31 July 2013

The rocks are alive

Oh, how hard my mum works in our garden every other weekend in our garden. Moss is bullying our lawn, weed is slaughtering our intended plants and in the shade everything refuses to grow. I perpetually have to pull her away when we are on holiday, as she stands drooling over the plants that grow just on the side of the road. What she tries to keep alive with fertiliser and extra irrigation, grows here naturally on the places where I would not want to grow if I were a plant.

When walking through a cute town in the South of France it is an experience on its own to look at the walls and see that the most beautiful plants and animals live there. My house is made of boring and dead bricks, but these walls are alive.

10 July 2013

The splendour of decay

Where I was born there are no unmowed lawns, no overdue maintenance of paintwork and definitely no rotten fences. Neighbours watch each other closely to ensure everyone keeps their home tidy and clean. Everything is well-kept and perfect - perfectly boring. What's the fun in houses that all look the same? How can you see someone lives in a place that looks like an Ikea showroom?

I'm spending a week in the south of France, where imperfection doesn't seem to be feared but embraced. The gardens are unkempt and from cracks in the walls grow various plants. And yet it does not feel like I'm stuck in a landfill site. On the contrary, the surroundings are breathtaking. With these photos I tried to capture the beauty of this imperfection, because sometimes a rusty garage door looks more like an abstract painting.
The beautiful gowns, handbags and shoes that have been perfected by a team of renowned fashion designers take my breath away, but I must say I do enjoy a bit of imperfection from time to time. The autumn/winter collection of Saint Laurent felt very refreshing - I saw outfits that seemed to be designed for real, beautiful but imperfect women.

Apart from taking photographs I spend my days sipping Perrier on terraces watching people, canoeing and exploring little villages. The environment is amazing, but we'll leave for Spain in a bit. Hopefully the surroundings will be as picturesque as here.

29 May 2013

Japanese zen in London

London is fantastic but after a hectic day I sometimes long for a little peace and quietness. Looking for a place where there just aren't many people is rather impossible and therefore I now focus on finding a spot where people are quiet. Search results: churches, libraries and museums. I decided to choose the last option and headed to the British museum.

Mummies intrigue me, but this section of the museum is always crowded and I've been there a few times already so I decided to leave that part and focus on the quiet areas. Turns out they have an entire section devoted to the Japanese culture!

From what I've seen of this world, Asia is my favourite continent and Japan is really high on my 'Countries I want to visit Top 196'. There is a lot I admire in both nature and culture of Japan, but their traditions and beliefs are also a mystery to me.
I found the artworks truly mesmerising, and found many connections with modern and Western artworks and trends in interior design and fashion.
The landscape for example reminded me of the bomber jackets you know see everywhere, the colours of the fan (and the combination of off white and wood) can be found in every interior design store and skulls are staring at you from many earrings, necklaces, tshirts and rings.

Asian clothing is also a pretty big thing this spring, with origami-shaped dresses at Christopher Kane and Mugler (second picture from the left) and Kimono-like jackets (Etro, first photo, Prada, third photo and Haider Ackermann). The origami skirt from Zara that every blogger seems to own also has a VIP place in my closet to be honest.

27 May 2013

Thriftshop atmosphere meets Lunchroom in London

In London I always find myself desperately seeking for a
1. Cheap
2. Cosy
3. Easy to find
4. Not overcrowded (particularly scarce)
place to have lunch. So when I do find a place that meets all requirements mentioned above, I can not help myself but to share this with everyone.

When strolling down South Bank with a group of friends we suddenly walked past this odd-looking building that seemed to be something between a restaurant and a thrift shop. The only thing that was missing was the usual inevitable smell of a grandma's closet. That sort of ruined the cosy thrift shop atmosphere but I guess that only adds to your appetite.
My boxed salad was delicious but I had to constantly remember myself to chew instead of gazing around at the props that aroused so much curiosity. There was an electric train moving on the ceiling, a stack of typewriters was right next to me and little clusters of lightbulbs were beautifully arranged through the room. The fries my friends had were nice too but the fish finger sandwich are not a recommendation, I've heard.

This is starting to look like a review so I'll add a list of grades of important factors to consider when choosing a lunch spot.

Clean toilet 8
People smile as they hand you your coffee 7
Comfortable places to sit 9 (a couch!)
Things to keep you entertained when you are bored with the conversation or an awkward silence 10
Temperature 5.5 (I was a tiny bit cold)
Make sure to visit this unique restaurant the next time you're in the neighbourhood! More info here! It also provides a list of all props that are used here. It's nothing too special, for the really famous props I recommend Planet Hollywood (but don't go there to have actual food).

20 May 2013

Like a Bird

There's nothing I find as empowering as being alone in a big city. I was so lucky to go to London for an entire week, and I came back a different person.

The ultimate freedom I experienced when my plane started landing, and I had a clear view on the centre of London from my window. Taking good photos from a plane is actually harder than I thought, because you move so fast! I immediately felt that it was going to be an amazing week, and it certainly was. I was so busy I could barely take pictures, but more on London later!

10 May 2013

Just salt water & sand

Being born near a beach, every visit feels a bit like coming home. It is its tranquility and simplicity that gives you that peaceful feeling. Just sea, sand, dunes and several gulls shrieking and luckily at this time of the year not several thousand other people baking in the sun.

I went to the beach with my friend Annemarijn, who actually inspired me to engage in photography in the first place. The beach was almost empty.

In these photos I wanted to capture the simplicity and serenety of the sea and beach, with its contrasts and beautiful colour scheme.

8 May 2013

Forget me not

There's something so youthful, fresh and most of all innocent about spring. There's also a sense of anticipation, because we all know that the best is yet to come. As I was wandering to the supermarket to get some groceries I couldn't stop myself from gathering different sorts of flowers from the neighbourhood.
Ring - Six
My grandmothers silver 'forget me not'-locket
Teardop ring and square necklace with mint enamel lining - COS
Fine lilac bracelet - COS
Necklace - gift

The pictures from outside were taken in the gardens of Versailles. COS is one of my favourite places to shop for accessoiries. Their jewellery is cheap but so simplistic in an elegant way, I could wear every piece.

The weather is going to be bad the end of this week, so the blossom on the trees will be gone next week. I'm glad I was able to capture the flowers before they start withering... So I will 'forget them not'.