personal stuff – randomness

the story of a smalltown belgian girl at Amsterdam fashion week

INTRO

Fashion weeks are in full motion everywhere around the globe. Well, not everywhere, cause Belgium isn’t playing along (boooo!). Luckily, the Netherlands is just around the corner! So when blogger/designer/stylist/awesomeperson Edith Dohmen (www.stylehasnosize.com) asked me if I would like to join her to AFW, ofcourse my answer was yes! Here is my blog about AFW on sunday evening :).

GETTING READY

The week before D-day was a healthy mix of excitement (I’ve been dreaming about going to something like this since I was a little girl) and pure fear (what am I going to wear? What if I don’t recognize anyone and bump into someone really famous but have no idea who they are? What if I make a fool out of myself?). I ended up wearing a vintage burgundy velvet dress with a blazer from Edith’s collection (outfitpost soon).
 
Edith was going to pick me up at Schiphol airport. Because I had to travel by train and I live in the middle of nowhere in Belgium, the plan was to travel comfy and change somewhere at Schiphol. Since I am usually a walking magnet for disaster, I was expecting blizzards and trains that were cancelled and thieves stealing my stuff and me getting lost… but the journey went well. Suspiciously well. I should have known better and saved my happydance for later…
 
Because when I was changing at Schiphol (in a public restroom very glamourous), I tripped (yes, I tripped in those tiny toilet cubicles) and fell against the door, and the door handle ripped a huge hole in the side of my dress. PANIC ATTACK. Luckily I had the blazer to wear and cover the hole up, but still. This is so typical for me…
 
 
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

We were brought to the location in cars, escorted by men and women with large umbrella’s to protect us from the pouring rain. I could seriously get used to this. I felt like a celebrity (yes, I am easily impressed :D).

AND SO IT BEGINS

This is where my story begins… As you will notice, I have very little pictures of the evening. I tried to, for 5 minutes or so, but quickly gave up. I don’t have a fancy phone anyway, and it’s simply not me. So all pictures you see here are not from me :p. I am confident there are many many blogs that will be able to give you a detailed and visual description of the evening, but mine won’t. This is just how I see things :).

One of the great things about Edith is that she gets it. The whole “plussize” scene, fashion, size diversity, everything. She just really really gets it. And it’s always such a pleasure talking about these subjects with her and debating what the future will bring, cause she’s so passionate about it. So we spent most of the pre-shows evening talking, sipping from our insanely expensive but oh soo yummy coconutwater, and looking at the crowd of people walking by (some stylish, some outrageous, some ridiculous).

Somewhere midway, we spotted Kim Feenstra. I love her, and I think she’s so pretty, and I really wanted a picture with her, but was too afraid to ask. Luckily, Edith knows no fear, and after a little bit of pushing and a very shy “hello, I came all the way from belgium, would it be okay if I took a picture with you?” in my thickest belgian accent (the dutch love belgian accents :p) my wish came true, as I snuggled next to her (I swear, I’m never washing my hand again!) and smiled for the camera (actually she smiled. I just looked goofy and starstruck)

Later in the evening I bumped into fellow maximemodel-models Aniek, Charlotte and Kirsten. Group photos were in order, obviously. Inbetweenies in the house!

THE SHOW

 
Soon, it was time for the reason why were there in the first place: the show of Ratna Ho. I knew that 2 plussize models (also of Maximemodels) would walk in it, which is really a HUGE thing. Fashion, especially at this level, is really usually preserved for the straightsize models, so that a non-plussize label chose to incorporate 2 plussize models in their show, it means something. It’s “size diversity”, it’s “inspiration has no size”, it’s “models should just be models, no labels”. It’s all the things I’ve been dreaming of, hoping it would happen… And tonight it did :).
 
The 2 models were Bo and Paula. They each walked 2 times, here are their looks:

I was so excited to see them walk. And so proud. Not just because of what it represented, and the breakthrough that it was (even though that’s huge!). But because these are models that I have known pretty much since they first started modeling. My boyfriend and I do testshoots for the agency, and we have shot them from the early beginning. To watch them grow from newbies into these gorgeous, strong women, achieving such a major thing… It was really a great moment. I don’t really remember, but I’m pretty sure I looked something like this when they came out

 

 
Afterwards we went backstage, and seeing them there, it was all just a bit too much for me. The whole evening had been so magical, and then to see the show and see them walk, and all the memories flashing through my mind and how incredibly proud I was… I was crying like a baby (I’m not joking. Ask them :D). All I could think about was to give them a hug and to tell them how proud I was. How proud I am. I see big things happening for them in the future, and I wish it for them with all my heart :).

left to right: Paula, me, Bo and maxime-owner Miranda.
 
Afterwards, Edith and I snuck into the show of Winde Rienstra, even though we didn’t have tickets(yes that’s right, we live on the edge of the law). Absolutely stunning show, and free coconutdrinks (if only we had known that at the beginning of the evening :p). And we had a blast discussing which outfits would look great on bigger models as well, or how we would wear or style certain pieces. We both fell in love with this dress (both claiming it as our weddingdress). As a sidenote, I think something like this could easily be modeled in a bigger size as well (maybe me?).

EPILOGUE

 
It has dawned on me, again, that it’s painfully obvious I’m not a hardcore blogger.
I’m really just a smalltown girl, enjoying a wonderful evening and soaking it all in. I wasn’t poised (I mean, I was crying backstage. How much more unpoised can it get?), I wasn’t taking pictures and tweeting and interviewing. But I loved every single minute of it. And I loved sharing my experiences with you on here, however lame and lenghty and uniformative they may be. I’m so thankful I got to be a part of it. And honestly, I hope the magic never wears off. I hope that I get to see a thousand shows, and that afterwards I’ll feel this happy and excited and mesmerized :).

SPECIAL THANKS TO

Edith, for bringing me along and guiding me through the night, and being such an inspiring woman.
Bo and Paula, for being so, so awesome and making me so, so proud. You rock!
Ratna Ho, for breaking the barrier between straight and plus.
And a big kiss for my boyfriend, who I kept awake until 2 in the morning because I was all happy and excited and couldn’t sleep :p

eeee, Trinny & Susannah featured me!

jumping up and down with excitement (literally).

Trinny and Susannah featured my style and my blog on their website! How cool is this?

Here’s what they had to say:

“Marianne has started her own blog, that aims to encourage larger ladies to look fabulous. And she sure is leading the way by looking utterly gorgeous herself. We love that she’s not afraid to wear heels too. Marianne, you are an absolute bombshell”

Trinny and Susannah are absolute icons to me. I have watched all their shows and read and own all their books. They were a big inspiration for me growing up, and they still are today.

When they visited Antwerp, I stood in line for what seems to be forever just so they could sign my book. I love that they are not afraid to show their own imperfections as well, and that they don’t shove their own personal style into other people’s faces but try and bring out each person’s individual beauty. And they’re so funny!

Superhappy with this feature, thanks so much ladies!