Meet the women behind the treasures: Monika Nagel, Berlin

a series of catching up with StudioKôr muses

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It has been my wish for so long to start a new format here that highlights the wonderful women behind our clothes and accessories. Most of the garments we source for StudioKôr come from a community of women who have great wardrobes and an even greater style. These women have traveled the world, always invested in quality and timeless pieces. Quick impulse buys and chasing trends was never the ambition of these women. Instead, garments were carefully selected and perfectly cared for. And there is a story behind each of these garments: when and where it was bought, how it was combined and for what occasion it was worn. My ladies inspire me because they have an understanding of quality, their own individual style and values. Fashion is an expression of their personality. 

I am starting this format with artist Monika Nagel who is based in Berlin Charlottenburg. Monika has a wonderful and to me very unique taste. When she invited me home, to rummage through her wardrobe I was overwhelmed by her apartment. Statues, large paintings, wood-panelled ceilings and an fascinating collection of vintage curiosities catches the eye. Monika's warm nature and the inspiring stories she has to tell do the rest. 

her art and where she finds inspiration

I've always been interested in art and art exhibitions. In the end, my husband persuaded me to attend a course at the summer academy in Landsberg. We both took part, but in different courses. Since then, I have continued to attend courses and workshops with different artists. In 2022, I completed the master's course at the OKA Art Online Academy with Daniela Kammerer. I now find a lot of my inspiration in nature and, of course, from other artists. It's simply inspiring to see what others are doing, whether in exhibitions or in courses. It boosts my creativity and is also an incentive for me.

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her morning routine

I am a late riser and usually start the day with a coffee at my favourite spot in the studio and just look out of the window. Luckily, my studio is within our flat.

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how her style habits have changed over the years

I now dress more colourful and cheekier. You could even say I 'dress up' a bit on some days. I enjoy that immensely. As I don't feel bound by any fashion trends, I'm free to dress however I like.

her opinion on the changing fashion industry

I would say that fashion and especially the quality has changed a lot from the past until now. In the past, there were hardly any companies that produced very cheaply. For example, I had to save up for my first pleated trousers (which were super trendy back then) and asked my mum if I could buy them. I wanted jeans for Christmas. Today there are clothes that cost almost nothing, are simply consumed and then thrown away again when there is a new trend. On the one hand, this is a problem because poorer countries are being showered with our clothing waste, but on the other hand, people with less money also have the opportunity to dress fashionably. But you can also find great clothes of good quality in second-hand shops and that's a lot of fun. Quality still has its price. Here I can only echo Vivienne Westwood: 'Buy less, choose well.' Like everywhere else, it probably depends on a sensible mix. Clothing also deserves respect.

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her favourite wardrobe pieces

My favourite clothes are dresses. With them, you're always dressed quickly and completely. I like to add beautiful jewellery, a scarf or, depending on the season, a cool jacket. I can't say whether there are certain 'essentials' that every woman needs. We are all different. I often think that I should have a few more 'basics', but somehow I don't manage to do that, so I always go for the unique pieces. 

her places to rest and get inspired in Berlin

I always have a small, shady spot by Neuer See in summer. In winter, I actually like being at home in my favourite spot in the studio. Oh yes, I like cemeteries, preferably old ones. It's quiet there, there are lots of birds or squirrels and it's sometimes very interesting.

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her favourite records, books and movies

My favourite book is 'What you can see from here' by Mariana Leky. It's harder when it comes to films and music. I like going to the cinema, but I can't think of a favourite film at the moment. Favourite music isn't easy to answer either, because new music is constantly being produced. I like Konstantin Wecker. He has an uncanny presence, a great voice (gives me goosebumps) and song lyrics with important content. I like Awolnation, an American indie band.