I do not have photos, stuffed animals, or notebooks of poetry from my childhood.The only thing I have left is one of dresses.
This dress is the most beautiful of that period, the one I wore to birthday parties, piano concerts.
A princess or model child dress, each little girl at some point had one, or dreamt of having one.  

Years later, in Paris, I get ready to go out and for the first time since I was ten, I decide to wear it.
It is big enough to slip into, too tight to take off, I find myself stuck inside it.
Like Alice in Wonderland, I became little again.

Lolitas? Women Child ? Eternal little girls? Will we always replay the same story?
Inversion, confusion, perturbation, how to deal with these uncertainties?
Are these equivoqual travesties the only perspective for women today?

es travestissements équivoques sont-ils la seule perspective féminine aujourd’hui?
I wanted to see how other girls would feel inside my dress, what it would reveal.
I invented a game with one rule:

You want to play little girl
You will come to my place
Try a child's dress on
You will face yourself in a mirror,
And you will pose in front of a white background.
You will look at the camera lens,
You will try to remember the way you were as a little girl,
And you will stand still,
While the picture is taken.
Later I will show you the contact sheet,
and I will give you one of the pictures .


The already time-worn dress is now scissored to enable girls to wear it. Little by little split, torn, we wear it away.And only the memories we share and the pictures remain. The game reminds me of Lewis Carroll's pictures, where little girls seem to have grown up all of a sudden. One day, during the shooting, a girl told me "I was never a little girl". I don’t have the feeling of having been a little girl either.

 

Clémence Veilhan