"Sometimes it can be an experiment with an unusual material or a cut," says designer Ramiro Calderon Alvarez, in reference to his singular design approach. The focus of his efforts is a 4-year-old fashion and accessories label based out of Berlin named Miroike, and since 2003, Ramiro and partner Ulrike Seidel have been working largely under the radar…at least until recently.
With an emphasis on comfort and the application of fabric and how it works along with the body, Miroike's creations could easily function as a second skin. "It is about the wrapping around and draping of fabric on the body," says Ramiro referring to his somewhat conceptual pieces. With elegantly swathed jersey dresses and impeccably tailored jackets, Miroike manages to strike the simplicity chord while still spearheading the indie vanguard.
And there is a good chance that the designers' quest to challenge the standards of fashion could have been inspired by Vivienne Westwood, whom the Ramiro and Ulrike worked with prior to launching their own label. The duo's designs reflect an expansion upon classical traditions, which is corroborated by an inspiring range of influences from Madame Vionnet and Maggy Rouff to Cristobal Balenciaga. Bias-cut jersey dresses and ingenious lace visors represent a mere sampling of the irreverent Miroike sensibility.
Their spring/summer collection is devoid of gimmicks or opulent fabrics; instead there is distinct focus on rudimentary textiles like wool serge, cotton jersey, and silk velvet (best applied in the label's infamous sock shoe). "It is important to us that the integrity of the material match the design," says Ramiro. From a semi-sheer single-cotton jersey dress with diagonal paneling to a billowy drop-waisted dress with drawstring hem, Miroike's designs represent the rare marriage between craft and function.
When asked about their muse, the designers hesitate to identify her. "We would like to meet her to know her occupation, her fortune, when she goes to sleep on Friday," says Ramiro. Chances are, we already know her.
How Berlin label Miroike is reimagining the second skin.