About the measure of all things: Katja Kraft in conversation with fashion designer Natascha Müllerschön and art historian Mon Müllerschön.

In der Tradition der „Poupées de Mode“ erstellt Natascha Müllerschön Modisches im kleinen Format: DIE Hingucker in ihrem Atelier in der Münchner Siegesstraße.

Of course, Natascha Müllerschön could simply leave all five straight. The customer doesn't notice whether the seam in the bottom fabric of the skirt is 100% straight. But Natascha Müllerschön does notice. And if a stitch is not perfectly placed, she opens up all the seams again. A perfectionist through and through. Her former sister-in-law and close friend Mon Müllerschön calls her an artist. And indeed, you can hardly get enough of the fantastic works that fashion designer Natascha Müllerschön exhibits in her studio in the English Garden. These cuts! These fabrics! And, my God, the embroidery. All handmade by the owner herself. Butterflies flutter up a wedding dress as if they were flying straight out of the belly of the enamored wearer; or perfectly synchronized ornaments adorn the sleeves of an elegant blazer.




Natascha (re.) und Mon Müllerschön.

Even after all the years that the two women have known each other, Mon Müllerschön is full of euphoria when she sees these treasures. As an art historian who builds exquisite collections all over the world with her company MM-Artmanagement, she has a trained eye for art. "You have to see this!" she exclaims enthusiastically when the three of us meet in the studio for a chat. "This fabric - wonderful Italian cashmere. And what does Nana do with it?" The fashion designer dryly interjects: "I put it in the washing machine at 60 degrees." Irritated question: a small sample first? Mon Müllerschön, laughing: "No, completely. It's brutal!" Because the designer is not in the mood for conventional. Cashmere, incredibly beautiful - but in her eyes also incredibly conservative and boring. Her courage was rewarded: the hot water in the washing machine created an exciting new fabric, still as soft as cashmere, but with a much more interesting structure, thicker and more attractive. Different.

 Natascha Müllerschön loves playing with materials. It's always been that way. Back in the eighties, when Munich was so much more colourful and exciting socially than it is today - but a desert when it came to fashion. "There were hardly any boutiques where you could get chic clothes. And so we improvised. If you wanted to look good, you had to be creative," remembers Natascha Müllerschön. She did it, tailored the wildest creations herself - and soon heard again and again: "Where did you get that? Can you make that for me too?" Then she thought to herself: "Well, you can earn money with that." And so it began.

In 1984, she founded her own studio in Rambergstraße, around the corner from the Arri cinema. With close ties to the film industry through her family, Natascha Müllerschön was soon in the thick of it professionally too. Even back then, they all came to her to get dressed. Iris Berben, Senta Berger, Fanny Ardant, Gudrun Landgrebe. "Our business grew and grew, in High Times I had 14, 15 employees. We also trained them." In 1988, she moved to a larger store in Franz-Joseph-Straße. Mon Müllerschön remembers the giant shop window that her ex-sister-in-law decorated with care and love: "People used to park in front of it in the second row just to look at it." Miniature dolls attracted attention behind the large windows. Flattered by the most beautiful, fantastic dresses.

Natascha Müllerschön is continuing a centuries-old tradition with these Poupées de Mode. She has won the "AZ-Stern" twice with these pretty little dolls, some of which now hang in her studio in Siegesstraße. This coveted award is presented annually by the cultural editors of the Münchner Abendzeitung newspaper to honor special artistic achievements and cultural highlights of the past year. Mon Müllerschön points to one of the dolls, whose perfect little dress makes you wish you could shrink to 50 centimetres for a moment so you could slip into it. "Nana is a great artist in the field of fashion." She waves her hand modestly. Fashion - is that art? Anyone who regularly follows the auctions at NEUMEISTER knows the answer: but yes. Again and again, precious vintage pieces are auctioned off, timelessly beautiful. And the highest level of design and craftsmanship. Over the past 40 years, Natascha Müllerschön has continued to refine her skills and become even better. Like visual artists, she is electrified by small sparks of inspiration in her designs: "You're somewhere, you see something, a horsetail for example - and on closer inspection, new ideas come to you. An important common thread for me is my own past. I often come up with creations that are based on something I made 20 years ago and loved very much - it excites me to rework such designs with my current view of the world." Mon Müllerschön has to smile: "Many artists look back at their work at a certain point in their lives and then translate the works that are important to them into the present. Warhol's 'Retrospective' or Baselitz's 'Remix', for example. Art never starts from scratch."

From today's perspective, a fresh look at Natascha Müllerschön's work does not mean an effort to switch to sustainability. What others see as a calculated jump on the zeitgeist bandwagon, she has been doing from the very beginning. "We have always used only high-quality natural materials." She has also never subordinated herself to the rest of the fashion circus and has never been impressed by the latest "trends". "When a customer asks me: 'What's in today?', I reply: 'I'm not interested in that at all. What interests me: What's good for you?" A recipe for success. She has a number of regular customers who trust her eye. After all, that's also part of making fashion - SEEING the people you're dressing. Dressing them in such a way that they don't feel dressed up; that the focus is not on the dress, but on the person wearing it.




Studied graphic design in Munich. After years abroad in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, she founded her label "Natascha Müllerschön Couture" in the mid-1980s. In her studio, she creates elaborate cocktail dresses, evening gowns and wedding dresses, skirts, pants, jackets and coats in individual designs. She creates small series several times a year, which she invites to her studio for presentation.


Poupées de Mode

As early as the 14th century, the nobility were kept informed of the latest trends from Paris, the capital of fashion, by elegantly adorned dolls. At that time, wealthy noblemen had dolls made of wood or papier-mâché sent to them, dressed in the latest creations. The court tailor thus had perfect illustrative material for sewing. In this way, French couture spread throughout the world. The mannequins were dressed up more and more elegantly, with dainty porcelain heads and real hair wigs. The French Revolution put an end to the wooden pioneers of fashion globalization. Overnight, the financially strong aristocracy disappeared as the biggest customers. After the Second World War, people returned to the dainty dolls. The French fashion industry was in the doldrums and the Parisian fashion association Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture used a delightful advertising tool: it sent the pretty little ladies around the world as a kind of traveling exhibition under the title "Théatre de la Mode". The miniature mannequins traveled as far as the United States. This turned out to be a good idea: the little dolls are once again the measure of all things.

Nichts von der Stange: Jede Kreation von Natascha Müllerschön ist ein kleines Kunstwerk für sich.
Natascha Müllerschön hat auch Otto von Bismarck virtuell eingekleidet. Sie war es, die speziell für das Foto seiner Statue auf dem Titelbild dieses Magazins das bunte Outfit gestrickt hat – eine Spezialanfertigung nach Maß!

Mon Müllerschön has often had the pleasure of having something made to measure by her friend. "Then you stand in front of the mirror and Nana drapes the fabrics around you - and you see how a work of art is created. The fittings alone, this attention, this time just for you, it's such a feeling of well-being!" And then the moment when the creation is finished and you step out into the world for the first time. "Like a suit of armor that caresses you, in which you feel safe. This craft is not available off the peg." Mon Müllerschön's credo: "It's better to buy less, but something that will really stay with you for years, something that has value."

Whether with the art you surround yourself with or the clothes you wear: Both are a form of language. They tell of preferences, personality, desires and also status. The two women's professions are similar. "We both get very close to our customers when we ask: What makes you tick? Whether I'm building up an art collection or, like Natascha, want to design a dress that matches the personality of the wearer, it's a very personal discussion. Very honest," emphasizes Mon Müllerschön.

Each one is a psychologist in her own way. She is happy when the people who come to her go home a little happier afterwards. And yet Natascha Müllerschön sometimes asks herself during these times: "What am I actually doing here? The world is on fire and I'm creating clothes." But when she sees a woman who has come to her daughter's upcoming wedding against her will, unhappy with herself and her body - and then walks out in a dress tailored for her, beaming, a little happier with herself and the world, she realizes once again how important it is to give people beauty, especially in times like these. "Because it simply feels good to surround yourself with beauty, because it's healthy. Because it makes you happy." And thus creates a little peace on a small scale. Because people who are happy are also nice to others. That suits us all.



Mon Müllerschön founded MM-Artmanagement 30 years ago. Since then, the art historian has helped to build up important collections - for private individuals, but also for corporations such as the media house Hubert Burda Media or the management consultancy Roland Berger. Some of her clients can also be found in the magazine for which Mon Müllerschön has been working for years: Her weekly column in BUNTE is legendary. Week after week, Müllerschön provides an overview of the international art scene. The promotion of young artists is particularly close to Mon Müllerschön's heart. That's why she founded the online gallery "Wunderkunst", giving up-and-coming artists a platform to present themselves - and to sell their work. Mon Müllerschön is involved in many areas of society, such as the "Frauen verbinden" network and the Club europäischer Unternehmerinnen e.V. (Club of European Women Entrepreneurs). "Today, we women stick together much more than when I started my career. We support each other, we open doors for each other. We are seen very differently, we see ourselves differently too. I find that extremely pleasant," says Müllerschön. Mon Müllerschön is also involved on the board of the Fritz and Maria Koenig Foundation. "I have always admired Fritz Koenig because he never allowed himself to bend and lived his dreams. He was a unique person who created unique art," says Mon Müllerschön. This is fitting, because NEUMEISTER is auctioning off sculptures by Fritz Koenig in March.