Arnhem Fashion Biennal
Don’t drive me bananas!
In 1980 I moved to Antwerp, fashion capital of the world, but I’m born & bred Dutch-my father was even a flower bulb grower! So when I got invited to the first Fashion Biennal in Arnhem -a little town half an hours’ drive from Amsterdam and homebase of the Arnhem Fashion Institute- I grabbed my coat, my sunglasses and my assistant Javier and boarded the fast train. Holland, here we come!
The official reason for going was that we had to check out the location of the shop where we will present the first Designers against Aids collection next week: it’s called Humanoid and next to their own gorgeous line they also sell Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant, Levi’s Red and what have you. So after travelling for two and half hours, off the train we jumped again and rushed towards…Humana. I love second hand clothes so I went a bit mental here- bought a tie & dye kurta for my baby, some old denim for myself -and almost a flowered corset too, but one look on Javier’s face told me to leave it there for a worthier destination. Like the bin.
After about half an hour and 20 euros it dawned on me that this was not the Humanoid I was looking for, so we left the building, crossed the street and saw the real deal. The colors were more subdued there, the prices anything but and the salesgirls were as friendly as they were at their almost-namesake. We had a quick look upstairs and at the DAA t-shirt prototypes- the final version will hopefullly be ready next Friday, in which case We’ll Be Back. If not, not.
We had more important things to do, such as hanging out on sunny terraces, have lunch at Dudok, look at the many wooden cases that lined the ‘Kastenroute’ (part of the Fashion Biennal- one of them even had Dynasty’s Linda’s wedding dress!), have tea & patisserie at Hema, look at the Elio Fiorucci beachwear at H&M (rainbow striped terry bathing trunks for men, anyone?) and generally larking about.
After we spent the whole afternoon adlmiring Arnhem-ians we went to check in at Molendal hotel, a super stylish Jugendstil building with just 18 rooms, with high ceilings, golden candelabra, resident swans and a ghost or two. Or maybe those were the night trains. At about 7 PM we took a taxi to the Coberco factory, where the majority of the Fashion Biennal will take place until June 26th (www.modebiennale.nl).
Javier, who used to work at MTV Spain in a former life and who still does stories for them, had to interview Antony (singer of Antony & The Johnsons), who was doing a gig at the opening party, together with Nico, a beautifful young man who also works with Bj