Our most attentive readers may have noticed that we have often had the good fortune to be able to photograph a young German fashion editor, Miriam Dembach. Working for the Swiss magazine Bolero, she attends shows for both men's and women's collections in Paris.
We like the way she is able to combine men's and women's-wear items, classic and original pieces, modern and vintage clothes, to build a striking silhouette, always light and slender.
She reminds us of a Hollywood actress from the forties, like Veronica Lake – her glamourous but sober shape could be the one of a classical actress. But Miriam always keeps an eye towards the modernity which is apparent in her attention to more than significant details, in the twisted way in which she pulls together both strong and utilitarian items in perfect balance, in the blooming colours of a patchwork dress or of a tiny understated belt, in the ingenious and subtle way of suggesting, mixing and matching.
To us, Miriam proves that fashion is all about ingenuity, inventiveness and imagination.
. Hello Miriam, we know you work for the Swiss magazine Bolero. Could you please introduce it and describe your job ?
Bolero is a high fashion magazine based in Zürich. It was founded 1990 and 2004 saw the launch of Bolero Men. I am the fashion editor and stylist for both magazines. That means I am writing articles about the fashion world as well as doing the styling for the big productions. I travel a lot for both aspects of my work, attending fashion weeks, press events, etc.
. What is your background as a fashion editor ?
I studied fashion journalism and media communication in Munich after I decided at the age of 16 that I wanted to become a fashion editor.
About your style and fashion
. How would you describe your personal style ?
I can’t describe it. It just comes out the way I feel that day and which clothes catch my eye.
. Which are your favorite designers and labels ?
Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Acne, Sonia Rykiel, YSL, Chloé…
We noticed that you attach some importance to accessories, preferring clutches to handbags, always wearing shoes which give your figure a firm root, allowing for lightness and fluidity for the top.
. How do you manage the balance between basics and strong items ?
I think you should never overdo it in real life. At a shooting, it’s different – there, I try to create a new image. I prefer if there is just one strong piece so I don’t look overloaded.
. What role do you ascribe to accessories like hats, belts, scarves and jewels ?
I always have phases where I am totally addicted to different accessories, then I can’t get enough of those certain things. But basically I think accessories are really important as they can change the whole message of an outfit.
. What kind of fabrics do you prefer ?
I love natural fabrics and I always check what fabric the clothes are made of when I am shopping. I hate to pay a fortune for something made out of polyester.
. You have no fear of using colour, and combinations of colours too. Which colours are your favorites and how do you manage to match them ?
I adore the whole colour palette of the Dries van Noten women fall/winter 09/10 collection (maybe except for the purple). Those colours have always been my favourites, like camel, copper, mustard, rosé, green, etc. and I loved the way Dries was mixing them in really unusual ways. Great inspiration.
. Since one of your characteristics is the way you are able to mix men's wear and women's wear items, could you specify your approach of men's wear and women's wear ?
I think it basically comes from the fact that, as I am also a men's wear stylist and I work with all those great and perfectly made male clothes, I always want them as well. I think a manly jacket gives a womanly dress the right flavour. I don’t want to look too sweet.
. How do you perceive the men's collections – for your work and for your own style ?
A men’s collection is totally different than a women’s for me – as I want to be sucked into a dream world at the women fashion week. You can be far more experimental there. The male fashion week is for me more about great tailoring. The details are often those little things that mean the difference between a good collection and a bad one. That is more my approach for work, for my personal interest I like what I like when I see it.
. Which show and which collection were your all-time favorites ?
Balenciaga (women) fall 2003 is my favorite collection and last year's (s/s 09) Jil Sander women's wear show for the atmosphere and the clothes.
·What is the last piece of clothing or item you bought ?
I was shopping on Saturday so there is more than just one : A pair of Miu Miu sandals, a white oversized Jil Sander t-shirt, a vintage nightblue silk jacket from Dior, a vintage checked trenchcoat and some more elements for my sixties Nagel candlestick.
. Where do you like to shop ? In Zurich, in Paris, in Germany, elsewhere – on the web too ?
I like to shop in Zürich, as it’s easy and there are some good second hand and designer shops. But I prefer to go shopping in Stockholm or London. But (un)fortunately I can find something in every city.
. Do you dress differently depending from the city you are in ?
Actually yes. I just found out. Zürich for example is not the most fashionable city, so I sometimes catch myself dressing very lazily. I have much more fun dressing up in other cities. I think I am more inspired there.
. Could you tell us if you have any style icons, or what might be your iconic inspirations (from fashion, books, paintings, photographs or movies) ?
I don’t have a particular style-icon. There are/were many well dressed women out there and they inspire me from time to time. But most of my inspiration I get through movies.
. Where do you find your inspirations for yourself and for your work ?
Movies, the street, books, magazines, museum, internet – there are so many influences !
. Favorite fashion item ever ?
I think it should be something with a story or a present from someone. I am very sentimental about that. So I would choose the Chanel jacket my parents gave me as a present and my mom’s diamond ring she gave me when I finished my studies.
. Favorite film ?
At the moment it’s Puzzle of a Downfall Child with Faye Dunaway.
. Favorite book ?
A certain smile by Francoise Sagan.
. Favorite music ?
I love real music with guitars, drums and a singer. No electro, no techno please !
. Favorite photographer ?
Willy Vanderperre, Daniel Jackson, Tim Walker, Wendelin Spiess.
. Favorite museum ?
Moderna Museet Stockholm, Louisiana in Humlebæk.
. Favorite place in Paris, in Zurich, in the world (to stay, to work, to visit) ?
In Paris : Le Cimetière du Père Lachaise
In Zürich : Restaurant Volkshaus http://www.volkshaus.ch/ ; second hand shop Zürcher Brockenhaus http://www.zuercher-brockenhaus.ch/
In Stockholm : Moderna Museet http://www.modernamuseet.se/ ; Vintage shop Old Touch http://www.oldtouch.se/
In Munich : Sodabooks, http://www.sodabooks.com/
In London : Find a good place for tea time with scones, sandwiches etc. – I like Browns http://www.brownshotel.com/
In Copenhagen : Restaurant Les trois cochons, http://www.cofoco.dk/ ; Museum Louisiana outside of Copenhagen in Humlebæk http://www.louisiana.dk/
In New York : The Gramercy Park Hotel http://www.gramercyparkhotel.com/ ; Restaurant Freemans http://freemansrestaurant.com/
Thanks a lot to Miriam.