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By: Mike Mills

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Marc Jacobs intern

I was wandering around a large bookstore, looking for the fashion books department, when I stumbled upon two cute little girls. The eldest one was walking her younger sister in a bugaboo stroller, and was motherly blabbing to her. They seemed alone, and I decided to have a little chat with the girls. As they looked up to me, I stared into two pairs of radiant blue eyes and angel like faces, framed by bouncy brown curls. We sat down on some little steps in the store, with the stroller parked next to us. Upon turning my head to the left, I noticed their mother: she was absorbed in the book she was holding, apparently forgetting all about the world around her. I recognized this feeling of being completely engrossed by a piece of paper and words - and so I turned back to the little girls and smiled. Let's give her a couple more minutes. 

We were in the middle of an interesting discussion about the tea-party they just had at one of their mum's friends and how it resembled the mad tea-party that Alice came across in Wonderland, when the mum suddenly came rushing towards us. "I'm so very sorry that you were burdened with my girls!", she cried. "I completely lost track of time and space," she apologetically said, continuing in a softer, more whispering voice: "and to be quite frank - also of my girls... I cannot believe that just happened!"

I reassured her it was no problem at all and they were very chatty and entertaining. On top of that, they provided inspiration: in what way does normal society resemble Alice in Wonderland's intriguing world of craziness? Obviously, I did not share this thought with her, as calling her friends crazy might leave a slight mark of repulsion.

"Then she said something that made my heart pound twice as fast as when unwrapping my Christmas presents, and that made my blood rush faster than a river bursting out of its dams"
She asked me if she could be of any help in the bookstore, as this was her favourite place to recover her breath after the superficiality of the world she found herself surrounded by daily. She quickly assured me that she would normally "go to the store alone. This honestly was the first time I ever lost sight of my girls". After I informed her on my hunt for the fashion books department, we started talking about my life as a fashion student, and my aspirations to be a writer for a big magazine. She was all ears. Then she said something that made my heart pound twice as fast as when unwrapping my Christmas presents (excluding a gift that holds the name of a particular French fashion house). It made my blood rush faster than a river bursting out of its dams. I felt like how champaign must feel when it's still in its bottle: impatiently waiting to explode, without holding back one single bubble - just dying to be out there in the real world. This lady explained she works for a company that publishes several magazines, such as some rather big shots that you all know. "We just launched Marc Jacobs' own magazine, and we're still looking for people. A good intern would be very useful at the moment. Perhaps you can send me some of your writings?" She looked at me with a big grin, probably laughing at the sight of this silly girl that had her jaw dropped to her chest. 

But instead of hearing a divine hallelujah reverberate from high above me, I was rudely disturbed by some heavy hammer drill outside the bookstore. I could see the woman's mouth move, but could not hear a thing of the rest she was saying. And as I slowly found myself getting dizzy, she faded away to the background, and it got dark before my eyes. Damn it. That disturbing noise was no hammer drill - it was my freaking alarm clock.  

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fashion obsession: leather pads

Perhaps this reminds me of my time as a child, when my mum would repair the holes in my clothes with endless love and patience. I suppose it has more to do with horse riding than with my childhood memories, but I love them anyways. My latest fashion obsession are (elbow) pads, preferably leather ones, but fake will do just fine too!

What I Wish To Look Like...undefined靴&バッグのカタログ検索 | VOGUE.COMundefined

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Guess what...

...I have some SUPER exciting news!

As I've mentioned before, the Dutch celebrate a sort of Christmas Eve on the 5th of December. And... I got my long desired Marc Jacobs watch!!! Yay!

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

I wish...

...I could say this was me back in the days.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some freaking dangerous shit, those leg-warmers.

What do you think of the overknee trend? Personally, I love it. I think it's a much warmer alternative to those thin tights I normally wear. Because even though those might have stripes, dots or little hearts, they do not keep the cold away from my legs. And so, to me, overknees and leg-warmers are a yes this winter. I must warn you though; they might not always be the safest option...

The other week I bought a pair of cool, knitted, half grey and half black leg-warmers at H&M. I wore them to a party that night (cannot recommend - bloody hot!), and to school a couple days later (can definitely recommend - lots of compliments). But here's the thing: as I live in Amsterdam, we Dutchies tend to transport ourselves by bikes. And biking while wearing these leg-warmers comes with certain risks. Ever had loose laces while riding your bicycle? Exactly. It's freaking dangerous shit. 

I had a similar experience yesterday, whilst riding to my friend's birthday dinner. I had just entered her street when I suddenly felt a strong force pulling my high heeled right foot down. It was as if someone from behind had grabbed my wedge and started pulling me from the back, making it impossible for me to cycle one meter more. I had to stop and step off, but simply couldn't. Apparently my leg-warmer had sagged all the way over my wedge and then twisted itself around my pedal... Whilst still sitting on my bike, I gave a pull to the warmer. No luck. A quick glance around ensured me no one was watching or secretly sniggering behind his curtains. After another three failed attempts, I finally found a way to step down, but - obviously... - not without landing gracefully on my knees. Thank god the dark started falling otherwise people would have surely noticed my warm, red cheeks. 

Still on my knees, another quick pull wasn't helpful either. I tried twisting the warmer the other way, but only made it worse. Hopelessly I stared around. Cars were racing by, people on bikes rushed to their warm homes, and no one cared to help. 

"It seemed the only solution was to undress myself right there and then."

Ha. Ha. Ok, so I got stuck. Doesn't matter. I coughed a few times. Then I produced a high, strange sound that was supposed to be some sort of nervous little laugh, but sounded like a newborn chick, and apologetically rolled my eyes to a passing lady who was walking her dog, as if surely everyone knows what it feels like to get stuck to your bike once every so often.

It seemed the only solution was to undress myself right there and then. Ignoring the sudden wind that attacked my leg whilst rolling down the leg-warmer, I bravely continued on my mission. Only to discover I had to take of my shoe first. While stumbling with my bike I unzipped my bootie, and as fast as I could took off the warmer. Whilst still balancing my way on the side of the bicycle lane, I now had one heel on (read: my new 13,5 cm high wedged boots...) and one foot on the ice cold pavement. After what felt like at least thirty minutes - but may have been a little less - I released the poor leg-warmer from its misery. Triumphantly I stretched my arm up in the air, holding my warmer as if it was a trophy I had just won for some exhausting athletic performance. My joy may have been sweet, it was also short, when I realised the rather unusual look I gave for passing strangers. I immediately dropped my arm and quickly inspected the sock. No holes or damaged bits. Completely relieved I put on my heel again, but just in time thought of the right leg-warmer I was still holding in my hands. I was not planning on making an even bigger fool out of myself by biking with only one warmer on. When everything was finally back in its original place, I jumped back on my bike.

I ensured myself no one had seen any of the previous behaviour. Completely satisfied with my discrete actions, I smiled and continued the last 100 meters to my friends doorstep. Then I heard someone fighting his laughs, and so I looked up to where it was coming from and noticed a group of at least six boys (read: hot seventeen year-olds may be way too young for a girl my age, in my heart I still feel fourteen). They were standing at the balcony above me and as soon as they saw me look up, they started laughing their heads off. 

Instead of a leg-warmer, I deserve an actual trophy, as I have never cycled those 100 meters as fast as that night. 

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Santa can you hear me?

December is approaching fast and that means two things:

One, we should most certainly not  ignore the coming cold and dress wherever we feel most fabulous in. Even if that means you will be likely to suffer from chronic goose bumps. And two, both Christmas and the Dutch holiday Sinterklaas (which is basically the same as Christmas but then early December. Yes - we get presents two times that month.) are getting closer and we need to start making our wish-lists.

I've always liked the day after Christmas the most. Normally, people get their presents in the morning on the 25th of December. However, as the Dutch also celebrate Christmas Eve on the night of the 24th, my family has always given each other our gifts during dinner that evening. The morning after, I would always order my presents in the most precious way, giving each and one of them the same amount of attention and love. The rest of the day I would simply lie on my belly on the floor and gasp at the precious little things that I had wished for so long and that I could now count as parts of my wardrobe. I would think of combinations with my cool Adidas sneakers, come up with occasions to which I could wear my amazing soft skinned leather jacket, and I would create the coolest looks in my head with a long wished for purple (I know, don't blame me.) pair of jeans. Being thirteen, those were the days.

However, being nearly ten years older today, I don't think things have changed so much. Let me explain.

Although I don't live in my parents house anymore, I share an apartment with three friends in the heart of Amsterdam. We each have our own bedroom and share one big dining/chill out spot and other necessities in the house (such as the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room etc). My bedroom is a mix and match of all things pretty and it is often called 'the treasure palace' by my flatmates or friends. That means, it might look a bit full at first, it's filled with precious little treasures that each have a special story and are placed where they are placed with a reason. My Moschino belt, for instance. It swings on a little hook inside my closet, so that every morning when I open it to pick out my look for the day, I start off with a smile. My vintage Dior purse hangs next to my necklaces, so that when I choose my jewellery in the morning, I get a glimpse of that timeless piece of work. (I've written an entire post ("fashion environment") about the likes and unlikes of my treasure palace a couple months ago, and perhaps it's best you read that in case you've gotten curious to what my room looks like...)

My shoes used to be stored in sight too, although I have a perfectly fine working storage box under my bed. I used to order my shoes in there once in a while, so that when I rolled the box from under the bed, I could take a look at all my lovely boots and sandals, heels and wedges, and all other footwear lined up one by one, smiling and winking at me. You might know this already too, because this was also one of my previous blog posts ("making excushoes").

However, most of the time my shoes are lying somewhere in my room, so that I don't forget to wear certain pairs and that I can take a look at them whenever I feel a little depressed by the winter's cold. It does make my bedroom look rather messy and, well, also quite full. And thus my mum came with the perfect solution, resulting in a deja-vu from that morning-after-Christmas: she bought me a shoe rack.

As soon as I received the rack I was too excited to think of anything else. I immediately placed all my shoes on it, playing with different textures and colours lined next to each other. It showcases my most amazing shoes; varying from mustard suede clog like wedges to insanely high, black leather booties (lovingly called my "porn boots" by friend F.) and my latest crushes: half black snake skin (front) and half black suede (back) ankle wedges with sturdy rubber soles. I switched the shoes around, squeezed a couple more pairs in, and after finding the perfect order, I sank down to the floor, sat in what we Dutch call the "kleermakerszit" (referring to the way tailors used to sit; just google it.), and stared at my shoe rack in utter devotion and admiration. For 45 minutes straight. Without winking one single time. Then my flatmate stormed in, rudely waking me out of my peaceful trance, only to make me realize it wasn't Christmas yet and reminding me more racks would be crucial if Santa would decide to send me some shoebox sized presents this year...

black leather multi strap buckle boots

Love it!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The twenty euro Chanel horror.

So. I have this friend... She's very sweet and kind and well, she's just plain amazing - obviously, cause she's my friend. Anyhow, she's also mad about a certain French Fashion house known as Chanel. Rings a bell?

Before I continue, I must tell you that I need some advice on this. Some of this girl's friends happen to think she might be taking it a notch too far. They fear a true obsession, an addiction even. I, on the other hand, do not agree with them at all. I think it's very normal and healthy to long for a moss green suede 2.55 jumbo. Or a classic quilted black leather one. With a gold chain strap. And a delicate gold printed Chanel stamp on the inside of the flap. Anyhow, not all of my friends seem to think like me.

Ok. So this is the case. Yesterday the above mentioned friend ran into my other friend E.W.
E.W. had just returned from a lover's getaway in Thailand. She spoke about the incredible vintage market she went to, how cool it all had been and about her amazing finds. My friend listened with a big smile, and was very happy that friend E.W. had had such a great time.
E.W.:"You would have loved it, it was huge and everything was so cheap! They even had real Chanel bags for 20 euro." 
Suddenly I freezed. Ehhh, I mean, my friend freezed. She freezed and turned her head, looking E.W. straight in the eyes, begging her to be joking: "20 euro!!?", she cried out. "20 euro?! A Chanel! For 20 euro?! A real Chanel!?", she screamed.

A little hesitant and uncertain E.W. looked at her and said: "Yes... a real Chanel for 20 euro." "And you didn't buy it for me!? A REAL CHANEL!?! FOR 20 EURO!" That was the moment when she snapped, tears sprang to her eyes, and suddenly it felt way too crowded in the hallway, with all the other students leaving the lecture room. She excused herself from E.W. and quickly ran to the exit, inhaling the fresh air as she made it outside. After a minute or two she refound control over her breathing, and leaned back to the brick wall.
A real Chanel bag, she thought depressed, for only twenty euro... That's the same I spend on an average day on groceries, or on two cocktails at Harry's Bar. One bra from Topshop is twenty euros, or two return train tickets to The Hague... A real Chanel bag...
However, after fifteen minutes or so she decided it was time to move on. Only quickly considering how much a ticket to Bangkok would cost and if it would be worth flying over the entire globe, she firmly shook her head and although not meant for others she accidentally said with a strict tone: "No!". A little embarrassed by all the surprised looks for talking out loud, she quickly re-entered the building. Upon seeing her friend E.W. they hugged and kissed and made up. Although E.W.'s last remark was still quite painful ("No, of course I didn't buy it, I mean, why would I need a Chanel?"), she firmly repeated her new life mantra: "There are more important things in life than Chanel. There are more important things in life than Chanel."

And I agree. I think. Right?

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I never said I don't like cars.

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

I've stopped waiting for Friday.

Look at you. You're young. And you're scared. Why 
are you so scared? Stop being paralyzed. 
Stop swallowing your words. Stop caring what 
other people think. Wear what you want. Say 
what you want. Listen to the music you want to listen 
to. Play it loud as fuck and dance to it. Go out 
for a drive at midnight and forget that you have 
school the next day. Stop waiting for Friday. Live 
now. Do it now. Take risks. Tell secrets. This life 
is yours. When are you going to realize that 
you can do whatever you want?

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Friday, November 05, 2010

I'd like a pound of Portobello's please.

Portobello Market; this Notting Hill based market is known for its fab vintage finds and appears to be a true hotspot for designers. It's been said some simply snatch a vintage Dior from one of the stalls to alter it in the most minimalistic way and throw it onto the catwalk. Designer diamonds, careful now, here's the fashion police.

I've not spotted any designers, but sure saw some diamonds. Enjoy.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

I don't mind being the black sheep.

Totally and utterly in love with soft skinned black leather...
Bustle Back Leather Jacket

Love it!

Rick Owens Leather biker jacketSkinnshortsAnkle boots with Fold by Balenciaga Valentino Leather and tweed ruffled jacketALEXANDER WANG BackpackYour shopping bag is emptyBurberry Ruched leather glovesThakoon Wool and leather bandage dressRaw Oversized Eagle VestPS1 Large leather satchelBALMAINJimmy Choo Bike leather biker boots

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Love me just a little bit more.

OMG. I have found myself a lover. And she's called London...

I just got back and cannot stop thinking about my next visit. Somehow there's a certain magnetic force in that city that keeps on pulling me back. Is it the shops? Maybe it's the British culture of politeness and high teas, rawness and industrialism, the perfect balance between high end homes and damaged minds. Perhaps that mix of street and chic is what attracts me. To me, it's perfect, this new lover. I just hope she loves me back.

Here's some inspirational street footage of my trip to lovely London.

I'd like a mini X Ray, please

Guess where I'll be moving to?

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I like my ABC's Amazing, Beautiful and Chic.

I want a kid like this.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I need a time machine.

That I have classy grandparents is something that can be said without a doubt. Although my dad's father is no longer with us, I can still recall that both him and my grandmother from that side always paid a great effort in looking chic and elegant. No wonder my dad loves to groom and style his outfits - in a very manly way, that must be said.

My mums parents have a true fashion background, as I've mentioned in one of my earlier blogposts as well. My granddad comes from a family that started earning money with selling fabrics, somewhat before the Second World War. However, my great grandfather lost everything during those years of war, and had to rebuild his entire life and company after it. He had to start from scratch - yet again. My grandfather, who then looked like a Hollywood movie star fell head over heels in love with my grandmother, a true looker herself. They were only 21 when they married. It has proven to be true love, as they are still mad about each other. They always read my posts, and I know that this time too they're probably arguing over something silly, but deep in their eyes such a deep eternal love for each other is settled, that it gives me hope and fills me with joy. Anyhow, let's not get sentimental, as this was not at all what I wanted to write about today. My mums parents may be very happy and in love, they were also - and still are - extremely stylish.

After the war, my great granddad rebuild his fabric company, expanding it a little, which resulted in a  boutique of womens hosiery in The Hague. My granddad gradually worked his way into the top of the fashion industry and turned the store into a womenswear boutique. He met Salvatore Ferragamo in Firenze, had meetings at the Gucci headquarters and was invited into Pucci's private palazzo for some champagne and some partying - the glamourous ones, how they did it in the 60s and 70s. Italian fashion started to rise in those years, and it was at that time that my grandfather started to run a successful business that even led to having the Dutch Royals as one of his customers.
My grandmother posing in her bathing suit
and pumps at the beach - 50s
After 40 years my grandfather decided to sell his business. With much pain in his heart he retired and started to enjoy a life that seemed less stressful; however, neither one of my grandparents ever lost their passion for fashion. When the company was sold I was only 11 years old, unfortunately too young to understand anything (I was not like Tavi Gevinson, I guess...) about fabrics, cuts and fits, although I did know there were certain items that were not nearly as special as other pieces. I wasn't allowed to enter the basement area of the boutique for example, I later learned that this was where Valentino and Dior were sold. And so when my mum had some business to attend and took me with her, I either hung around the atelier, while chatting with the "les petits mains" - to quote Kaiser Karl - or I was leaning on the white leather couches (it was the 90s!), completely silent and hypnotised: I gasped at the amazing dresses women were trying on while their husbands were drinking bubbles and smoking cigars. Whenever I read about Chanel, it reminds me of those years. Obviously I was way to young to fully grasp the idea of what was going on, and no doubt I have made it much bigger in my fantasies, but the glamourous 20s vibe was definitely still alive in my grandparent's boutique.

Whenever I am at their house for dinner or just a random visit, I wander around and look at all the black and white photo's; my grandmother posing in a typical 50s bathing suit at the beach, wearing her pumps, or the both of them striking a pose with their ski's while looking all styled to perfection. They fill me with inspiration and ambition, and although I cannot lift on the contacts that my granddad once established in the international fashion industry - unfortunately -, I know I will make it there once too.

[Please do not take any of the above described lifestyle as a form of bragging, I merely want to describe an era in time with the right sentimental feel to it.]

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