The name ‘Lolita’ stirs up the feel of sun filled lazy summer days, the taste of reds and yellows, and the sight of candy and honey. No, it is not a mix up, but just an exemplification of the way in which Nabokov probably saw Lolita, the novel, when he wrote it.

What you might not know is something that I too recently discovered, the fact that Lolita’s conceptual father suffered from  a condition called synesthesia. Well, ‘suffered’ is just a way of saying, and rather an exaggeration since this condition allowed him to experience the world differently than most of us. And it was this way of seeing things in a different manner that played an important role in transforming Nabokov into one of modern literature’s greatest writers.

Synesthesia is “neurological condition in which people experience a mixing of their senses” (source) and in which perceptivity of sense-data, the visual, audible, and olfactory are recombined, in a way that is natural and unsuppressible in the synaesthete.” (source)

Let me exemplify this better with the words of Nabokov himself, as he tries to describe the way in which he perceives letters: “Since a subtle interaction exists between sound and shape, I see ‘q’ as browner than ‘k’, while ‘s’ is not the light blue of ‘c’, but a curious mixture of azure and mother-of-pearl.” (source)

He also makes a beautiful and sensitive description of the perceived distinction between two pronunciations of one letter: “The long ‘a’of the English alphabet . . . has for me the tint of weathered wood, but a French a evokes polished ebony” (source) As much as it sounds as if Nabokov is simply creating metaphors, the difference is that the associations come naturally, thus being created unconsciously.

While  at times it might seem confusing to have two senses merge, it is something that offers a particular way of seeing the Universe around us. Imagine how fascinating it would be to write as if you where painting, to hear music and see colors, to hear words and see movement. Not all of us are so lucky as to be able to do this naturally, or even consciously after some practice. Still  there are people who do it for us.

Among the beautiful people who engage more than one of our senses with their creations is Isabela from LaChatterie. She re-wrote the story of Lolita through delicate fabrics and soft colors. Isabela’s Lolita is utterly feminine, and yet still a child, as the predominant color in her wardrobe is a pale pink. 

She is lavishly playful with the help of luxuriant ruffles, yet daring enough to wear very short shorts at any time of day. Silk and lace also play an important role in revealing this Lolita’s sensuality.
The shapes Isabela created emphasize Lolita’s femininity in a flirty, rather than an ostentatious way. Provocative without being vulgar, she alludes sexuality while appealing to a natural instinct.
Thus, I can only begin to say how delighted I was to be asked to model some of the newest LaChatterie creations. It was also a pleasure to work with Catalin Margescu , the photographer, who manages to create such an easy, fun working environment. I hope you enjoy, I most certainly did!
Dress: LaChatterie
Tights: Falke
Shoes: Miu Miu
Playsuit: LaChatterie
Socks: American Apparel
Shoes: Miu Miu

 Lace top: LaChatterie
Shorts: LaChatterie
Shoes: Zara
And . . . just because I couldn’t not show you the beautiful creator behind LaChatterie, here are a few making of shots . . .
Photography: Catalin Margescu
And you can find more and others here or here.
Numele ‘Lolita’ starneste sentimentul unei zile lenese de vara, gustul de galben si rosu, si o priveliste de bomboane si miere. Nu, nu este o incurcatura de cuvinte, ci doar o exemplificare a felului in care probabil a vazut Nabokov Lolita, romanul, atunci cand l-a scris.

Ceea ce s-ar putea sa nu stiti este ceva ce am descoperit si eu recent, si anume faptul ca tatal conceptual al Lolitei suferea de o stare numita sinestezie. De fapt, ‘suferea’ e un fel de a spune, sau mai degraba o exagerare de vreme ce aceasta stare i-a ingaduit sa experimenteze lumea diferit decat majoritatea dintre noi. Si este acest mod de a vedea lucrurile intr-un mod diferit ce a jucat un rol important in transformarea lui Nabokov intr-unul dintre cei mai mari scriitori ai literaturii moderne.

Sinestezia este “starea neurologica in care oamenii experimenteaza o amestecare a simturilor” (sursa) si in care “felul in care sunt percepute datele senzoriale, vizualul, auditivul, si olfactivul este recombinat, intr-un mod care este natural si de nesuprimat in sinestet.” (sursa)

Ingaduiti-mi sa exemplific asta ceva mai bine prin cuvintele lui Nabokov, asa cum el insusi incearca sa descrie felul in care percepe literele: “De vreme ce exista o subtila interactiune intre sunet si forma, eu vad ‘q’ ca fiind mai maroniu decat ‘k’, in timp ce ‘s’ nu este un bleu deschis al lui ‘c’, dar o mixtura curioasa de azur si sidef.” (sursa)

El face de asemenea o frumoasa si sensibila  descriere a distinctiei percepute  intre doua pronuntari ale unei litere: “Lungul ‘a’ al alfabelului englez . . . are pentru mine tenta de lemn invechit, dar un ‘a’ francez evoca abanosul lustruit” (sursa). Oricat de mult ar suna ca si cum Nabokov doar creeaza metafore, diferenta este ca aceste asocieri vin natural, fiind astfel create inconstient.

In timp ce ar parea confuz ca uneori sa ai doua simturi amestecate, aceasta stare ofera totusi un mod particular  de a vedea Universul din jurul nostru. Imagineaza-ti cat de fascinant ar fi sa scrii ca si cum ai picta, sa asculti muzica si sa vezi culori, sa auzi cuvinte si sa vezi miscare. Nu toti dintre noi suntem atat de norocosi incat sa fim in stare sa facem asta in mod natural, sau chiar constient dupa ceva exercitiu. Totusi exista unii oameni care o fac pentru noi.

Printre oamenii frumosi care ne implica mai mult de unul dintre simturi cu ajutorul creatiilor lor este Isabela de la LaChatterie. Ea a rescris povestea Lolitei prin intermediul materialelor delicate si a culorilor blande. Lolita Isabelei este totalmente feminina, si totusi copilaroasa inca, de vreme ce culoare predominanta este un roz pal. 
Ea este jucausa cu ajutorul volanelor luxuriante, totusi indrazneata indeajuns incat sa poarte pantaloni foarte scurti in orice moment al zilei. Matasea si dantela joaca de asemenea un rol important in scoaterea la iveala a senzualitatii acestei Lolita.
Formele create de Isabela evidentiaza feminitatea Lolitei intr-un mod mai degraba incitant, decat ostentativ. Provocatoare fara sa fie vulgara, ea emana sexualitate facand apel la un instinctul natural.

Astfel, pot numai sa incep sa spun cat de incantata am fost sa fiu rugata sa modelez cateva dintre noile creatii LaChatterie. A fost de asemenea o placere sa lucrez cu Catalin Margescu, fotograful, care reuseste sa creeze un mediu de lucru relaxant si distractiv. Sper sa va incante, pe mine cu siguranta au reusit!