Archive | March, 2012

Fashion faux pas (part 6)

25 Mar

Last week Astrid reminded me of yet another Fashion Faux Pas, thanks babe!

Everybody has their own issues, when it comes to the body. I have many, like my ‘non petite’ legs. I was born with them and supposedly they were lovely when I was a baby, cuddly fatty baby legs, but when you’re a grow-up, suddenly they aren’t so cute anymore…

For a long time I did hide them under maxi skirts and trousers, but a few years ago I stopped hiding them. In winter I can still cover them with beautiful hold ups in lace, with flower patterns, in Prince-of-Wales checks and other nice leg wear, but when spring arrives and hold ups become to warm…

I used to cover my legs with a self tanner of a certain brand and was pretty satisfied with the result, although I didn’t like the way the self tanner came off, in an irregular stained way. Then my favorite self tanner changed ingredients and also got a shimmer (something you don’t want on heavy legs!), so I had to look for another brand. I bought a very expensive new one and because I had to work on monday and had been lazy over the weekend, sunday evening I started to rub my legs in the new self tanner. Carefully I set on the end of my bed and gave the creme time to smooth into my skin. When it was all dried in I went to sleep.

Monday morning I was in a hurry and in the shower I quickly observed at my legs. I got frightened by what I saw, dark brown stains all over! I tried to scrub the tanner of, but it was totally stuck on my legs. I had to run to work and just hoped nobody would notice, although I knew this was wishful thinking and só not realistic !

At the studio I went to go up the stairs, Astrid walked behind me, but she didn’t say a thing. Pff, she didn’t notice!? A few minutes later she got a huge smile on her face and said: “You must have had a busy weekend rubbing in teak-oil on your legs…!” I felt so stupid but had to laugh too. I love her witty humor! After that day I decided to accept the way my legs look natural….ah, very pale.

Reinhard Plank, hats & shoes

25 Mar

This week I celebrated my 52nd birthday and it was one of the best birthdays ever!!! I was terribly spoiled by my friends…

My man-friend left for South-Africa, but not before giving me a one-off fabulous birthday-present…: a transparent, vintage beads necklace worn by Naomi Campbell at the Rifat Ozbek s/s 1990 fashion show! My friend was responsible for the music at  Rifat Ozbek’s shows for years and gave him the necklace personally after the show. How fab is that?! Edina Monsoon eat your heart out….!

And that was only the beginning, because my girlfriends surprised me too with great gifts. I don’t want to make anybody envious, but a beautiful flower-arrangement in a glass-looks-like-wood vase, Kyoto fragrance by Comme Des Garçons and an amazing wax candle-holder by Maison Martin Margiela 13..

After coffee I went for some shoe-shopping (not for me) with my friend/sister-in-law and in her favourite shoe store I saw an incredibly beautiful hat. I tried it on and fell in love with it. I didn’t dare to ask the price, afraid it would be expensive. The price was nice and I wanted to buy it for myself, but I got it as yet another fab birthday-present!!

                 I am incredibly spoiled  this year, thanks só much again to all of you…!!!!

In the shoe store I asked the owner about the designer of the hat and he told me the brand is still small and quiet new, all  hats are made by the designer himself, Reinhard Plank. At home I googled the name and found the website:   Check it out yourself!

Reinhard Plank is still only sold by high fashion stores which sell smaller but very promising brands. Loved by fashion in-crowd and daring people. The hats are very agreeably priced, something seldom happens at a new and obscure brand! The designs are inspired by old farmers hats, the dandy look, Peter Pan, Robin Hood and classic English designs as the bowler and top hat.

Video of Reinhard Plank decorating a hat

Reinhard Plank biography

Born in Vipiteno (Bolzano, Italy) in 1970. He graduated in 1998 at Wiens University of Applied Arts. He participated in many design projects and in 1996  he won the International Design Competition of Fukai (Japan). In 2003 in Wien he began to recycle hats and reshape them on his personal style. So was born his first hat: “il classico”. In 2005 he moved to Tuscany to approach the old and traditional art of making hats. In the same year he participated at his firts Pitti Uomo and emerged as a hat/cap designer. While proceeding in his research, in 2007 he designed his first pair of shoes.

In Amsterdam Reinhard Plank is sold by LUUKS

Online sold at   and

Fashion faux pas (part 5)

18 Mar

Last week I bumped into my friend Peter at a fleamarket and he happily reminded me of a fashion faux pas I had forgotten…

Some years ago Chloé launched their new sunglasses and one pair immediately caught my eyes; the pinkish ones with a crystal heart in the left corner. I had to have them, but regretted this purchase pretty soon after I bought them, because they were copied só often, I didn’t even like to wear them anymore.

I had a coffee-date with Peter and Kate at one of the cafés near the canals. It was a beautiful sunny day and we sat down near the water. Kate was telling us about a television program she watched a few nights before, about how to catch a man’s attention. One of the tips was to wave your hair from one side to the other. Kate showed us how, but ofcourse I could do it more theatrical, gave a demonstration and then it happened: my expensive Chloé sunglasses slipped of my face and fell into the canal…  Kate panicked and wanted to dive after them, but I yelled : ‘No, they aren’t worth it, their soooo last season!’

We couldn’t stop laughing and deep down inside I was happy they were gone. I will never buy anything so hip and trendy anymore, for sure it will be copied a million times…

Jersey fabric found its way into fashion

18 Mar

Since I seriously started playing around with jersey, I’ve fallen in love with the fabric. It takes some hard practice to get to know the do’s and don’t, because it is a knitted fabric, not woven and therefore needs another way processing, but you can achieve the most beautiful results because of its texture, elasticity and the way the fabric drapes down. Ofcourse I’d made many t-shirts and dresses from tricot, but jersey is thicker and therefore also suitable for pants, skirts, suit jackets, coats and many other designs which you can’t make out of tricot.

I made a fantastic suit for my friend out of  grey jersey with knitted in stripes. It came out great and some of his friends asked where he bought it or if I can make them a suit like that too, but the fabric was a unique piece of cloth I couldn’t find anymore … Jersey like that is very expensive nowadays and hardly produced anymore.

After the suit I started experimenting with other jersey fabrics. I made some classic pants and the result was sporty pants with a non-sporty cut and they’re heavenly to wear, because they’re stretchy. I’ve also boiled some jersey fabrics. You have to get an extra-large piece of cloth, because its shrinks about 30% to 50%. The boiled jersey is a lot rougher and great for a coat!

Coco Chanel was the first designer to use jersey for outerwear…! During the WWI Chanel left Paris and stayed in Deauville where she opened a new shop. Fabrics were getting hard to find, most were produced for soldiers uniforms. The luxury fabrics became rare. When Chanel went to a fabric store, they were out of stock except for jersey. Jersey was used for underwear only until then. Chanel saw an opportunity, jersey was inexpensive and a lot more comfortable to wear. She started experimenting and got inspiration from fisherman’s sweaters. With the use of jersey she found a new way of dressing women which was not excepted immediately by everybody. Though some of her clientele loved it the moment they put it on and it became Coco’s first real success in fashion.

Madame Gres (full name Germaine Emilie Krebs) is considered the maître of couture. She was formally trained as a sculptress before becoming a couturier. She first opened her fashion house ‘Gres’ in 1942, in Paris. Madame Gres had considerable success and was mostly known for her beautiful gowns, but also for her criticism on ready-to-wear, a lot of the haute couture houses turned to during her time in the fashion business. She considered ready-to-wear to be ‘prostitution’. However, in the end she did turn to launching her own ready-to-wear line. She worked from the 1930s trough to the 80s. Most of her fabulous gowns were made in jersey.

Her sculpture training is easy to recognize in her draping work or call it draping art! Musée Bourdelle honoured Madame Gres with an exhibition where eighty pieces were presented. Those from the ‘Alix’ period from 1934, works that were commissioned by Givenchy, as well as hundred sketches and fifty original pictures. I saw to the exhibition last year and was very moved. Not only because I never saw so many pieces of her work in one place, but also by her extreme talent and incredible art in fashion.

Interesting to notice, the designs by the maître of couture do not seem to be dated at all. Some pieces look so familiar and modern, they could have been designed yesterday.

Watch the promo video for the exhibition, it gives a great view on the dresses and the beautiful environment they were exposed in!



                                                       Madame Gres, have to love her!


Story about a necklace (2)

11 Mar

One necklace has a very special meaning to me, it is a silver crucifix made with ox-blood red coral beads I wear it every day for more than 10 years already.

At my mother’s funeral my brother gave a beautiful speech and one part stayed with me especially. He quoted a philosopher who wrote: ‘People die twice. Ones when you pass away and ones again when you’re forgotten’. That second one hit me hard! I didn’t want to forget my mom for as long as I live and decided I needed a reminder. I would have loved to wear her wedding ring, which was melted together with my father’s wedding ring (my father died when I was only 11 years old), so they both would be with me every day, but sadly it was stolen at the rest-home, after it was taken of her finger when she passed away.

Then I remembered the little box she owned, with the red coral beads which had belonged to her grandmother as part of the traditional Dutch folklore outfit she used to wear. My mom only had inherited one-third of the traditional necklace the beads came from. I asked my brother and sisters if I could have these coral beads. For a little while I didn’t know what to do with them, how to wear them. Then I designed a silver crucifix with the coral beads incorporated in it and had it made by a jeweller. The beads are sealed in like in a counting frame. By now ofcourse I know I don’t need some item to remember my mom (and dad), I will never forget her anyway, but the necklace represents my love for her and I will always keep it with me.