All Saints, the brand not the band, is quite well known in the Netherlands but was never available here. Owners, the design team Kait Bolongaro and Stuart Trevor, sold the company three years ago and started anew under their own names. The handwriting hasn’t changed and holds all All Saints characteristics and the same rock ‘n edgy attitude. The womenswear collection is slightly more romantic, while the men’s line is more alternative. Dutch agent Leon Hepper of Fashion Instinct:
“Bolongaro Trevor is very different from everything else that is on offer in the Netherlands. But the look and feel of the collection really meets Dutch taste: we have a craving for fashion that has an edge to it.” It’s the second season for Bolongaro Trevor in The Netherlands, the label is to be found at Modefabriek at Refined+.
New at Fashion Instinct is Pastry, the sneaker label by sisters Angela and Vanessa Simmons of MTV’s realityshow Run’s House-fame. Hepper: ‘We got enormous response on this collection. In a few weeks we’ve realized 125 points of sale, among them great stores like Raak, Factory and Streetlife in Amsterdam. We market Pastry only through jeansshops and boutiques, not via regular shoe- and sneakerstores.
Although an exception could be made for sneakers retail with a high fashion content like Seventyfive for example.’
Supermarket Sarah – today’s most exciting online store – was started by Sarah herself in her living room, when she began gathering together and photographing her own collection of furniture, toys, accessories and clothing. To become the owner of one of these fine items (many of them vintage) you simply click on the product you want.
Sarah has put together a number of different “walls” that she uses to combine a variety of completely diverse collections of hip and trendy items. She is the curator, and her wonderful taste in appealing, trendy products is what makes this personal mix of items so unique and surprising. Now Sarah is doing the same at the English department store Selfridges and is conquering the world with her creative products. What makes this so exceptional and so new?
Here we see an interesting development: the online shop is presented in real life too. The virtual and the real worlds run in parallel, flowing into one another. That’s where the future of the online store lies: combining tactile elements with the speed and efficiency of an online operation. What’s more, the highly personal and creative nature of Sarah’s store surprises and stimulates viewers and customers.
I always find visits to Sarah’s website to be inspirational and I have every confidence that creativity is ultimately what drives the economy.
As Technology becomes a larger part of our lives, the question is when it will play an integral part in the world of fashion. About a year ago I came across Intimacy Black, a new dress sprung from the mind of Anouk Wipprecht. Due to a small electrical current running through the fabric, the dress unveils your body the closer someone gets to you, becoming more transparent. The dress, made of smart foil, not only has an interesting design but also makes sure there is a sensual play going on between you and the approaching person.
Anouk Wipprecht graduated last summer as a fashion designer at the HKU and made this sexy creation for ‘Summer Sessions V2′ in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She is one of the four artists who were given time, money and a team of experts to realize their concept.
Intimacy is a series of fashion products by Daan Roosegaarde and V2_ with the goal to explore the relationship between technology and intimacy. The first dress (Intimacy White) was designed by Maartje Dijkstra and later the first Intimacy bag was made.
Intimacy Black is a great example of using technology to create a 4th dimension to your clothing. Let’s hope more designers see the power of this and apply it to their new collections.
Gareth Pugh is one of the most fascinating creative minds at the moment. Glamcult and Mr. Pugh have one thing in common; we both think fashion film is the medium of today. Fashion film is still exciting in a way that fashion photography often isn’t these days.
Since Gareth’s first collection at London Fashion Week in 2005, his shows still draw standing ovations as he continues to blur the lines between high fashion and art. His vision was the antidote to the pared-down aesthetic of the previous decade.
Nowadays Gareth Pugh is also known for his breathtaking innovative fashion films, in collaboration with filmmaker Ruth Hogben. The films are translations of what is going on in the designer’s head; they allow you to get deeper into his inner world. The films are remarkably iconic and scream Gareth Pugh. They take each collection to a mysterious world of rectangular folded designs and body movement where climactic sounds touch your soul; it’s an explosive innovation to fashion films.
When was the last time you saw an authentic gothic or psychobilly- a.k.a. a person who shows his or her individuality through their clothing- around your street corner? I’ve noticed that, while we live in an age where- when it comes to fashion- so much is possible (jeans to the office, suits as casual wear) so few people stand out in a crowd. Through the internet the world has democratized. What we used to call the elite, say the doctor or a high end fashion designer, we can now add as ‘ a friend’ on Facebook. Class segmentation is less present. It’s a good thing because power is more divided.
At the same time the underground, the place where Punk, Gothic, Skinheads and other subcultures were born, is not as existing as it used to be. In my opinion it makes street fashion uninspiring.
Girls wearing a flower- ‘hippie’ dress combined with high ‘punk’ Dr. Martens (read: hipsters) make me long for the days I was surrounded by ‘gabbers’- one of Holland’s most striking subcultures. Tom Nijhuis must have felt the same way when he designed his graduation collection at ArtEZ – the renowned fashion academy in Arnhem.
His collection was inspired by, or better said, a fashionable copy of the way the gabbers dressed in the early 90s. Although I think he could’ve been more inventive within this theme, Nijhuis had the guts to make a bold statement. Sad enough it’s a rarity in this day and age.
The most special places are not the easiest to be found, or just not ‘in your face’. Like a riad in Marrakech, well hidden behind a mysterious gateway. You wouldn’t imagine what magical place holds up out there. It felt a bit the same when I walked through the Korte Nieuwstraat in Antwerp. A narrow street with charming cobblestones in the wake of the cathedral.
The shopping areas are within a stone’s throw, but it also seemed slightly out of place somehow. I could have easily passed by Hotel Julien if it wasn’t for the small signs indicating that there might be something surprising located in the two adjacent 16th century buildings.
One step over the threshold is all it took to discover an inviting environment to settle for a few nights. The hotel combines authenticity with modern luxury. Cracking, old dark wooden stairs take you up to comfortable, yet minimalistic rooms –oak, lime wood, marble, a hint of Eames in the shape of a chair- or the rooftop terrace with a breathtaking view.
And that’s not all this urban retreat has to offer. The green patios provide a breath of fresh air, the renowned spa (sauna, hammam, best massages in town, Malin + Goetz beauty products ) offers the ultimate relaxation after an extensive shopping spree, the cosy bar is the perfect hangout for a nightcap…Don’t even get me started on the copious breakfast.
The best news of it all, is that this little foray of sweet decadence is not only accessible for hotel guests, but for any curious traveller or resident.
It’s quite an unusual name that Dutch fashion entrepreneur Rob Schalker came up with for his brand new shirt line. It’s a very compact collection; it consists of only three shapes with in total 28 different versions. The collection is characterized by two things: all designs are rich of details like contrasting stitching and lining, variation in buttons or ‘hidden’ prints. Second: the overall feel is fresh, young and crispy.
But what’s with the name? Schalker: ‘I came up with the name because I wanted to emphasize the playfulness of the collection. Mackerel, herring or shark: every fish can be named Fred. Just like every man can underline his lightheartedness by wearing a A Fish Named Fred-shirt.’
For Modefabriek Schalker has come up with something equally playful: shirts will be on display dangling from fishing rods and will be soaked with water.
Established in the early nineties British brand Religion was firmly rooted in club culture. From a niche T-shirt range it developed into a complete womenswear collection and a line for men. Always with anarchistic graphics, experimental design techniques, and destroyed fabrics as key elements. And with black, white and grey as colour scheme. But recently Religion became a bit more colourful, states Iris Agterdenbosch of Ludlow Street, Dutch agent of the brand. ‘This season two colors are added. And there is also a slight change of direction: the designs are still innovative but more wearable. One could say that Religion stays true to its dark and deconstructed handwriting but has become more balanced.’
Recently the brand opened two stand alone shop in London and several shop-in-shops throughout Europe. Iris would love to see a shop-in-shop realized in the Netherlands.
Instead of struggling for words, I will soon have a visual explanation for people who ask me to assess “Dutchness” as a foreigner from Germany. Of course, I am not that foreign, given that Germany and the Netherlands are quite close geographically. Still, until I began working on Basic Instincts, I would have found it difficult to describe the Dutch mentality. Featuring more than 50 artists across various disciplines including fashion design, fine art, product design, photography and architecture, Basic Instincts reflects the diversity of Holland’s creative culture. ‘We Share Air’ is therefore not just the title of a work by participating artist Navid Nuur. It is an apt description of the concept behind the exhibition itself.
Basic Instincts is divided not into different disciplines so much as themed into ‘landscapes’ that are named after pivotal aspects of Dutch creativity. A fashion designer, an architect and a fine artist are showcased together in one room to demonstrate how their work relates to one another, thus symbolizing the sharing of air.
Visiting Milan is always a treat, especially during the Salone di Mobile in April: an overture of design. I cycled for days through Milan on a bicycle rented from a beautiful shop where they design their own bicycles in olive green or fiat 500 red.
One of the most inspirational exhibitions was the TALKING TEXTILES presentation, curated by Lidewij Edelkoort. She is regarded as a visionary and specialises in the art of textiles.
Modern design methods will soon become a problem for the worlds of textiles, furniture and fashion. The traditional vibe of textiles is characterised by the essence of extreme luxury and soft, colourful materials. Intricate and beautiful embroidery, multicoloured weaves, yarns, knitwear and prints will become more and more expensive, eventually becoming a dying breed.
Lidewij therefore demonstrates the beauty and importance of textiles by means of all kinds of designs. The softness, the immense possibilities and the beauty of textiles will hopefully be of interest to all kinds of suppliers, designers and consumers.
After all, where would we be without colourful tie-dye scarves, embroidered garments crafted by ancient cultures, well-designed prints or the warmth of cashmere and wool yarns?
An inexhaustible variation of textiles is essential to the future of fashion and design.