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By: Mike Mills

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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Monday, October 25, 2010

Dedicated to the white tee.

It's time for some serious confessions. I finally figured out why I am attracted to certain men and not to others. I know; eureka, hallelujah, amen - you name it.

Last Thursday I went out with the girls since it was Amsterdam Dance Event. The entire city was covered with little yellow tags showing where dance addicts could get their music fix. Obviously ADE attracts many tourists, but that's also the beauty of a week like this: everyone - regardless of sex, age or nationality - unites in name of the DJ.

However, at one point I was dancing to the hypnotizing tunes of a particular DJ, and although it was not white tee Wednesday, when I opened my eyes I found myself blinded by four white tees that were surrounding me. I looked at one very handsome white tee and smiled, continued my dance, turned my head, and noticed another one. I decided to send him a smile too. I walked to the bar and came across another two pairs of very good looking white tees; a little confused I walked along. The bartender - god was he handsome - was, not surprisingly, wearing a white tee. I came back with drinks and started dancing again; this time with a black tee. Somehow it didn't feel right and although I normally don't wish to discriminate, I turned to the white tee beside me and started chatting. But then another interesting white tee caught my eye, thus I apologized, smiled and mysteriously disappeared in the crowd searching to get another glimpse of that wonderful white wearer.

What more do you need?
I can go on and on about the delicious contrast between a good dark coupe and that almost luminous white tee. No worries, I won't.
I must admit, I felt like a butterfly that night: fluttering from one desirable white tee to the other. I never noticed how many differences there are in a simple white tee: you've got v-necks and crew necks, scoop necklines and sewn hems, short sleeves and long sleeves, tight fitted ones or those that loosely curl around the hems. It's an entire industry!

A plain white tee does the trick.
So... Care to impress me? Wear a plain white tee, and you'll be sure of some of my attention.

PS 1] The Urban Dictionary has some interesting definitions of the white tee.

PS 2] Please note: this is NOT what I mean by sexy white tees...

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fashion obsession: hat it or forget it.

Heart Double Frame Clasp Purse

Love it!

T-shirt rose poudré impriméGraham Cracker ClocheVintage Prodigy Cloche Elastic Suede Wide BeltHeart Double Frame Clasp PurseLook: Voltinha na praça com o frio ainda modesto...Juicy Couture Wool Felt FedoraLook: Moda Vintage- Passeio Ao Ar Livre

Love me filted or folded,
feathered or fine.

Just remember that whenever outside it's wet,
I don't mind protecting your pretty head.
Grey Black Rose Fedora by Paul Smith AccessoriesGang Hatundefinedundefinedundefinedcream knitted panda with cream ears beanieVintage Fine Feathered HatundefinedMermaid Skull Long T-Shirt by Illustrated People**STELLA MCCARTNEYPailletes billfoldT-shirt Playsuit

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Inner frustration

So. What to do when you're angry...? Several times today I've feared an explosion when confronted with those that have caused my bad temper. I have been frustrated to the bone these past days, and I know for a fact that if my classmates were to read this post, they can only guess why. Yes, it's study related.

Anyhow, I do find ways to deal with my aggressiveness: the kitchen has never looked cleaner, the bathroom had a make over and I washed my hair three times to calm down under the shower. That may seem a little absent minded, but although I am exhausted because of the inner frustration, I feel sharp and alert. I did however need something to cheer me up. And whenever I feel like this, there's only two things that can calm me down and put a serene smile on my face: an unlimited gift card to spend at a certain French maison at rue Cambon; or - much easier and way cheaper - pretty photography.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fashion obsession: backpacks

Fossil 'Vintage Reissue' BackpackALEXANDER WANG BackpackVintage suede and leather rucksack by Jas MB Jas MB Small Bullet Shoulder BagMesh Check Swing ShirtundefinedLet's go Bananas!$15 Flat Rate Shipping | No Added Sales Tax When You Shop Online

Whether it's leather

Or made of canvas
The backpack she has

It's no confession
This is my latest fashion obsession.

[I must admit I have strong doubts about a career as a poet.]

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hell yeah, London baby.

In less than two weeks I'm finally going back to the place where I always feel happy, smiley and very much alive: London town baby! With two friends F. and A. we're about to set the city on fire.

Clockwise, starting from the upper left photo: glam gorgeous at Austique, Kings Rd;
fashion victim captured in real life at Duke of York Square; Iron wiring spotted close to
Tate Modern; Hydrangea and another sequinned top at Austique.
Photos by Emilie Sobels, London 2009
I cannot wait to go to Camden, to check out the very vintage stables, the cool and eccentric Londoners and original fashion finds. I want to wander around Chelsea, pretend to be very intellectual, art-loving and successful young ladies, drink tea at one of the little café's, let ourselves be amazed by the unusual works at the Saatchi, stare at the all the inspiring books at the little Taschen Bookstore and pay a visit to the lovely Austique Boutique on Kings Rd. Ofcourse a visit to Topshop cannot miss my to-do-list when in London, and although we will certainly take a peek at that insanely large one on Oxford Circus, I do prefer the Topshop in Kensington High Street. I want to pop into dark and grungy pubs, go to a show in West End, head to a club, enjoy a ride in a British taxi, because they are so cosy and cute and I have the best memories cruising the streets of London in a taxi. I want to check out Old Bond st for fashion inspiration, then head to New Bond st to shop. I want to spend hours in Notting Hill, at the Portobello Market and spot designer diamonds. I long to wander around the V&A, and eat a cupcake at the Hummingbird Bakery. I want to catch up with my friend J., who I don't see very often and who should give me a serious update of her recent whereabouts. I should visit the London University of the Arts, to check out if I want to take a course there. A lot on my to-do-list. But we will have over three entire days to fully enjoy all the lovely things London has to offer. Let's hope the best moments are those discoveries that are not yet on my to-do-list...

Now all we need is a place to crash. Any pillows available that we might lay our pretty little heads on?
Clockwise, starting from the upper right photo: Camden Town by night; Cruising the
streets of lovely London in J's Mini Cooper; 'Frock me!'-vintage surprise in Chelsea Library.
Photos by Emilie Sobels, London 2009
Clockwise, starting from the upper right photo: "When is it ok to kiss someone?
When they're rich."; Vivienne Westwood's little shop in Chelsea,
World's end; Happy at Hummingbird. Photos by Emilie Sobels, London 2009
For my Dutchies - check this link for an ode to my fave city in the world.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Colour obsession: indigo

Bekijk de afbeelding op ware grootte3.1 Phillip Lim Denim drawstring shortsJeansshorts med uppvikAll this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.undefinedSequin Babydoll Dress by Rare**black corsage platform high heel shoesHeart

I suppose all my AMFI readers know where I found my inspiration this time...

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