KENZINE: How would you define your work?
Laetitia Hotte: Not an easy task...
It’s hard to precisely define my work. I’d say I strive to create fairly structured, minimalist images.
K: What do you most often try to express?
L.H.: It depends a lot on the project... Some photographers try to tell a story in every shoot, but I don’t think that’s really the case for me. I work with feeling, starting out with an idea of composition, shapes or colors for example, a bit like an abstract painting. For a fashion shoot, above all I look for a way to show off the shape of the garment and the model, either with the lighting or the poses of the body. I like the idea of the garment and the body becoming one. A bit like in dance: the dancers and costumes move in unison...
K: Do you have any photographic obsessions?
L.H.: Yes, I have plenty at the moment, especially anything touching on the peculiar. This shoot for Kenzo was a chance to explore one of my obsessions, contortionists. I’ve long been fascinated by the capacity of these girls (there aren’t many male contortionists) to push the limits of their bodies.
K: What are your influences?
L.H.: I’ve always been passionate about William Eggleston’s work; poring over his images is what got me started in photography. Otherwise, Steve Reich's music and choreographers like William Forsythe and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker are a major influence for me... as are a lot of anonymous shots by amateur photographers on the countless tumblr feeds that have cropped up in recent years!
K: How did you use the Forest and Orchid prints in this shoot?
L.H.: The distorted look of the motifs in these Kenzo prints is particularly interesting.
I wanted to accentuate this distortion to the point of blurring the boundary between the stretched-out motif and the shapes of the body.
The contortionists happened to create a double illusion, between the optical illusion seen in the motif and these distorted bodies that interweave with the fabrics.
Each girl was dressed in a piece that created a specific figure of contortion. It was interesting to bring this motif to life, to push the body to its limits.
K: Do you have any special recollections of the brand?
L.H.: Yes. A few years ago I discovered Hans Feurer’s campaigns for Kenzo in the 1980s. I was struck by the energy and unusual color of those images.