• photography by SANDRA MYHRBERG

    An interview with Minna Palmqvist

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    I meet up with Minna at her studio just outside of the city, next to the well known art space Färgfabriken. We sit down in the large old factory that’s now her office, and has been so for four and half years and start talking while drinking coffee out of neon bright yellow mugs. I’ve been a fan since the last collection, which she remembers, “Weren’t you the one who came up to me after my show last fashion week and said you loved my work?”. Yes, that was me.

    MM: First, can you tell me about your latest collection, SS14?

    MP: I start working on my new pieces from the same basic idea as previous collections and garments, which is the female body and how it is presented, the chaos around it and how the fashion industry is constructed. This time I focused on having an actual show… I think most people know me for working with conceptual art installations and hand made show pieces. I have actually worked also with ready-to-wear for a long time, and I felt it was time to show this to the fashion audience. I started thinking about problems concerning people’s everyday wardrobe, for example women struggling to get in to smaller sizes, so then I made cracks in the garments to give the body room, I wanted the body to claim it’s space. It’s much about cracking up and brimming over. I’m still working with quilts, running over and leaking through seems. I don’t want the body to be captured inside the clothes. The AW14 collection is a continuum of the movie I made a year ago that was based on breaking down and building up garments and looks.

    MM: Was that when you started making the fat cell like patterns?

    MP: Actually no, I started working with that in 2009, at first is was more of an art project for the show pieces but then I started bringing it in to the ready to wear as well. Some people think it looks gross, and I guess it does in some ways, but that’s what I like bout it, I like when you can’t really make up your mind if it’s beautiful or disgusting. For example I’ve worked with swarowski crystals used as sweat stains, that’s one method I’d like to evolve and work more with. I think a lot of what we consider ugly could easily be transformed in to something beautiful.

    MM: When I’ve read about you, you’re often portrayed as being strongly political, are you?

    MP: Hmm.. I guess I am. In the beginning of my career I didn’t think like that. I think I was afraid that if I’d state being political I’d be taking to big a words in my mouth. But now I know better - the way the world and the fashion business is looking today, how can you not be political? Politics doesn’t have to be about talking, writing and knowing most, but about doing and thinking, making active choices. There’s politics in both our private and public lives, everything is intertwined. So I’m political, there are things that I believe is wrong and that I have strong opinions about, for example the differences between sexes. Women are still being judged by their looks and not by their competence, and that is being political.

    MM: Is it hard to be political in the fashion industry?

    MP: No, I don’t think so, well, some people think I’m being pretentious, they just want me to make beautiful clothes. Which I do so it’s not the garments themselves that are political it’s my driven force, I find inspiration in my frustration. I’m surprised over how much focus has been on my creating process, I feel as if people are in the mood for politics.

    MM: I’m sure a lot of people would like to be political but don’t have the courage.

    MP: There’s a lot of times I get stomach aches after saying something “political” because I’m better at forming objects than expressing myself in words, but on the other hand I feel as if we need to discuss those things, people need to start talking.

    MM: Are you afraid to say something “wrong”?

    MP: I used to be really afraid of that, but then I started thinking, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe someone will question what I said and maybe I’ll realize I was wrong. Everybody has a right to be wrong sometimes. I’m not always comfortable to make political statements in words, as I said before, although I like to discuss politics as we are doing right now. I’ve come to realize that’s one of the reasons I work with design. It’s a silent way of being political.

    I start thinking about the runway show Minna presented, the show itself was what you would call political. She used models in different sizes and ages, which sometimes happens during fashion week, but is still clearly a statement, the reviews were great.

    MM: The SS14 collection and runway show was received really well, what has happened since?

    MP: I know, that made me really happy. I wanted to show runway and ready to wear looks because that’s the world I’m in, and at the same time I felt as if my small changes mattered, using the women we did. Mixing typical models with untypical models on the runway is something that I hope to do again, and preferably in a larger scale. Because of economic reasons I actually can’t make my first samples into so many sizes, since the same samples need to work for both show and press, and press usually wants to borrow size small for their shoots. I also liked the fact that the models came in to the runway together, showcasing them as equals. And it made me even more happier that the people watching and taking part of the show appreciated those small efforts of change.

    Going through the runway show in my mind, I remembered taking notice of the white crystal covered sneakers worn by all of the models.

    MM: Were’d you get the shoes from?

    MP: Oh, the shoes are from LA! But the bling bling was put on in the studio for the show. My stylist Nicole Walker was there during the summer, we e-mailed about different styling ideas and both agreed on that the models should wear sneakers. It felt pretty good.

    MM: Are you wearing them now?

    MP: Yes :)

    MM: Did you ever think about making shoes yourself?

    MP: Oh my god yes, I think about it quite often, shoes are so much fun. I just started making bags which is a bit more easier to produce, it’s a great product since it doesn’t have to come in different sizes. There’s just one bag size for all body types.

    MM: The fabrics you use are quite stretchy and also a lot of your garments are loose to the body, is this to make them fit different shapes?

    MP: In some ways it is, but it’s also a personal preference. I don’t want the garments to be restrictive. For example, I’ve tried on jackets and coats with my friends and a lot of the times they garments fit around the shoulders but not around the waist. That says something about the size system to me, I mean, I don’t think that it’s just me making friends with women that has large bottoms. Those are the kind of things that I try thinking about when I’m creating new pieces.

  • photography by SANDRA MYHRBERG
    hair PHILIP FOHLIN / LINKdetails
    set & prop stylist MATTIAS MARKLUND
    model MINNA P /Stockholmsgruppen
    photo assistant ESTELLA ELOFSDOTTER
    stylists assistant SACKARIAS STENIUS

    Femme Fatale and The Private Eye

    Written by Lars Holmberg by Klokie

    We love the game, for it is, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, more real than life.¹

    The label “Film Noir” often evokes glossy images and lustful sighs from cineastes as well as generally style-minded people. The Dream Factory produced many films associated with those beloved noir elements, particularly black and white crime dramas with roots in German expressionism², American detective and crime novels³, and the Great Depression, starring many actors we now associate with Hollywood's heyday from the early 1940s to the late 50s⁴.

    What made the films so visually special? The settings, characters, and plots firmly established the genre, as did the style and presentation of the film medium itself: lights dimmed, smoke, fog and the darkness of night underscoring the mystery. Largely depending on budgets that did not allow for lavish set design, in most cases Noir films were relatively small productions. This limitation ironically allowed writers, directors and filmmakers to be more free in their expression. Famous actors' egos and agents were not as meddlesome when it came to molding the films' content.

    A connection can be made between the major studios and contemporary fashion houses that in many ways are limited when it comes to visual expression – restricted by traditions and not least of all by economic considerations. Noir films are characterized by a greater range of experimentation than contemporary major Hollywood productions. Expressionism helped to produce a semi-documentary style of filmmaking. Though unspoken production codes prevented the films' characters from getting away with murder or committing adultery, dialogue and on-screen events tended to challenge the limits of what was considered permissible for the time.

    Plots varied, with a selection of key figures that says a lot about the zeitgeist: private detectives, civilian scouts, aging boxers. The perpetrator of a confidence trick (or “con-trick”), the honest citizen lured into the criminal world, or the innocent who just gets in the way. All the characters shared a distinctive style and created an ideal type that has become a trend-setter for future film productions. Filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, and the Coen brothers make clear reference to noir tradition in their work.

    Typical characters reveal the era in which Noir films were made. They represent the types as ”the other” (or ”normal” to make use of one of psychology's most used but least problematized concept) to which all others can mirror themselves. The boxer and the private detective are part of the American dream: the freedom hero, the loner. He lived dangerously, with uncompromisable style. There was a man who many wanted to identify with, while the con is always present among us, in the form of car salesman or contemporary telemarketers. The man that just gets in the way of a crime is someone that all of us can sympathize with.

    The films are often crime dramas set in suburban landscapes. Suburbia might play a larger role in the films' successes than one first imagines. One of the fundamental elements of the American dream is about a house outside the filthy and dangerous inner city. In the beginning of the last century, that dream became within reach for a larger group of society's members. They moved up the ladder of society from Ellis Island, through lower Manhattan's dirt and crime toward the safety and clean air of suburbia. But as much as the suburb created a sense of security, the new lifestyle also brought with it loneliness and ennui, especially for the women who were expected to work full time to maintain a façade.⁵

    Security created a form of suburban angst, and one way to ease the pressure was a moment in front of the big screen while the ideal-typical character got to be the average American's alter ego and live the alternative dream: a life in which it was possible to live out their fantasies without fear of the neighbors watching. Suburban anxiety can be summarized in two ideal-typical characters: the “Private Eye”, and the “Femme Fatale” (even if the roles are not represented in all Noir films).


    A Femme Fatale was common during the 1940s and 1950s. Some of the most famous operators within the Femme Fatale role are Barbara Stanwyck, Phyllis Dietrichson, and Marlene Dietrich, as well as Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Jane Greer. Eary on, Brigid O'Shaughnessy (played by Mary Astor) murdered Sam Spade's partner in The Maltese Falcon, Gene Tierney played Brent Harland in Leave Her to Heaven, and Rita Hayworth played perhaps the most famous Femme Fatale in Gilda.

    Narcissistic wives manipulated their men. The women were strong and independent, but always worked within the context of what was permissible for a woman to do at the time. Style and clothing were central to showcase lives that were almost perfect on the surface. The characters played the role of the perfect hostess, and the clothes illustrated that perfection and mental instability are intimately linked. A common approach in the films where mental illness and perfect exteriors often interrelated as portrayed famously by Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.

    The actresses played the role of the Femme Fatale so perfectly that the makeup department was superfluous. Hollywood's most prominent fashion designers - and especially Edith Head, who won no less than eight Oscars for her work - helped to create the elegant style that signalled a perfect surface, but also a challenging sexuality in combination with the underlying desire for something else. They coupled the Femme Fatale with the ancient notion of woman as the uncontrollable and sexual body, feeling as opposed to reasoning, and manifested by sexuality and madness.


    Femma Fatale's opposite, a private detective appeared in such iconic Noir films as The Maltese Falcon, where Humphrey Bogart plays Sam Spade, and Murder, My Sweet with Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe. Peter Lorre, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim and James Cagney all played the memorable detective with the classic trench coat, a slouch hat, three-piece suit and the obligatory cigarette.⁶

    The quiet, thoughtful, smoking man who lives at night: he is alone and is one of the few who, by his lifestyle, challenges the suburban dream and the American myth of freedom, that are held mercilessly captive by the social norms and rules for how to live.⁷ Through his connection to the city, to alcohol-free conditions and violence, he is representative of all that trapped men crave. While representing reason, the equally ancient notion of the mind, the thinking man who is not fooled, not even by the Femme Fatale that confuses all the other men with their style and sensuality.

    ¹ Engelmeier Peter W. Fashion in Film, 12.

    ² The German expressionists focused on the morbid and gloomy emotions and spared no effects. They had a strong impact on both literature and film. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a typical example of 30s-expressionism. Emile Nolde, Luwig Kirshner, Oscar Kokoscha and Max Beckman.

    ³ It was the style that today we usually designate as hard-boiled where writers like Dashiell Hammett (Red Harvest), James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice), Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep), and the most prolific of them all Cornell Woolrich, who wrote books that formed the basis of not less than thirteen films.

    Styles connected with Film Noir are normally linked to Hollywood, even though it was recorded films in both France and the French productions Pépé le Moko (1937), directed by Julien Duvivier, and Le Jour see lève (1939), directed by Marcel Carné and especially Jules Dassin moved to France in the early 1950s as a result of the Hollywood blacklist, and made ​one of the most famous French film noirs, Rififi (1955). England Examples of British noir from the classic period include Brighton Rock (1947), directed by John Boulting; They Made Me a Fugitive (1947), directed by Alberto Cavalcanti: The Small Back Room (1948), directed by Michael Powell and Emeric press burger; The October Man (1950), directed by Roy Ward Baker, and Cast a Dark Shadow (1955), directed by Lewis Gilbert. Terence Fisher directed Several low-budget thrillers in a noir mode for Hammer Film Productions, including The Last Page (aka Man​ Bait; 1952), Stolen Face (1952), and Murder by Proxy (aka Blackout; 1954) and Japan Stray Dog (1949), directed and co-written by Akira Kurosawa, contains many cinematographic and narrative elements Associated with classic American film noir.

    ⁵ Suburban anxiety is the main theme of American film. American Beauty in 1999 with Kevin Spacey and Anette Benning in the lead roles is perhaps the film that most clearly illustrates the sense in which millions of Americans recognize themselves.

    ⁶ Other seminal noir sleuths served larger institutions, Such as Dana Andrews's police detective in Laura (1944), Edmond O'Brien's' insurance investigator in The Killers, and Edward G. Robinson's government agent in The Stranger (1946).

    ⁷ “Jackets were cut wide to take handguns, casual trousers where held up by broad suspenders. The shirt was in a contrast color, tie and pocket handkerchief care fully chosen and striking. Rings of gold chains signalled the wages of fear ” Engelmeier Peter W. Fashion in Film, 14.

    net (worn as headband) STYLISTS OWN
    top MENCKEL
    vest in feathers RODEBJER 
    skirt H&M
    blouse MENCKEL
    sequined dress NLY 
    faux leather trousers BACK 
    blouse RODEBJER 
    hat VINTAGE
    neckpiece STYLISTS OWN
    hat VINTAGE  
    top MENCKEL
    sunglasses STYLISTS OWN
    coat GANT
    top MENCKEL
    dress RALPH LAUREN
    faux leather trousers BACK
    blouse RODEBJER
    skirt BACK
    coat HOPE 
    top MENCKEL
    sunglasses DRIES VAN NOTEN 
    suitcase VINTAGE



  • photography by SANDRA MYHRBERG
    stylist MICHAELA MYHRBERG in collaboration with INGMARI LAMY
    hair & make up PARI DAMANI
    assistant SOFIA LINDBERG
    thank you to STORHOLMEN CASTLE

    An interview with Ingmari Lamy

    Written by Sally Kennedy by Michaela Widergren

    The Grace of a Moment with Ingmari

    The last thing I said to my colleague before I rushed from my office to meet Ingmari Lamy was ” I’m going to interview a super model. I hope she doesn’t eat me alive”.
    It was a cliché, of course, but it was precisely what I was thinking. I was preparing to rush through my interview so I wouldn’t frustrate what I was certain would be a very busy and impatient woman. I also expected the long, white-haired beauty I’d seen in fashion spreads to be toughened by all her years in the modeling business.

    Within moments of seeing her, I knew I’d had it all wrong. I would later confess to her that I was convinced that I was destined to meet her, and that she’d enriched my life within the first hour of our simple, intimate lunch in Gamla Stan. It has occurred to me since then that she probably has a similar effect on most everyone she meets. Ingmari is anything but predictable, and I suspect that she surprises people wherever she goes.

    We’d planned our meeting carefully and I got there early so I could greet her when she arrived. I didn’t want to miss her since meeting her at all had proven to be difficult. I recognized her immediately and waved her down. As she approached me, I was struck by two things; how gently and gracefully she moved, and how calm she seemed. She stuck out in the midday rush of a lunch crowd in transition, and it made her appearance all the more striking. As if she wasn’t striking enough. We walked along the narrow alleyways of Gamla Stan, chatting and carefully inspecting potential lunch spots. She wanted a relaxed, quiet place to talk and was determined to find an ecological menu. We eventually settled on a pretty little bistro Ingmari knew about and took off our coats before securing our seats. Ingmari looked around, slowly taking in her surroundings, and smiled discreetly. ”This should work, don’t you think?”

    I’d started interviewing her already, but up to this point we’d been preoccupied with other activities, like finding a decent menu and avoiding tripping on cobblestones. Now Ingmari was sitting before me, and I had her full attention. She was a stunning woman, indeed. Her soft, gentle face, and clear, bright eyes were framed by long, white hair that hung naturally down to her waist. She was wearing no make-up as far as I could tell and her petite frame was draped in unassuming, pretty clothes that indicated a passion for textiles rather than an effort to stand out. I kept thinking that she looked the way all of us should look at sixty-five; healthy, grounded, and completely comfortable in her own skin. Being beautiful helps, of course, but this was not a woman that made an issue of her looks. Her beauty is just a part of her, and other things, like the environment, spirituality, the detriment of a constantly connected digital world, and the importance of teaching children self-respect, seemed to concern her considerably more.

    Ingmari was born outside Stockholm, Sweden in a remote, quiet area. She spent much of her early childhood with her paternal grandparents. When I asked what this time in her life was like, her answer surprised me.

    ”My grandparents were wonderful, and I was an unusual child”. She went on to qualify her statement. ”I wasn’t interested in the same things as other children my age, and I wasn’t particularly sociable. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and their contemporaries, and when I wasn’t with them, I was quite content to play on my own. Preferably in our garden and out in the forest.” Her grandparents saw this in Ingmari and indulged her. They let her play alone outdoors for hours and even encouraged her to explore on her own. The forest and nature itself became her playground. Ingmari is convinced that it was in this early stage of life that she developed such a strong sense of self; the platform that has guided her to be the person she is today.

    ”I have always loved to be on my own and felt comfortable with myself. And I still need a lot of time to retreat and reflect. I am sometimes happiest alone, outdoors, where I can be in the moment without interruptions. I really am a sort of wood nymph at heart”.

    I listened intently, wondering how she survived all those years modeling when she was essentially an introspective nature child.

    “How did you cope with a career as a model? What was it like working in an environment where so much importance was placed on your appearance?” It seemed incongruent with the things she seemed to embody and value.

    ”I find the idea of beauty misunderstood. A beautiful appearance and inner beauty are not in conflict with one another if you have a strong sense of self. They come from the same source– your inner essence.” I smiled to myself. She was right, of course.

    Ingmari has not exactly kept out of the spotlight. She has worked with the best in the business. In fact, she has worked with many iconic names that define the business: David Bailey, Gian Paolo Barbieri, Gilles Bensimon, Irving Penn, Bob Richardsson, Yves Saint Laurent, and Kenzo, to name but a few. A model scout in Paris discovered her early, and it wasn’t long before she was gracing the covers of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. It made sense. I’d seen some of her early modeling pictures and sitting in the bare light of the noon winter sun, she looked as breathtaking now as she did as a young woman.

    ”Did you want to become a model? Was it something you longed for?”

    ”It’s always seemed natural to me that I became a model, as if I was meant for it. I believe it’s a part of my life path, and the reason I’m a mentor and guide today. When I was a little girl my grandmother told me that I was going to be famous. She had psychic abilities so I just accepted it. I wasn’t surprised when everything started happening, and in a way, I was prepared. I didn’t get lost in it because I knew myself well. And because I was used to and even enjoyed being alone, it wasn’t hard for me to say no to things I didn’t want to participate in. I’d always had an independent spirit so it wasn’t lonely. And traveling to all those amazing places and meeting lots of different cultures and working with interesting, talented people was fascinating. I took advantage of that, and as long as I could pull back when I needed to, I was happy.”

    In 1976, she did just that. She moved to Formentera, Spain after retiring from modeling to focus on her family. At the time, the island did not have electricity, so it was a drastic change in lifestyle. While talking about raising children on the island (Ingmari raised two, Josef and Daga, and also has a bonus daughter, Sinika), I am struck by her generous parenting philosophy. Has she always been this way, I wonder, so grounded and full of integrity? It seems that way. And then it dawns on me. What an incredible model she must be to work with– so present, self-assured, and brave.

    ”Do you like working in front of a camera?”

    ”I do. It can be a magical experience. You and the photographer are in your own space, and then you are in your own space with the actual lens. You are in a virtual room where you create something. It’s kind of like acting and it’s quite exciting. Working together with a photographer has always come fairly easily to me.”

    Ingmari is also widely regarded as a style icon. She’s managed to integrate fashion, beauty, and awareness on a level that is entirely unique during the six decades she’s been in the business. I ask her how this came about.

    “ I never planned to become a style icon. I wasn’t aware of my approach to fashion or beauty when I was younger, but looking back, I can see that there has been a certain theme to my style. And Kenzo has called me his muse, so I must have had a unique style back then, but it wasn’t something I actively thought about. I have always just been myself.”

    ”Do you have any advice for models today?”

    ”The modeling business has changed a lot. I never made that much money, even as a cover model of international magazines and as the face of Yves Saint Laurent. Today, these kinds of jobs generate a lot more money. There was a certain freedom in my experience as a model, though. I made choices that felt right for me throughout my career. I think life as a model today is much harsher. I would advise finding a mentor so that you always have support and someone with experience to talk to about your concerns. Also, it’s important to follow your intuitions and maintain your personal boundaries. Trends in the business and model preferences can be a tough environment.”

    I am curious to find out what she’s doing now. I know she still models and attends fashion shows regularly, but I’ve heard that she’s doing a lot more. I pop the magical question and another fascinating door opens. She is a writer and has a blog with Rodeo Magazine, lectures and gives courses in self- awareness and inner beauty, is a mentor and coach, and works with a highly specialized form of event planning. Soon, Ingmari will be coming out with a brand of her own. It seems she has always had a lot of good ideas.

    “I’ve heard that you once lived and worked in a castle. Is this true?”

    “Yes. I lived in a really deteriorated castle on the island Storholmen for nearly six years. I moved into the wing of the castle after meeting the owner, Leif, and his wife. I was planning to open an exclusive, ecological spa with its own range of ecological products at the castle, but for various reasons the project was never fully realized. It was an exciting time, though, and living there was a real adventure.”

    “You seem to be so creative, in so many ways. How do you get everything done?”

    ”Life is such a riddle, don’t you think? I am trying to figure out how to prioritize everything, how to find the time to do the things I find important, and all the while, find balance within that. I am happiest when I can stay in the present and appreciate what is happening now. That is where I find inspiration.”

    This is the first time I actually think about Ingmari’s age. Will time run out before she’s had time to do the things she wants to do? I find myself hoping she’ll be able to make them happen. I even find myself wanting to help her make everything happen. When we eventually run out of time, I leave her for a minute to put on my coat. When I return to our table, she’s standing up and looking outside. The sun is starting to go down, as it does at 2 pm in Stockholm, Sweden on a deep winter’s day. I feel regret for her, since I know that she was probably longing to be outside walking in the sun’s rays throughout our lunch. I apologize as I move towards the door and encourage her to head outside before the sun goes down. She smiles at me as the bistro door starts to close behind me, and I hear her say happily, “The sun has set, but I am still here.”

    dress HUNKYDORY
    dress worn underneath BRUUNS BAZAR
    collar WOS
    necklace NO NO JEWELRY
    shoes JENNIE ELLEN
    necklace NO NO JEWELRY
    necklace YASAR AYDIN
    shoes JENNIE ELLEN
    top and head piece ALTEWAISAOME
    necklaces NO NO JEWELRY
    dress STINE GOYA
    shoes JENNIE ELLEN
    necklace INGMARI’S OWN
    necklace & bracelet NO NO JEWELRY