Mother Earth’s ‘Comeback’
“Your muse for this coming season is Mother Earth? Seriously?”. Going by my friends’ and colleagues’ reactions, you would believe that this was the most shocking thing I had done since designing and wearing my ‘bare–butt dress’. “Isn’t it a bit hippie-dippie?” some would ask delicately, while others bluntly branded the subject ‘unsexy’. I couldn’t blame them. While our ancestors saw Mother Earth as the ultimate manifestation of fertility and creativity – read: the very first sex symbol – centuries of patriarchy have tried to tame and scandalize the raw, female power she symbolizes. They almost succeeded. Almost!
The magazine you are holding is a celebration of Mother Earth’s ‘comeback’ and an ode to her wild and wonderful creations. It is also an invitation to reconnect with the divine creative powers inside ourselves and become juicy again. (Quite literally! Check out the ‘You flow girl’ article). ‘Unsexy’? I think it’s one of our sexiest issues ever! Just like a volcano cannot be stopped from erupting and bees cannot be kept away from flowers, Mother Earth cannot be silenced for long. She always finds a way to express herself. These pages are filled with a parade of her most marvelous manifestations. Take the ancient earth goddesses who inspired this season’s collections; from the all-embracing Ashanti earth mother Asase Yaa to the gloriously sexual Aztec goddess Xochiquetzal who, like Eve, committed the first sin, but was actually celebrated for it
I also interviewed a few amazing modern-day Mother Earth incarnations like founder of the world’s first Party of the Animals Marianne Thieme and knighted historian Bettany Hughes who went on a ‘magical history tour’ to uncover the hidden stories of the feminine divine (and whose documentary series about Greek earth goddess Gaia should be out now). One of my favorite quotes came from track star Cynthia Monteleone who credits her success to a number of Mother Earth ‘hacks’ like her carnivore diet. When asked if eating mostly meat is a trend, she’ll answer: “Yes, it’s been a trend for about two million years.”
Each one of my muses – from Cleopatra to Amelia Earhart – has changed me. But none as profoundly as Mother Earth. Designing these sensual, colorful collections, capturing them in the opulence of a tropical jungle and the electrifying wildness of the sea, I realized that Mother Earth is as much part of us as we are part of her, and that we can tap into her infinite source of life energy whenever we need to. Sometimes it’s as easy as taking off your shoes and feeling the earth between your toes. Other times it’s a more elaborate process, like the creation of this magazine. Flipping through it, you will feel Mother Earth reaching out to you from every page and picture. Let her touch you with her juicy life force, and I promise you: your life will never be the same. Enjoy the ride!
fall|winter 20 preview
In January, I presented my newest FW20 collection during a show full of dance and entertainment in Rotterdam. All my work as a feminist designer is inspired by muses, powerful female icons from past and present. And for FW20, my muse will be crime writer Agatha Christie. A few months from now, you will get to discover the collections, and see how they tell stories like Agatha’s thrilling books do..
Running for your life
Dr. Bram Bakker is a psychiatrist, a writer, a runner and a provocateur. With his many bestselling books and columns – and yes, even his own theatre show – he urges us to think outside the box when it comes to our mental health. Not crazy about popping pills? Bram shared some interesting alternatives with me, from throwing out our phones to running ‘till we puke’.
Peas & peppers instead of pills
General practitioner Tamara de Weijer believes that we would feel a lot better if we hit the produce stand before we visited the pharmacy. “On a massive scale, we have been putting the wrong kind of fuel in our bodies.”
Singles Day – You’ve Got this!
All the single ladies, listen up! With single women rapidly becoming the majority, it is high time to stop feeling singled out. This Singles Day, let’s celebrate our freedom and independence by sharing all those solo milestones that make us go: ‘You’ve got this!’.