Queen for a day


A Sunday afternoon at The Stedelijk

A wise man told me to go see the Malevich exhibition at The Stedelijk Museum¬†as it is a must-see. And as I hadn’t done anything “sophisticated” for months it was time to¬†rummage my cultural¬†¬†grounded friends, yes all two of them, and spend a lovely Sunday afternoon at the museum.

Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones who had this marvelous idea. It took us half an hour, outside, in the cold, before we finally entered the museum. Barbarians as we are none of us visited the museum after it re-openend 2012. So we decided to go see all other collections before we went to see the collection of Malevich. To make things a little bit more fun we played a traditional game of “If I had money I would buy this piece of art for my collection.” My favourite¬†the Bal Tabarin painting¬†¬†by Jan Sluijters.

After a well deserved coffee break – yes visiting museums is a trying activity – we went to see the temporary collection; ¬†Kazimir Malevich and other artists of the Russian avant-garde. Just fyi: Malevich born in 1879 in Kiev (currently part of the Ukraine but back then part of Czarist Russia) known as the founding father of “suprematist” art; an art that bore no connection with society, and abstract art. But before getting there active in a succession of styles.

The exhibition provides the complete picture of the artists and is definitely worth seeing! You have until the 2nd of February to do so. But as according to Anne-Marleen “images speak louder than words” a little sneak peak based on our experience.


List of The lists

With the holidays approaching rapidly and 2014 in sight we are being overloaded by lists to conclude this years successes and failures. Fact is you only need a few of those lists to be prepared for the new year. So here is my selection to survive: 

1.BBC Sound of 2014. 15 promising artists long listed by the BBC. Expected to be next year musicale heroes.  Most of the artists are already on Spotify so start listening and make sure you can sing along by the time that the artists hit the top of the charts. As the BBC boys have been right 6 out of 10 times over the past 10 years you better keep any eye open for Sam Smith; predicted to be elected the winner in January.

2. Forbes 30 under 30. The lists that selects the thirtieth most important innovators and influencers under 30. Which will give me less than 2 years on January 1st to make this list. My favourite person on this short list so far; Brandon Stanton.  The street photographer behind Humans of New York. You can still vote for your favorite. The final 30 will be announced in January 2014. All of them are a great inspirtation for me; I might be able to make it!


3. Lonely Planet’s best value travel destinations for 2014. To broaden your horizon this list is important. It will give you bright new ideas for holiday destinations that are not only affordable but that will give you the ultimate holiday feeling. My wish list for next year includes a trip to San Francisco, a family trip to Marbella and potentially a next trip to the beautiful continent of Africa.

Schermafbeelding 2013-12-18 om 17.05.13

4.¬†Vogue’s spring|summer ready-to-wear overview per designer. Get inspired for sunnier seasons! As soon as you don’t have to be covered in hoodies, scarfs, gloves and big winter coats you need to be ready for shirts, shorts and flip flops. Because while you picked your Lonely Planet holiday destination ¬†I am sure you cannot wait to update your summer wardrobe. My trend for 2014; blue.

5. Top 20 Tech Products of 2013.¬†¬†Probably outdated by the time January ends, but good to know for now that if you have at least one of the gadgets on this list you can consider yourself to be either a high tech nerd or hipster. Either way I can’t wait to see what next year will bring us for cool new gadgets and apps.

So now you have your music, your idols, your holiday destination, your fashion style and your gadgets. The only thing missing are you New Years’ Resolutions and ¬†I’d say you are ready to prepare for 2014.

Nai and her lovely designs

Every once in a while you meet people that add something to your life so that why I want you to meet Naomi. It was another amazing person, miss Rika, that introduced us last year in Amsterdam. And we met again when I arrived to Kigali a few weeks ago. Just to give you a picture, this lovely lady is hard to miss; she is tall, dark and handsome. 


So besides the fact that she is funny and super nice she is extremely creative. She designs glass artwork with dots made of glass paint. The designs vary from candle lights, wine bottles and glasses and jewelry. And occasionally she goes out of the box for a side project. The first week in Kigali Nai worked on a designs for the Milles Collines fashion show in South-Africa. She literally spent day and night putting dots on dresses and jewelry, but the result was breathtaking.


Right now I am living in Nai’s room because she is out of the country for her first international art exhibition. Next week she will be one of the featured artists at an exposition at HANGAR311 in Mechelen, Belgium. So Europe this is your chance to go and check out this amazing art work! The exposition officialy opens Sunday the 24th of November and will last until December 15th . While you are at it you might as well enjoy a city trip to Brussels and/or Antwerp as Mechelen is half-way!

Normally Rika and Naomi are this lovely roommate couple that call each other husband and wife. Needless to say that Nai is the husband. And while she is out of town I got the questionable honor of being husband number 2. But this house is great fun and it brightened by Nai’s artwork. Drinking wine all of a sudden has become an even nicer event than it was before.

Oh one last thing; Rika is the manager of this all. So interested in buying something? You will need to battle this one first. Just follow her on Twitter and you will know what I mean @rikafontana. No I am just kidding she is as lovely as she looks as she looks ;).

Now dot on: www.facebook.com/naidesigns¬†and try to become friends with these two ladies because they will make your life so much more fun. LG – life’s good ūüėČ

Turning fabric into dresses

I am in love with African fabrics, always have been. The colors and the prints are just insane!  Vlisco is one of my favorite African Fabric producing brands. Even though they are Dutch based they have been making African women look fabulous for over 167 years. So my trip to Rwanda was thus the excellent opportunity to get myself some fabrics and turn it into some tailor made dresses.

Last week I went fabric shopping at the local Rwandan market. Literally over 1000 yards of fabric to pick from. The one even brighter than the other after careful consideration I picket to two fabrics to begin with. I mean let‚Äôs be honest I don‚Äôt have a colored skin so I wasn’t really sure if I could pull it off. I decided to go with a turquoise as it would be a color I would wear back home as well and my friend convinced me to get an over the top pink with purple print.

As I wasn’t really look to go all African in design I picked out a few dresses from back home of which I thought they would look great in African fabric. The advantages of bringing your European dress to a local tailor ‚Äď that of course doesn’t speak English or French ‚Äď is that they can just copy your design. ¬†So after only two days I went back to pick up my first dress, and‚Ķthe result is just to cute to be true! Check it out below! They put in some great effort and event stitched me some extra pockets. So I am convinced! Monday I am going back with my pink fabric to get trousers and a top. After calculating (yes, I am still a Dutchy) I realized that I have a one-piece design at H&M Price. So off to the market again tomorrow! My wish list is now endless and I am planning to go back with a suitcase filled with colorful gear for me and my loved ones. All right enough for now! I am putting on my dress and planning to dance the night away, Kigali style!¬†dress picking

Hedof – good times, bad times

Hedof poster_webHedof, if you have never heard the name then I suggest to remember it for the future. Because I am sure you will run into one of his great pieces of graphic art sooner than later. If you haven’t already done so without knowing it.

Rick Berkelmans, the artist behind Hedof, and not so coincidentally also my cousin, is one of my favourite artists because his works are bright of colour, full of subtle humour and always make you look at least twice before your realise what you are looking at.

This week Rick launched his new website www.hedof.com. So check out some of his work that he has done for, I must admit, amazing clients like Heineken, Red Bull, Sony Playstation, Lipton Tea, Red Cross and many more.

Oh and consider yourself lucky! He is throwing in free shipping across Europe this week to celebrate the launch of the new website. You’d better hurry to the webshop and get yourself a real Hedof while they are still affordable!

But before shopping check out this video of Rick talking about his work and find out how difficult the word enthusiasm is.

You can follow Rick on Facebook if you want to stay up to date on his booming career.