JCR: How personal is T.C.? It’s your initials, after all.
TC: It’s really close to me. I initially approached it as something to do for my pleasure because I needed something creative apart from all the editorial work. And at home and at the beach I wear a lot of pajamas, so I thought what a great business idea to create clothes for people going away in the winter to warm places, for example. T.C. are my initials, but it also stands for The Cat. I love cats, but due to legal reasons I couldn’t name the label the cat — but it is our logo…
JCR: Was it such a practical endeavor? Were you going through something in your life that said this is the right time for these delicate, soft, intimate pieces?
TC: Well, yes. I had recently gone to India with Marko, an ex, to discover the country with him. And I was finishing work at [the magazine] Mixte and felt that I wanted to start something very deep, to do something really from me.
JCR: I like the lost-in-the-attic feeling of the line. Do childhood memories figure in the collection?
TC: I was a very lonely boy. I’m an only child. And I grew up in my grandmother’s old Victorian house and the attic was full of costumes and I really love period costumes, especially 18th-century ones. I like the idea that the pieces don’t look new. That was deliberate — they were washed over and over again.
JCR: What struck me is the delicate hand. Why so soft?
TC: So soft because I’m a really romantic person. And I have this image in my head from several years ago in Brazil when I found a delicate pair of embroidered boxer shorts on the beach. So that had stayed in my mind.
JCR: The 18th-century references are there, and the Indian as well — but it also defies a specific time reference.
TC: I like the idea that you forget. It’s not obviously Indian, it’s like you take something from India and transform it. All the proportions are really Western; it has nothing to do with Indian garments. It’s like Casanova going to India and coming back.
JCR: Why all white?
TC: I needed to be clearer in my life maybe. India is a country of color and I’m really a color person but I love white lace and wanted to use it. And also white to make the collection clear in my mind — to focus on the cuts and the details.
JCR: It’s obviously a story of details, but also of cuts.
TC: Every pattern is made in France. All the proportions are well researched. It’s very well studied.
JCR: Did you buy the textiles as such or did you have all the embroidery done?
TC: I had all the embroidery done. One, for example, is an angel that I saw in a photo on the wall in Prague. I needed angels in this collection and it was quite relatable to the 18th century. The stripes, for example, are traditionally Indian but they usually add more features — the pattern is not used repetitively as I do here in this collection.
JCR: Is it a fashion story?
TC: Yes, some of the pieces are really fashionable. But I started with men really because I thought it would be funny to do boys — to put men in such delicate things.
JCR: And the sex appeal?
TC: I’m not the one to wear a g-string. And the Japanese go crazy for the collection because the collection is really innocent and perverse at the same time.
JCR: That’s what got my attention. I see the innocence but I see the eroticism as well. Is it an intimate collection?
TC: I started off with boxers and then added pajamas and shirts. I think it’s intimate, but at the same time it’s beachwear and things to wear at home. I wear these boxers with a cashmere sweater at home and it’s really chic.
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