THE lady in blu
She predicted the brightly colored hair trend years before it hit the runway at Chanel and she foresaw the rise of ‘flawed’ supermodels like Winnie Harlow. One thing is clear: trend forecaster and designer Antoinette van den Berg, aka The Lady in Blu, lives, wears and breathes trends. I sat down with the sparkly, blue-haired personality to find out what the future has in store for us. “I’m telling you, old is cool!”
Marlies: First of all, what does a trend forecaster do?
Antoinette: I tell the future. Not by using a crystal ball, but by keeping my eyes wide open: what is going on in society, and where are we heading? I take my cues from any number of health, economic and lifestyle factors, then tailor this knowledge to the needs of my clients: creative professionals who want to develop beauty and fashion products that match future consumer needs. Together, we look at the possibilities, but also the responsibilities. How can they produce as little waste as possible, for example?
Marlies: Working in fashion, I need to be well ahead of the game myself. What I design, doesn’t hit the stores for another 2 years at least! I suspect that you and I have similar methods of forecasting. How exactly do you develop your insights?
Antoinette: The first step is a very intuitive one. I travel, observe and engage, constantly. All of a sudden, something will catch my eye. A really cool guy in a coffeeshop wearing nail polish for example. Two days later, I see the same thing on a tv screen. That’s when I start my research: what is the background of this phenomenon? What does it mean in a societal context? What kind of trend will it develop into?
Marlies: Could you describe the 2 most influential trends of the moment?
Antoinette: The end of consumerism is a big one. It’s a tragic fact that between 10 and 40 % of all produced fashion and cosmetics is never sold and goes straight to the garbage dump. You see pictures of people kissing each other through their surgical masks and you realize: wow, pollution has gotten completely out of hand! The keyword now is respect. Respect for the earth, respect for each other.
Marlies: I think the shift away from fast fashion has been going on for a while, but it has become more urgent than ever. When I had to reorganize my company for example, I took the opportunity to shrink my collection to about a third of its usual size. It’s proven to be a great success.
Antoinette: I can see that! I recently shopped around for a new iron, and within minutes I became completely overwhelmed with the endless variety on offer. I realized that in the end, the consumer will choose the iron that has been made with respect for the world and mankind. People nowadays choose brands like they would choose political parties. Similarly, even though there is a lot of lingerie out there, women will go for your brand because you respect and empower them with your designs. Your concept of feminine feminism is not some superficial marketing story but an extension of you! It IS you! A super sexy business woman who kicks ass!
Marlies: Thank you! Can you name another big cultural shift?
Antoinette: There is a growing appreciation for what I like to call the ‘Perfect Default’. For a while now, we have had the means to artificially create perfection and turn ourselves into never-ageing Barbie dolls. Terribly bland, of course, but at the same time we see older women in powerful positions who are becoming very strong role models. They are helping us to slowly embrace the look of a naturally aged women, including those much-feared wrinkles.
Marlies: I have always been amazed at our double standards: the same wrinkles that are taboo for women are considered attractive on men!
Antoinette: Well, that’s about to change! And it’s not just wrinkles we are starting to accept and even celebrate, it’s all so-called ‘defaults’. Freckles, wonky teeth, ears that stick out, severe pigmentation; yes, even having one leg is totally hot right now!
Marlies: One leg?
Antoinette: Thanks to 3D printing, we can produce the most amazing single pieces. If you are artist with one leg, you can show up every night on stage with a new, fabulous design-leg, turning your handicap into a statement and an asset. The ‘perfect default’.
Marlies: Having started out over 25 years ago, I look at how comfortable women are right now with sharing lingerie-selfies that often show off their ‘perfect imperfections’, and I realize we have come a long way. We are ready to embrace the whole person and her or his entire life cycle, no matter what shape, color or size.
Antoinette: Yes, and it is job to urge my clients to embrace that shift. For the longest time, marketeers have limited themselves to the beauty ideal of a young woman aged between 15 and 25 years old.
Marlies: That reminds me of actress Isabella Rossellini recently getting hired back as the face of Lancome at 63, 20 years after they had fired her for being ‘too old’.
Antoinette: I’m telling you: old is cool! Soon, you will walk into a very chic hotel and be greeted at the reception by the best representative for such a place: a gorgeous, older woman. And when you build a team, you will be expected to include people from all ages. After all, every life phase has its own strength: a young person will have enormous drive whereas an older person has more experience to share. It’s pure common sense, isn’t it? Just like the food industry finally, and rightfully, returning to using pure, seasonal ingredients: well, duh! Normalcy will be the new norm. And this time, ‘normal’ will include diversity in age, race, religion, sexuality, body shape, you name it! Gender fluidity is a big thing too; we are refusing to be labeled and boxed in any longer.
Marlies: In other words, we are entering an exciting, beautiful new era. Thank you, Antoinette!
“Your concept of feminine feminism is not some superficial marketing story but an extension of you! It IS you.”
— Antoinette van den Berg
The Lady in Blu is the initiator of RE LOVE FASHION.
Her goal is to promote less consumption of new clothes, using joyful solutions such as Re-Use, Re-Touch, Re-Style, Re-Pair and Re-Peat Fashion.
Watch the video of the interview here.
Happy Women’s Day
Happy Women’s Day! I am extra excited about this edition, because wow, what a year it’s been for feminism! This is the year that we went global; that we showed up with our money, our bodies, our time and our voices to show the world: this is OUR time!
When I think of someone who is the embodiment of the highest level of expression, I have to think of German opera superstar Nadja Michael (47). This fearless feminine feminist is absolutely unforgettable in roles like Medea, Salomé and Lady Macbeth, performing phenomenally not just as a singer, but also a dancer and actress. How does she do it?
She started out as a contestant on the Norwegian version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’; a few years later her debut single ‘Sunrise’ reached triple platinum status. But what makes Norwegian/Cuban star Alexandra Joner (27) such a feminine feminist icon is the fearless fun with which she expresses herself; in her singing and acting, but also in her fabulously sexy looks (often wearing marlies|dekkers, of course!). “I am fighting to make ‘sexy’ a positive thing!”
LUST for LIGHT
With her stunning staged photographs, Dutch artist Marie Cécile Thijs (1965) connects the past with the present in an intensely poetic, painterly way. Originally a lawyer, she decided more than fifteen years ago to follow her love for the camera. In just a short period of time, Marie Cécile became an internationally acclaimed artist whose works are included in the collections of museums like the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego. She has also presented her art at TEFAF (widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent fair of art and antiques), Art Miami and Photo Shanghai. For her signature series ‘White Collar’, Marie Cécile photographed the only surviving 17th-century pleated ruff in the world, then digitally added it to her models for an almost surreal, mesmerizing result.
Marlies|dekkers heeft een grote variëteit aan lingerie wat gedragen kan worden door iedereen en voldoet aan iedere vrouw haar behoefte. Naast het aanbieden van producten op onze webshop, houden we een blog bij in de categorie ‘Maison Marlies’ waar over verschillende onderwerpen geschreven wordt zoals; Waarom 50 worden fantastisch is, een 5-stappenplan voor het kopen van lingerie voor jouw vriendin, vrouw of partner , hoe je lingerie als deel van je outfit maakt en andere leuke onderwerpen.
In Maison Marlies blog kun je van alles lezen over het leven achter en rondom het bedrijf. Of je nu wilt weten waar ze haar inspiratie vandaan haalt voor het ontwerpen van een nieuwe collectie, of dat je interesse hebt in haar levensstijl, gezonde recepten, of haar smaak in bijzondere kunst, je kunt het vinden in de blog. Deze zakenvrouw krijgt het voor elkaar om met een knipoog te schrijven over haar zakenreizen, shop avonturen, haar collega’s, vrienden en familie en zelfs over haar vakanties waar ze even helemaal tot rust komt. Wanneer je even niet meer weet hoe je jou goede bh maat kunt vinden, biedt Maison Marlies een aantal richtlijnen zodat je je boezem kunt schudden zonder dat je borsten eruit floepen. Comfort voor je buste is een combinatie van de juiste maat en de juiste kwaliteit. Je wilt toch geen onhandig ondergoed, terwijl dit eigenlijk heel makkelijk voorkomen kan worden door het dragen van hoge kwaliteit lingerie?! En wanneer je voorgevel goed op z’n plaats gehouden wordt kun je eindelijk volledig je vrouwelijkheid vieren. De blog geeft advies over het mixen en matchen van lingerie, over het stimuleren en inspireren van je eigen stijlgevoel en houdt je op de hoogte van de laatste trends.
blij met marlies|dekkers lingerie
Haar celebrity vrienden zijn ook erg blij met de perfecte pasvorm van de bh's van marlies|dekkers. Deze vriendinnen laten met trots hun sexy lingerie van marlies|dekkers zien in fotoshoots voor tijdschriften, en tijdens optredens, tv-shows of zelfs in films. Maison Marlies wijdt een speciaal gedeelte van de blog aan gerelateerde nieuwtjes en ontwikkelingen zodat je altijd op de hoogte blijft van de laatste ontwikkelingen rondom de speciale missie die de visie van Marlies’ ademt voor de toekomst.