A derby hat, cane, tight coat, baggy trousers and ill-fitting shoes: the most recognizable silhouette in cinema and in the world. The brilliance of Charlie Chaplin and of his Tramp couldn’t have been better captured than in the words of the film-maker himself:
“My costume helps me to express my conception of the average man, of almost any man, of myself. The derby, too small, is a striving for dignity. The mustache is vanity. The tightly buttoned coat and the stick and his whole manner are a gesture toward gallantry and dash and ‘front’. He is chasing folly, and he knows it. He is trying to meet the world bravely, to put up a bluff, and he knows that, too. He knows it so well that he can laugh at himself and pity himself a little.”
The spread and quote above are from the book The Charlie Chaplin Archives, by Taschen, another outstanding publication from their famous series, released earlier this year and celebrating the life and work of Charlie Chaplin on the 101st anniversary of his alter-ego. It has escaped me so far and it’s too late now to get it in time for Christmas, but it will make an even better post-Christmas gift (as remedy for the post-holidays blues). And by the way, Chaplin’s movies are to be watched any time of year, but maybe in December the most. Because they were meant to make the whole world laugh… a little bit at themselves too.