Wild Young Minds: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Azzedine Alaïa

Last saturday me and my mom went to Groningen for a day.
Though Groningen never really attracted me, this time was different. I was desperate to go there, because the Groninger Museum had a wonderful exhibition: Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st century.

This talented Tunisian designer is famous for his couture dresses, luxury and glamour. Unlike many designers, he refuses to adjust to the way fashion is based on marketing nowadays. He's independent, doesn't do anything he doesn't like and you can call him a little stubborn; but it works. His design are phenomenal, all a girl wishes for in her closet.

As the title already said, the exhibition only showed his designs from 2000 up and until now. No designs from the eighties or nineties. A pity because it would've been nice to see how his designs developed in a few decades. Furthermore, except for the name and year of the collection, there was no information about Azzedine Alaïa at all. No explanation about the fabrics, about his inspiration, nothing. I found that really regretful because the information always gives the pieces more dimension. At least that's what I found really great at 'Savage Beauty' (Alexander McQueen's exhibition in the MET).

But the lack of information definitely didn't do any harm to the clothes. Most of them were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The funny thing was, I went with my mom (who isn't really into fashion, but eventually she decided to join me anyway) and she found some of the designs I loved, horrible. And the other way around.

On this dress (very sixties) we agreed: very lovely.

The most beautiful room was the room filled with fur coats (surprising, I know). They were gorgeous, I wanted to steal one and take it home but I'm afraid that would attract to much attention: me in such a huge coat. The idea was nice though.

In general, this exhibition was marvellous. Though I'm no designer, and I have no aspirations whatsoever, I found it really inspiring.

After we saw all the designs, we went to see a few other exhibitions as well, but more about that later. It was the first time I went to Groningen and I really enjoyed it. We had a lovely lunch, saw a lot of shops and ate a pizza to finish the day (and because we were hungry). But the exhibition was the most striking thing, of course. I didn't expect otherwise ;)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flowers and Pearls

Recently I had a fabulous shoot with a great team for the vintage store 'Flowers and Pearls' (located in Rotterdam). Hope you like it!

Flowers and Pearls (
Fotografie: buro O grafische vormgeving
Styling: Marjolein van Soelen
Hair & make-up: Judith Van Raalte-Baar & Angela Balradj
Modellen: Leoni Schipper & Bente Schreurs

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My week with Marilyn

Everyone knows the story of Marilyn Monroe. World famous, the greatest sex symbol Hollywood has ever known and a talented singer and actress. But she was also a hurt woman. So afraid everyone she loved would eventually leave her, just like her mother did. She longed for the family life she never had; she had a photo of Lincoln on her night table cause who knew, he could've been her father. She was loved but lonely, energetic but needed pills to sleep, self-confident but oh so terrified to let anyone down. That's why she needed an acting coach around, the entire time. ''Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul''.

'My week with Marilyn', starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, is about the filming of 'The Prince and the Showgirl' in the countryside in Britain. It focuses on the life of a young man, Colin Clark, who works as an assistent at the set of the film. He sees how the entire crew struggles to work with Marilyn, who is always late, or doesn't even show up and isn't capable to deliver good performances. She always needs her acting coach beside her and she comes off very insecure, though everybody keeps telling her she's amazing, she's beautiful and she's the greatest woman on earth. And though Marilyn was right saying ''Every woman should be told she's beautiful'', I can imagine it must've been frustrating working with her.

Marilyn and the 3rd assistent meet and in a short time she needs him the entire time at her side, even though she's married to Arthur Miller. Colin falls for her, as every man probably, and it strikes his ego that an icon like Marilyn would kiss him, would need him. He wants to protect her and forgets his girlfriend-to-be, the dressing girl, played by Emma Watson. Who, by the way, wasn't the only former Harry Potter character in the movie: the actor who played the director and male star of 'The Prince and the Showgirl' played Professor Lockhart in HP and Marilyn's acting coach played 'Madame Hooch'.

But of course this is very unrelevant. What is relevant, is that Michelle Williams did an excellent job performing Marilyn. For 1,5 hour I really believed she was. She was as girly, almost childish, but also as sexy and strong as Marilyn. The actor who played Colin, fitted perfectly as well. He was the embodiment of boyish innocence, ambitious but above all, just a man who wanted to protect the sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.

The film, which was really, really marvellous, very British, entertaining but also very real, got me thinking about icons. One of my favourite subjects, I know. So many great artists died so early. They got addicted to drugs, to alcohol, they were so unhappy even though it seemed they had it all. What does fame to do one?

In Marilyn's case, it broke her. She needed it, but she couldn't handle it. Recently, I was reading a good article in the American ELLE, about the difference between the Marilyn Monroe's on this earth and the Audrey Hepburn's. It was actually about sizes. The writer of the article wanted to lose weight, but eventually she found out it belonged to her, the bigger size. She divided Hollywood in types like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Hurley, who were always casted as the mistress, the ''bad'' girl. There were also the Audrey Hepburn's and Grace Kelly's, who were always the ''good'' girls, who were also charming, but in a graceful way. And why was that? The first type were fuller, so more attracting to men. The second were thinner, so more graceful. And that was why they got such parts in movies. I find it very fascinating.

Back to the movie. I also began thinking about Marilyn herself. She always seems a bit dumb, but I never know it she did that on purpose, or if it really was what she was like. She could play the public very well, that's for sure. The thing I didn't like, was that she seemed a bit lifeless here. It was probably because of the pills, but Marilyn Monroe herself seemed more strong and tough to me, not as half-sleeping and shy as she was here.

I really can't imagine what happens to someone if he/she becomes famous, and then I mean, really famous. They're gonna behave (at least most of them do) very selfish, cause everybody finds them amazing anyway. I can't imagine I could let everyone wait days for me, there's always some sense of responsibility, isn't there?

But hey, I'm no Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps when I was, I would be used to it. Or something like that ;) But I leave the Marilyn Monroe performance up to Michelle Williams, cause she did it just right. Or maybe even better.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

At last

The world has lost another legend. A soul and jazz legend. A phenomenal legend. Etta James.
Her life was dominated by music and drugs. She was addicted to coke for a very long time, she was in prison for a little while and in a psychiatric hospital.
Etta James was an inspiration for great artists to come: Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Diana Ross and even The Rolling Stones.

Every time I see her photos, she seems like an amazing woman to me. Always smiling, always cheerful. And above all, a major artist. Her singles 'At Last', 'I'd rather go blind' and 'Tell mama' are legendary. But I think beneath those smiles, was a hurt woman, which you can also imagine if you listen to her lyrics.

Etta James was born in 1938 in Los Angeles. Her mama, whom was called 'The Mystery Lady' by Etta, was only fourteen when she delivered Etta. When Etta was fourteen, her mother took her to San Francisco, where she met Johnny Otis, the musician who helped Etta reach the top.

She was huge in the sixties, but, due to her drugs addiction, little was heard from Etta in the late seventies and early eighties. In 1987 she made her comeback, releasing her album 'The Seven Year Itch'.

In 2004, Rolling Stones Magazine listed her number 62 in the list of 100 greatest artists of all time. Beyoncé played her in the 2008 film 'Cadillac Records'. The film was based on the lifetime of the record label 'Chess Records', where Etta had a contract. Beyoncé also performed her version of 'At Last' during the inaugaration of Barack Obama in 2008. Etta wasn't happy with that at all, she said that 'she can't stand Beyoncé' and that she had to 'get her ass whipped'. Later she apologized for saying that, she meant it as a joke, but she was just hurt she was invited to sing, because she could've sung the song a lot better.

She also could've said all that, because she was suffering from dementia. She also suffered from leukemia. During the year 2011, things went downhill for Etta James and yesterday, it was announced she was gone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How many years can some people exist, before they're allowed to be free?

Bregje Heinen by Jean-François Campos for Flair November 2010

Monday, January 16, 2012

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Almost forgot to wish everybody a happy Martin Luther King day today, and now the day is almost over!
But for all my American followers (whoever you are!), you have a couple of hours more to go. Let's think about his deeds, his thoughts and his influence.

May he live in our heart forever, and inspire us in our future.

Happy Birthday to Kate Moss!

So inspirational, so iconic.


Photography: Heidrun Klos
Styling: Tess Doeve
Mua: Marcela van Doornum