Jacques-Henri Lartigue, now aged 81, took his first photographs in 1902, the year that his father gave him a camera which he describes in his diary as “made of polished wood with a lens extension of green cloth with accordion folds”. He took these pictures of clothes’ from the Paris Ready-to-Wear collections last month when he revisited his old haunts — the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne and the Trocadero — where years ago he took his first evocative and tender pictures of the beautiful, fashion-able, eccentric and ridiculous women who caught his eye. Wrapped in his father’s splendid checked brown-and-beige overcoat he worked with surprising speed : totally sure, extremely agile once he flung himself to the ground to capture the angle he wanted. His wife Florette worked with him — pacing, standing in for the models and carrying his few items of gear which included one small leather box in which he once kept his first camera; it’s gone now, but his wife said he likes to carry the box “for good luck”. The results make the model girls look like part of the landscape instead of self-conscious cardboard figures.
Photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartigue.
Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, March 18th 1973.