Timeless looks of Munich: This is Laure.
With superstar fashion designer, stylist and streetstyle photographer, Yolanda Ng, at the helm, we took to the streets of Munich to seek out fashionable people – and talk to them about their clothes, lives and slow fashion.
Timeless looks and the roles we play
“I used to do drama. I went to Cours Florent in Paris. It’s where Depardieu studied. It made some fantastic actors and actresses. I did that for a few months and then I moved to Munich, so it didn’t last for long, but the intensity was there. I loved it.”
We catch Laure at the Max-Joseph Denkmal statue, near the National Theatre in Munich. She is a statuesque woman dressed like a spring breeze in autumn; she tells us it’s her way of bringing positive energy.
“My personality is what we call in French, “femme-enfant”. You know?” she continues in her irresistible French accent. “I’m a big kid and I don’t take myself seriously and I don’t take life personally, either. I’m very playful. Through drama, you have the opportunity to experience so many lives and so many characters. It’s an adventure. It’s a journey. You’re allowed to be somebody else for a while and you can express it through yourself, because there are facets of you that come through.”
“In our lives we play roles. Very honestly, we play them: the mother, the sister, the daughter, the friend. Different clothing codes represent different facets of you. When you look at people; at the way they walk, the way they dress, the way they hold themselves… it tells you so much about them. It’s a language. I like looking around. I observe and I’m inspired.”
Restyling in pace with personal evolution
“Fashion expresses so much of one’s personality. I’m playful so I like to play with fashion. I like second-hand, vintage and interpreting new trends, but with slow fashion in mind. I hold onto my clothes for a very long time, but I can wear them because I change them. I reinterpret them,” Laure says. “But there’s also an evolution. I’m not the Laure from ten years ago, or five years ago, or twenty years ago. I evolve and I always have more to express. There is a constant evolution; your character, your personality, your taste – and it is expressed through your choices, consciously and subconsciously.”
She grows thoughtful. “Like many women, when I became a mum, I forgot totally about myself,” she says. “The only things that mattered were my family and my children. And because my daughter was very often sick, that was my number one priority. So, I had no time for myself and I never went shopping. I forgot about myself for a long, long time.”
“At the same time, I didn’t see myself ageing at all. Because I was so busy, I never had time to look at myself in the mirror,” she laughs. “Once my youngest got healthier… that’s the moment I could breathe a little. Everybody… we all have our duties and challenges but, sometimes, we need to take a pause and see that, to sort out whatever is going on outside, we need to look after ourselves first. That happens through things like clothing and treating oneself with the very simple pleasures of life.”
“I am a mother of two teenage daughters, but I don’t just want to be “the mother of two teenage daughters”. I’m also a woman,” she continues. “There’s so many facets that I need to express. That’s why, when I pick clothes, I know what I want and that I prefer quality over quantity, because I care about slow fashion. But I also want to make sure that I push my comfort zone. I always try to try things that I don’t normally wear. Just to see what they would look like on me; what kind of reflection they give me. And, sometimes, I’m surprised. And I think, “Why not? Why wouldn’t I wear that? This is me now, so why not?””
Giving permission for freedom to create timeless looks
“I really encourage women to give themselves permission. Life goes so fast and things change. Everything changes. So, we need to free ourselves from limitations. There are things that you can do when you’re younger but are not supposed to be doing when you’re older. But – no! – you should push those boundaries. And that goes with clothing. That goes for everything. It’s never too late to start anything in life. Whether it’s a music instrument, whether it’s to express yourself through your clothing, whether it’s to start a new career; I think everything is possible.”
“It has to do with accepting and embracing ourselves. Luckily, the notion or concept of aestheticism has changed now. We’re not blocked anymore. It’s a lot wider; interesting faces, interesting body shapes… there’s a lot more inclusiveness and this is helping a lot of women going through their 40s and 50s and so on, to embrace themselves. There’s a bigger integration and there’s beauty in everything. I had one complex when I was a little bit younger and now I embrace it because it’s me. And it has a ripple effect. By giving yourself permission, you give other women permission. And this is something that I want to inspire in my daughters, and also the women around me. I always want to give permission to others to express themselves however they are – and want to be.”
Slow fashion tips from Laure
- Buy quality – Seek to buy items you need and will love for a long time and which will evolve with you
- Give yourself permission – You are fabulous. Believe it. Dress like it.
- Take care of your items – Use washing nets and dedicated detergent to make your clothes last
- Shop second-hand – Top vintage stores are filled with beautiful – and unique – items
- Organise your wardrobe – Give yourself space to imagine new combinations
Header image: ©Yolanda Ng
Image of Yolanda Ng and Laure: ©Markus Burke
Image of Laure: ©Yolanda Ng
Image of Laure: ©Yolanda Ng
Image of Yolanda Ng: ©Markus Burke