the flash of gold teeth

    On the opening night of Frieze London, I was floating around aimlessly when suddenly I got struck by the tension in the air. In half turn, in the corner of my eye, I saw a tiny woman, straight and still, while people and energy were forming a little vortex around her. And - oh my! - there was a metallic glare in her mouth. I looked mesmerised at this figure carrying herself with such utmost ubiquity. Her dark olive skin was glowing. Her calves were extremely shapely and the strapped high heel shoes were looking as if they were a natural extension of the legs. Her hair was dark. Her dress was black and sculptural, its volume easily competing with her entire body. She wasn't young, and she had gold teeth. I was smitten. 
    Probably I should not have admitted so easily not knowing - at the time - who she was. Nevertheless, sometime later I have seen the photo of this very woman in "Réattu Museum", the book of works by Katerina Jebb. There she was. I found Michèle Lamy. 

 photograph Danielle Levitt for the Observer

photograph Danielle Levitt for the Observer


    From that moment it was a glide to follow her story. Cosmopolitan fashion matriarch with underground performing roots. Michele is of French descent, born in 1944. She keeps vague about her past, particularly 60's and 70's, there are the stories though of ditching law background and touring with the cabaret. In 1979 she moved to America, first to New York then to LA, where she set up a fashion line and animated underground life. Now she lives in Paris. She is married to Rick Owens, many years her junior, and they work together on their fashion brand. She also owns the archive of Comme Des Garçons sculptural pieces, including entire Kawakubo’s SS12 collection in white. She talks incredibly about developing a personal response to the clothes and the designer, and about necessary lifestyle adjustments while wearing sculptural garments. 

 photograph Pierre Debusschere for Dazed

photograph Pierre Debusschere for Dazed

 


    Michèle Lamy is a woman that lives by her own rules and made the success out of it. How incredibly inspiring she is. Her sense of aesthetics, her energy, her creativity, her entrepreneurial drive. And I can guarantee that you will sense her presence before you can see her.