Tata Christiane is a fashion label based in Berlin who redefines the idea of beauty. Tata and Hanrigabriel, the artists behind the name of the label experiment with extremes, mixing the grotesque, the absurd with the extravagant in colorful and bold collections. Playing with the borders of elegance and bad taste, they produce unique pieces and limited series clothes. Their collection “Magical Realism”, inspired by the book “One hundred years of solitude” has gained major attention both from the press and from the audience. Combining elements from our reality with elements of fiction, the collection constructs a new reality.
We’ve had the pleasure to interview Julie Bourgeois, one of the creative minds behind Tata Christiane. It turns out that besides fashion, Julie and Hanrigabriel are also in a band, Aniaetleprogrammeur. Julie describes how she and Hanri Gabriel met back in 2007
We met each other in School, In Marseille, where we are born. Since then we always used to work together. We know each other very well, kind of twins. I’m working more on the clothes, the collections, the style and Hanri works on the ideas, the design and the identity of Tata Christiane. We are constantly sharing our feelings and what we want and wish.
Exposing their collections internationally took some help from Yann Le Goec, but at the moment the fashion label enjoys a very international public, from Tokyo to China or Taiwan.
We did some fashion shows and showrooms in Berlin, Paris, Vienna but also in Netherlands (Fashionclash Maastricht), Estonia and Romania. In 2010 I met Yann Le Goec, buyer at Wut Berlin in Tokyo in a showroom in Berlin. He became interested in the collection and started to gradually introduce Tata Christiane in Japan. Since last year we got the first shops in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
Tata Christiane is both about making unique costume design, working for clients and also designing their own biannual collections. They enjoy all the aspects of their work equally.
I love to do both. At the moment we are developing our AW13-14 Series collection, which is quite complementary to the work we are developing with the Collection of unique pieces. We got a lot of feedback, and we keep what can bring us to the next one. It’s a dialectical and phenomenological process.
This summer, Julie and Hanri presented their Magical Realism collection in Japan. She recalls the public and the experience there:
Japan was a really lovely experience humanwise. We met amazing and really gentle people there who made our journey a pure happiness. It was really interesting to go there for the first time and to experiment by our self Tokyo for real. A lot of impressions. We went there to do an exhibition in Wut Berlin with the last collection, “Magical realism” but we play with our band 4 gigs there. We definitively want to go back there and continue to exchange with our friends there.
Their latest collection Comet Club for Spring/Summer 2013 was designed in memory of “The Famous Five”, a series of children’s novels written by British author Enid Blyton, and makes an ironic echo to the Jockey Club, qualified by Marcel Proust as one of club the most closed in the world. Combining surrealism and irony, this collection is colorful, comfortable and vibrating.
Tata Christiane is all about their own vision of beauty, and absurd fashion which combines glamor with grotesque. Entering the fashion world with this vision was not easy, as usually aesthetics and things that are pleasant for the eye are predominant.
This vision is our vision, we like the mixture of influences; humor and distance are really important for us. It’s a decadance, a declaration of freedom and individuality. I like glamor as well, but I have my own way to pretend to
be glamorous. Sometimes it s not so easy yes because there is a lot of archetypes and clichés in our society.
When it comes to describing their relationship and what formed them as artists, Julie says that their work and their relationship is something that only they can understand.
I don’t know how to explain the process which unit us in our work. It’s something diffuse and intimate.
In the Magical Realism collections they explore the limits between reality and imagination, a mixture of so many complex ideas. The public received the collection quite good which gave them a great feeling of accomplishment.
I read books of this movement when I was quite young and I loved them. I keep the memory of this readings. I read again last year “One hundred year of Solitude”, suddenly the constellation of the things around me was connected to this with many aspects: friends, music, friends of mine traveling in Argentina. After the connection with the collection, it was like a travel with this feeling during the year and the relation to the hand work, because this collection was a collection of unique pieces. For us the communication of this feeling to the viewers was in the diverse editorials we did all the year with Valquire Veljkovic. As soon as I consider fashion a visual art genre and as an element of the World’s Fiction, what is real and what is fiction is indistinguishable. Theo L. D’haen in his book “Magical realism and postmodernism” describes it with these words: “…self-reflexiveness, metafiction, eclecticism, redundancy, multiplicity, discontinuity, intertextuality, parody, the dissolution of character and narrative instance, the erasure of boundaries, and the destabilization of the reader.”
This new collection explores this country, the city of mirrors and the subjectivity of reality to propose a world, according to a particular perception. In the complexity of times. This collection will turn around mocked mood, mixture of fabrics and motives. Feathers and froufrou. Fantastic and marvelous. And humor. The people looks as if they were touched a lot by this collection. I’m happy about it.
The two fashion designers have even presented their fashion line in Romania, Craiova. The Romanian fashion world seemed rather surprised of Tata Christiane’s collection.
We stayed only two days there in Craiova, I like the town actually, because we had the chance to walk around the day before the catwalk and our contact there showed us different things in the town. We were really welcome well there. The food was fantastic. I felt there a bit as an alien with my clothes. I think the people like it there but there was also a lot of surprise. One of my close friends in Berlin, Viviana Druga, comes from Romania, Transylvania. She is an artist and photographer and we are since 8 months now working together on a art project. I will say that thanks to her I got introduce to the Romanian spirit.
More of Tata Christiane pieces can be viewed below or on their Facebook page
Photos used with permission of Tata Christiane/Exclusive interview for Mole Empire