Jamie Bochert: heaven and hell

The muse and singer on learning from fashion's greats, playing her demos to Kim Gordon and dancing to Nine Inch Nails

Fashion Feature
Jamie Bochert
Jamie Bochert wears SS92 pigeon feather necklace top courtesy of Ann Demeulemeester archive; leggings by American Apparel; boots by Ann Demeulemeester Photography by Willy Vanderperre, Styling by Katy England

We’re celebrating the SS14 #OutsidersIssue of Dazed with a Jamie Bochert Day – our enigmatic cover star, shot by Willy Vanderperre. In the spirit of the issue, Jamie reveals what it means to be an outsider, offering exclusively curated playlists and selecting her own band of outsiders. Check back throughout the day for more.

Taken from the spring/summer issue of Dazed:

When Marc, Riccardo, Alber and Karl need a personality as forceful as their designs, they turn to Jamie Bochert. “I like knowing the people I work with. I love those designers,” the 35-year-old says. “Everybody has different visions and ideas and we all have an understanding of art and music and fashion. We connect. I’ve learned a lot from all of them, and that’s something that I’m really fortunate to have got in this business. I’ve been turned on to music and books and art.”

Bochert’s longest connection is with Ann Demeulemeester, the first person to put her in a show. “It was my first trip to Paris – I’d never gone out of America,” she recalls. “It was scary to be travelling abroad. I was about 20 and a lot of people weren’t that interested. Then I met Ann and she was really into the idea of me doing her show. We sat and talked about music and poetry. I was young and nobody had really taught me about it, so Ann and her husband were some of the first people to teach me. We would write letters when I went back to New York, and just kept our relationship through the years.”

Which is why wearing an archive pigeon feather top by the designer on the cover of Dazed feels so special. Immortalised by Kirsten Owen in Demeulemeester’s SS92 show, it was actually included deliberately as a treat for Katy England. “Katy is one of my favourite stylists,” Bochert says, “and she told me that she’d always had this piece in her archive of images for inspiration. So I called Ann and she got it for us and had it sent over for the shoot. We shot it the day before the shirt went into the museum. Katy wanted to meet her and Ann came by at the end of the shoot, said ‘hi’ and we all went to her house and had dinner!”

Jamie Bochert
Jamie wears SS12 fringe coat courtesy of Ann Demeulemeester archive; embroidered tie-dye apron from Mairead Lewin Vintage; velvet skirt from Jane Bourvis Photography by Willy Vanderperre, Styling by Katy England

But Bochert’s main passion is making music. The first time she ever played a demo to someone else, the listeners were none other than Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth. “It was terrifying, but I got a good response. Kim told me not to be selfish and to put out an album, and I still haven’t done it!” She’s working on it in her Brooklyn home though, and hopes to have it out later this year.

So is Bochert as indifferent to the mainstream as she looks? Well, she loves Rasputina, an all-girl cello band. “They are a little weird. They’re an old band, maybe from ten, 15 years ago. It’s only cellos but I like the singer’s voice. I like that it’s a bit strange. It’s not something you’re going to hear on the radio!”

Maybe her off-centre taste in music came from her teenage years. ”I wasn’t a cheerleader! Or anything technically cool. I was a ballet dancer, so I went to school for a few hours then danced for the rest of the day. I didn’t really have friends or go to school dances. I wasn’t a part of that scene. I was kind of a loner. My mother tells me that I would be blasting Nine Inch Nails in the garage and dancing in pointe shoes.“

Credits: hair Anthony Turner at Art Partner; make-up Val Garland at Streeters; nails Sofie Van Bouwel for Chanel; models Jamie Bochert at Oui, Cris Brodahl, Colin Van Eeckhout, Elise Crombez at Elite, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sylvie Kreusch; photographic assistants Romain Dubus, Chad Gevaert, Dieter Blonde; styling assistants Kerry Panaggio, Lydia Simpson; hair assistant David Harborow; digital operator Henri Coutant at Dtouch;  production Floriane Desperier at 4Oktober

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