Spices and sarees; when Ernest van der Kwast thinks of India…
As a matter of fact, that’s how we met, three years ago. Instead of the usual boring book launch – afternoon drinks at a publishing house-, Ernest decided to present his wonderful novella ‘Giovanna’s navel’ at my store in Rotterdam. “A much more original and stimulating environment”, according to Ernest. A very fitting location too, since the main character in the title story falls in love with a girl wearing a bikini, a year before the bikini was even invented. From the moment we met, I was fascinated by Ernest, and we stayed in touch. And so, when I decided to design a collection inspired by Indian rebel saint Mirabai, I immediately thought of this handsome son of India. I asked him what his mother’s country meant to him, and he sent me this reply:
‘When I think about India, I think of my mothers colourful herbs and spices: yellow, red, grey-white, deep black. She used to save her spices in a shiny metal box- her treasure box. But just as precious were her sarees that had the most gorgeous, intense colours: pink, orange, magenta, ultramarine. She would wear the sarees for special occasions, and she would be the most beautiful mother in the world.’
Isn’t that beautiful? And to think he sent me this text per SMS! I think receiving messages like that is definitely one of the perks of being friends with a writer..
Ernest van der Kwast had his breakthrough with ‘Mama Tandoori’ (2010), a hilarious and moving novel about his Indian mother. It sold more than 100.000 copies, no mean feat in a small country like Holland. His sixth novel, De IJsmakers (The ice cream makers) is out now.
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!