Nathalie Michiels is the producer of Almaviva magazine, the fashion and lifestyle zine of France’s oldest daily newspaper Le Figaro. Not only does she have an effortlessly chic style, her personality and aesthetic is evident in her home space which she shares with musician husband Jérôme and their two kids. We got to take a peek into her home in Paris..
What did you study and how did you arrive to what you do now?
I did two years of Literature Studies (Hypokhâgne and Khâgne) before studying History at La Sorbonne (The University of Paris). Then I studied at Celsa, a journalism school. After my studies, I became a journalist for 4 years and then a corporate consultant for a company that belongs to TBWA for 5 years. Now I’m producer and stylist for Almaviva, the new “supplement” of Le Figaro, the French newspaper.
How long have you lived in Paris?
Since I was two! I was in Canada before, where my father worked as a diplomat.
What do you do for Almaviva magazine?
I started working for Le Figaro 6 years ago, then I had the good fortune to be part of the launch of Almaviva, the culture, fashion, art and lifestyle magazine of Le Figaro. There are 6 editions in a year. I am the producer as well as occasionally the stylist for the magazine where I organise photo shoots.
What is it about your job that you love?
Being a part of the launching of a magazine, discovering new places, meeting interesting people, organising everything for the photo shoots with a motivated team, seeing all the nice pictures and stories become a slice of life … all the reasons why I love my job!
You have such a lovely home! When it comes to interiors, what is your inspiration?
I get inspired by the work of some designers I follow. Since a long time, I have an inspiration book (five in fact…) where I keep addresses, pictures and magazines cut-outs. Each time I see kitchens, living or sleeping rooms that I love in magazines, I tear the paper out and stick it in my inspiration book. It can also be art, clothes, useful objects, nice hotels, places…. I like to build a little universe of things that move me.
I also often go to museums to “educate my eyes”, and I love watching and observing people on the streets. I like to fill myself with ideas of things and people — it nourishes me.
For our home, I try to create a place full of our little memories — objects that we found little by little. Time is truly our best friend in interior decoration. Creating harmony and meaning in a space cannot be done solely by an interior decorator.
How do you find some of your furniture pieces?
I walk a lot in Paris and sometimes I find little stores that become my go-to spots and specialists for certain pieces. I have a notebook for a long time now where I keep their addresses and meet them from time to time for novelties. The website Selency is also a great place to find vintage furniture too!
What is your ‘go-to’ look?
A dress most of the time. Easy to choose, easy to accessorize — an efficient look.
Who are your favourite fashion brands / designers ?
What is it about being French or Parisan that defines your style?
Be chic but not too much. Be natural with a little twist, always…
What is your style advice?
Get inspired by others, by fashion, by your moods, but find your own style. Find yourself.
If you could take a peek into an icon or celebrity wardrobe, whose would it be?
What is your favourite item in your closet?
My leather skirts and a Marni print dress.
Have you always been interested in fashion, image-making and the arts since you were a child?
I got my creative education growing up by going to museums and reading a lot, but I wasn’t always interested in fashion nor image-making. They came later, little by little. I discovered them by myself and loved them as ways to be creative, to inspire your own intimate world, and to freeze the passing of time. For me, it’s like revealing the beautiful, making life more gorgeous, tasty and fun!
What do you think are the most important skills needed for your job?
To understand situations quickly, to be patient, and to have some taste too…