Argentinian model-turned-stylist Tati Cotliar is one of the most exciting and fresh talents in the fashion scene at the moment, and she is not ready to stop. The London-based creative who has walked for the likes of Prada, Chanel and Vivienne Westwood amongst others is now the Fashion Editor at Garage Magazine and has been working with designers such as Marta Jakubowski and Fyodor Golan for a few seasons already. Fun, unpredictable and always with a bit of tackiness, Tati talks to us about her career.
How did you start your modelling career?
I had free tickets to attend a Fashion Week in Buenos Aires, where I’m from, and a couple of agencies approached me to become a model. I didn’t like the idea of it, but I was studying two careers at the time and I needed extra money.
How did your interest in styling start?
I studied film, so for me clothes and “style” were always associated with characters from movies. So in the beginning of my modelling career, I would dress up as different movie characters. I loved the fact that in fashion, you could just pick a different character a day and dress like it. That was basically what I would do as a model, be a different character a day. So the more I would work on it, the more I wanted to be the one creating these characters by choosing the clothes.
Is there a stylist that made a big impression on you while you were modelling, and why?
YES! Olivier Rizzo, the stylist for Prada 100%. It was just so wonderful seeing him in action, he would be so creative and so character-inspired when making his decisions. I remember he would always bring the most amazing references when talking about “this shoe or that shoe?” , and they were SO diverse.. It was the best of Fashion Week to come to Prada or Miu Miu and I was so excited to see “what he was going to do this time”.
Do you treat models differently, having been one?
I think so, yes. I definitely understand what they are going through so I normally take extra care; whether is being careful when dressing them, to having warm things on set if it’s cold, to always offering water/food etc. I think they work in a really intense way with their bodies and also so young… Normally people don’t realize about this and they think it’s a really easy job, but it’s very physically demanding and therefore, I think we should make the best so they feel comfortable; this way you will achieve better pictures.
Awwwe first #tbt of my life on my first styling job a few years now 💜💙💛(uhf there it goes youth – goodbye see you never again!) for @dazed with the most talented director and amazing friend @caseybrooks_ Starring the beautiful @magdalaguinge and @alexhammoudi. Thank you @nextmodels for the support! #taticotliar #dazeddigital #dazed #caseybrooks
What would you say is your signature?
Kitschkitschkitsch + slash of tackiness.
How would you describe your own style?
Boyish/sporty + a slash of tacky + comfort.
Who are your favorite designers right now?
From the new generation, Marta Jakubowski! (whom i style), Martine Rose, Y/Project and John Lawrence Sullivan, and from the older ones, Haider Ackermann (always a must), Prada and RAF SIMONS!
You have studied and also take a lot of your references in cinema – what are your favorite movies?
The Passenger by Antonioni, The Shinning by Kubrick and Phenomena by Dario Argento.
Would you consider being a film director?
Not anymore, I think art direction in film is amazing, but I think what I like about fashion opposite movies is that it’s faster, it’s smaller and there is less continuity in a way that your mind shuts down faster and opens again, which I think is nice, it’s more diverse. Movies take such a long time that I think you do loose this feeling of “inspiration – creation” that in fashion is more instant.
You’re from Buenos Aires and you’ve lived in New York, Paris and London – how is the fashion industry different in those cities and why did you decide to set up in London?
Buenos Aires, there’s no fashion. New York is great for models as there are more commercial jobs, meaning more economic opportunities. For stylists is the same but unfortunately, the industry there does not give too many opportunities to young people as I feel that safer is always the best option. London is super creative, there has always been an underground scene in London where fashion is born on the streets, rather than the window of the shop. People really do show their personality with the way they dress and it’s just super free and inspiring. This is translated to the industry, as people are hungry for new and young and it’s at the time, it was very stimulating for me as it felt that it was possible to start a career in styling here (more than the other fashion cities). Paris is the Mecca of Fashion. Paris is the city where fashion was born. It has the biggest heritage and everyone in the streets is tuned with this “French body language”: never too much, always elegant. Paris is always the right amount and it remains the chicest of all cities. I really love Paris, I think there is a big charm into this savoir faire thing, they just have it with them. However, everything is very top, which sometimes can be a bit stressful, because they don’t allow you to “relax” with the way you dress. I like to be able to just wear sweatpants and enjoy being comfortable, and I feel this is a bit restricted as in Paris you have to always look chic.
What are your projects and plans for the future?
For the moment, continue working as a stylist, for Garage (the magazine I work for) and other publications and also designers. Who knows, the future, maybe have my own accessories brand?? Haven’t thought that far.