulot, my Uncle.
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