Specks of sunlight break the glass barrier that divide here from there.Fingertips follow the deep grieves of the creaking wooden floor. Past tense transforms into sentences that echo in space. The walls exhale a collective memory of thoughts and whispers and glowing in the dark. Amsterdam dresses down, until there is nothing more than skin and skin and skin.
I've been soaking up inspiration from our new home on one of the Amsterdam canals. My inspiration folder explodes from monochrome interiors, pictures of cactuses and wall decoration like this collage. Even though it's far from finished, a piece of me already feels home there. There is so much to be discovered, I feel like an adventurer in my own street. I guess I could say 'Welcome home' now.
You might have noticed the lack of posts last week. Sorry. I was in rehab for my pixel addiction and RSI arm in Berlin. It's such a shame I've never been there before, since it is the closest (and probably coolest) neighbor we have! Together with other students of fashion school, we went hunting for fresh concept stores. Hold your breath as I drop them.
Shops titus zooprenekarl-liebknecht-strasse 9
Do me a favor and get me one of those skateable concrete bowls! Titus is a skatestore with a clean concept and simplistic approach. Brilliant caps and a nice selection of decks.
apartment am alexanderplatzmemhardstrasse 8
Step into the ground floor and you'll feel like you've just walked in a museum. White walls, white floors, only one object inside. Take the stairs to minus one and discover the incredible conceptual planet of apartment!
fein und rippkastanienallee 91-92
Not everybody's piece of cake, but worth mentioning anyway. Fein und Ripp sells original 1920's produced men's wear. The 'new old stock' is even used as inspiration by the head designer of G-Star. Certainly talk to the guy behind the desk, he can tell you everything about the extraordinary shop.
Food glory wholeoderberger strasse 13
I read the name out loud. Once again. Laughed. And had to get in! Don't let the name fool you, Glory Whole is actually a really nice biological and organic small café with oven-fresh carrot cake.
clärchens ballhausauguststrasse 24
If you're in for some charming Italian music and a bit of dancing, this place is brilliant. The venue is being used as both restaurant and dancing hall, with classes every evening. Enjoy the carrotsoup or the classic wiener schnitzel. It's the biggest you've ever seen!
Sleeping hüttenpalasthobrechtstrasse 66
Unfortunately, the hotel was arranged by school. Thank god for my six nice roomies, otherwise I would have jumped straight out of the window. My own choice would be the lovely Hüttenpalast, a giant inside campsite with several caravans functioning as beds.
Berlin's club scene changes every other night. Most clubs are located in squatted, former East-Berlin buildings were the rent is low and the joy high. We enjoyed Tresor (Köpenicker Strasse 70), an old department store turned into technoclub, though it was quite touristic and not that authentic. If you're lucky, you might get in Berghein (Am Wriezener Bahnhof 1), the most desirable club in the world. Other nice clubs are Magdalena (Located on the corner of Schillingbrücke/Stralauer Platz), Chalet (Schlesischen Tor 3) and the area of Cassiopeia.
Someone chokes in a bottle of exclusive Swiss mountainwater, spilling a few drops on the wooden floor where Marques Almeida just opened his S/S 2012 show. Thick white rubber soles with straps accompany the anarchist look of destroyed and bleached denim. One year later, Céline's 'horror slippers' are the center of attention. The fur-covered showstoppers look like some serious trailertrash treasure. Fashion determined by aesthetics or beauty? I don't think so.
Ideals of beauty challenge designers to cross them, to shift from a focus of pleasing customers and investors into experimenting with pure unattractiveness. And we adjust. Sure, nobody's actually liking the fact that we walk on a bed of poodle-fur in the midst of summer, but who said fashion is practical anyway? The whole orthopedic footwear-trend started somewhere with the Birkenstock, a slipper with the unsexy German word 'gründlichkeit' attached to it. The whole 40+ population followed the footsteps of Gisele Bündchen, hoping to look just as damn hot in those leather Jesus-sandals. Mission failed, but fashion picked it up from here.
One of the horrible characteristics of the fashion industry is though that practicality dangles somewhere between the 124th and 286th place when it comes to importance. Footwear in particular transforms into a killing machine from the Medievals, using the sharpest point and highest stiletto heel. The comfortability and healthiness attached to the Birkenstock fades away with the manly plastic sandals which are sweaty, coarse and have a pure aesthetic function. And I said no. NO. I wouldn't want to be found dead in these. But why do I imagine a thousand times cooler version of myself wearing a pair of rubber clogs?
I blame the nineties nostalgia, the irresistible clean approach and flawless combination with denim. I don't know, I have no logic answers to the big question marks in your heads. But isn't falling in love completely irrational?
While looking for some style inspiration for the warmer spring days (which is still a rarely seen phenomena in Holland), I encountered the Marni Spring/Summer 2013 army. Models wrapped in monochrome two-pieces made of the finest silk and softest leather, walking fiercely in oversized v-neck silhouettes. Perfect example for anyone with scissors and a sewing machine.
I have to share my bitterness about magazines and blogs using the lyrics of Nirvana in every single editorial or trendreport on grunge. How I disgust reading the first line of 'Come as you are' or the well-known 'Smells like teenspirit', even as semi-, semi-, semi-journalist that isn't in the position to criticize other's writing. So, Dries van Noten nailed it with another brilliant comeback of Kurt Cobain's gathered mess. He is the spirit behind the comeback of the white sunglasses. So far nothing new.
It is just that grunge is so much more than the combination of checked flannel shirts, flowery dresses and characteristic white glasses. It was the ultimate fuck you-fashion, the unappreciated little brother of anti-fashion. And it is the nonchalance of gathering any piece of clothing you would find in your near surrounding. Getting dressed, without dressing up. It was a state of bewildering and of ultimate loneliness.
The checked shirts nonchalantly knotted around the hips could be the most noticable grunge-statement. These Céline Fall 2013 dresses enlarge this typically knotting but form the contradictory feeling of loneliness: warmth and embracement. Even though I understand the hyping of Dries' use of translucent flowerprints and the 'grunge 2.0' as some Dutch magazine delivered the cheesy message, it would be so much more interesting if uncommon, far-fetched links were made. Not Dries is the teller of grunge tales, but the classy Célne. Let's stop with literal connections and copies from copies from subcultures, and focus on indifference. Please find yourself different lyrics on grunge.
Dazed & Confused presents | Age of Aquarius by Pierre Debusschere
Mesmerizing magic in a split-second. It grabs you by your throat, it gets stuck on your retina. You see flashes every time you close your eyes. So close them.