The kimono. 

Behind him, the image of my mother. My mother often wore it when I was younger. And thanks to her, all this clothing has taken on a symbolism that is very personal to me. 

Behind her, the image of a combative woman who raised two children alone. Behind her, the image of an ambitious woman who created her advertising company, without a diploma, at the age of 23. Behind her, the image of a strong and radiant woman, who had fallen ill, but who wanted to continue to feel beautiful. 

In house or evening wear, my mother was always this fine mix of a woman on the move, and at the same time ready to never “give up,” as she knew how to say. A need to resist and exist at all costs that she transmitted to me.

I remember all the crises she suffered when I was little, including her successive cancers, but from which she tried to protect me as much as possible. She knew how to remain dignified. 

The kimono was her garment of dignity, a second skin to transfigure the difficulties of being. Although she was not Japanese, she had chosen this garment to make her gladiator armor, a forty-year-old beaten down by life, but who did not want to resign herself to not living, as well as to no longer pleasing.

For her, perhaps, because we cannot escape the structuring myths of childhood. For her, perhaps, because I want to make her femininity a masculine strength. 

From Law to Kimono ?

Nothing predestined me to enter the fashion world, and even less to create my own clothing brand. As a child, my father dressed me at Cyrillus, and my mother at Gap. The clash of universes. It was when my father died, at the age of 11, that my mother's aesthetic influence began to leave its mark. Still, I wasn't really a creative child. No good at drawing, not a born dancer, bad at geometry, fairly mediocre at plastic arts, I was more of a literary profile.

At the age where you have to make choices about your future, at 17, I felt the need for action and to leave Nantes. Go on an adventure.

To do what ? Go to Paris, study law, become a lawyer, be a man of power and network as well as an intellectual. Know the rules and play with them, where as a child I saw my mother being cornered by those who mastered them.

Then slowly came the feeling of not feeling like I belonged. To be a hypersensitive eccentric in a formatted and cold world. Then, the feeling of not making the right choice: that of ego and security.

Then what? Unplug thought for action. Seek fun more than ego grooming. Seek the other more than solitude. Seek raw and perfectible creation rather than critical thinking.

Baucis is a bit like that. Going where I myself didn't expect. A bet. A desire for action. An impulse. A provocation perhaps. Above all, a desire to listen to me. A desire to get out of my comfort zone, take risks and have fun.

14 May, 2023 — thibault bonnin