If a Coveteur bucket list exists (and it does), you can imagine why Michelle Elie would be at the very top. To know of the designer by name is to immediately conjure up images of her unapologetically avant-garde (click through the slideshow below for her real feelings on the phrase) get-ups. That woman popping up in your Google Images dancing in the streets of Paris in head-to-toe, balloon-shaped, bright-hued Comme des Garçons for street style photographers’ cameras? Yeah, that would be her. See what we mean?
Which is exactly why we had to fly all the way to Cologne (yep, we did that) to meet her. As they say, good things come to those who wait—and by that, we mean we had no idea what was waiting for us when we knocked at the door of her home. After ascending the stairs, we waltzed into her kitchen, where we were promptly greeted at the door with the best croissants in the city and an espresso. Oh, and a Damien Hirst formaldehyde cow head, which was pretty much the first thing you see upon stepping inside Elie’s family home.
Once we’d managed to recover from taking in Elie’s incredible art collection (a Damien Hirst here, a Tracey Emin there) and decor, it was onto conquering her closet(s). No small feat, mind you—we spent the better half of the next few hours running up and down four flights of stairs rounding up pieces from the storage spots she had throughout her home. The real gem, though? The loft-like space occupying the very top, which Elie’s claimed as her studio and an archive of sorts for the most special pieces in her unbelievable Comme collection. Mission: accomplished.