December 10, 2017

Instagram Worthy x Yellow + Pink / Glitter =

Dutch Design Week 2017

'The Future City is Flexible' by MVRDV
On the market of Eindhoven

This year I could attend the Dutch Design Week as a fully recognised member of the press, jippie, so I could enter everywhere for free. I didn't get to visit everything I wanted, because it was a full program spread over Eindhoven City and I only had one day, but I enjoyed it very much! 
Every edition, I missed last year, I have been writing a review. I try to capture the main trend. This year I saw a lot of recurring trends; we still try to save the planet while creating more stuff, but I also noticed something else. I noticed that everything was sooo pretty, so "Instagram Worthy", so hashtag-able... Of course logical, you want your stuff to be shared. Before I went I saw so many things on Social Media that turned out to be more a photo opportunity then anything else. Not that there was a lack of stuff... the opposite, but I just felt everything was designed to look good online. And maybe that is precisely what it is about these days... I participate to this culture just as much, so don't read it as a judgement. I myself walked around DDW with my phone in my hand and a constant stream in my insta-stories.

Back of 'Off the Grass' at Veem during DDW

'How & Wow' by the Crafts Council during DDW 

I started my DDW 2017 with a visit to a new building for the festival. The former parking garage was turned into an exhibition space on two floors. The entrance was were normally the cars drive up. They decorated it with these fluor yellow strips of fabric. It was walking through a mix between a car wash and curtains.  I loved it!
In the building the Crafts Council made a big exhibition promoting the crafts & platforms they support. In bright yellow with hot pink 'How & Wow' showed classical things like Staphorst dot work and soap making. I liked the almost 80's kind of setting for these Dutch traditional things.

Collaboration of fashion designer Walter van Beirendonck 
& Staphorst dot-maker Gerard van Osten at 'How & Wow' at DDW

What you can do with flax, part of 'How & Wow' at DDW

What you can do with flax, part of 'How & Wow' at DDW

What you can do with flax, part of 'How & Wow' at DDW

Woven works by Marian Stubenitsky at 'How & Wow' at DDW

In the former V&D the 'Modebelofte' presentation was held. I always like how it is set up, previous years in the stadium, and now in this fitting setting of a former department store. The outside of the building already promised a iridescent experience. In a rainbow foil labyrinth the new "Fashion Promises" were shown. On and off turning spots on pounding music revealed futuristic looking fashion, some more wearable sculpture, others surprisingly wearable cool outfits. 

Outfit by Fabio Bigondi at Modebelofte which I love for obvious reasons


Outfit by Han Kim at Modebelofte

In the same building Vlisco made a really nice presentation. I got totally green-eyed by it, wish I would be invited one day from a collaboration like this. They invited 'Fashion Promise' Sander Bos to design new prints and clothing with inspiration from their archive. The piece from the archive was this 1920's headscarf from the Haarlemsche Katoenmaatschappij. The design on it was inspired by Pagi-sore batiks, day and night batiks. Traditionally one side, normally on a sarong, was worn during the day, the other side in the evening. Also the design is light and dark. Both in color and in motif. I inspired my own Batik 'Difficult Time' on this design as well (read more on see 
Inspired by this wax print version of an original Batik design, Sander Bos made a glow in the dark wax print. On 4 mannequins in a separate space the glow in the dark wax print was designed into 4 outfits showing the different effects of the textile. I'm looking forward to how they are developing this later, and if more people get invited to do collaborations like this (hint hint).

Day and Night by Vlisco at DDW

Day and Night test textiles

Detail of 1920's Wax print headscarf from the Haarlemsche Katoenmaatschappij

Day and Night by Vlisco at DDW

Day and Night by Vlisco at DDW

Day and Night by Vlisco at DDW

Day and Night by Vlisco at DDW

Day and Night by Vlisco at DDW

Next to Social Shareable-feel of the DWW, it seemed like Fun & Future were themes too. Captured in a setting of many colours. Populair were yellow & pink, but also glitter. Yes Glitter! Looking back at the pictures, I was reminded of this article in the Volkskrant about the Unicorn-trend two weeks ago. DDW showed a world filled with glitter, rainbows, iridescent colours, tiny houses, longing for craft, yet very now and very futuristic... Unicorny, a theme-park ride almost. It was an escape, not really an answer. Yet I enjoyed the ride fully with iPhone first! Strange how you can enjoy it so much, yet feel uneasy about it...
In the end I felt more entertained then inspired. DDW is meant as a stage to present developments, but it seems that nowadays we don't really care about this story, we just want a pretty picture. It was still a lot about "Getting Stuff" instead of "Creating Better Stuff". So get ready for a year getting entertained without any real solutions.

ECAL Graphic Design at Veem at DDW

Vlisco rug by Simone Post, 
I missed the exhibition at DDW...

At Veem at DDW

Precious Plastic at Sectie-C at DDW

At the Klokgebouw at DDW

At Veem at DDW, can anyone tell me more on this? Please comment below

At Sectie-C at DDW, can anyone tell who made the jumpsuit, please comment below

Präsentation upcoming collaboration Zeeuw Museum and Das Leben am Haverkamp

Upcoming collaboration Zeeuw Museum and Das Leben am Haverkamp

For more on the Dutch Design Week visit

For previous reviews on the DDW see label 'Dutch Design Week

December 2, 2017

Opening Asian Library

Dousa Special Collections Reading Room at the Asian Library in Leiden

On the 14th of September 2017 the Asian Library at the University of Leiden was opened with a grand opening filled with lectures, pop-up exhibitions, dance and films. My film 'The journey to Batik-Tari Batik' got its first screening on that day! So on my Social media you already saw me enjoying a rickshaw ride in the pouring rain with my love, spotting Queen Maxima and watching the amazing opening dance by Aafke de Jong, but I still have more to share and I love to look back at this special day.

Early morning the ceremonial opening started in the Pieterskerk. The church was filled with people who dressed all very nicely for this occasion, mostly in suits, but I spotted some overseas traditional wear and textiles. I was happy I treated myself to a custom made Batik Tulis dress
After a little wait for the royalty to arrive, the opening started with a traditional Balinese dance followed by a modern interpretation, improvised by Aafke de Jong.
It almost never happens, but I didn't make any notes that day, being too nervous for my screening later on, so you just have to believe that the opening-speech, especially the one by Professor Peter Frankopan was really good!

After eating a sandwich while staring at the queen, we headed to the University of Leiden. The program was in all buildings and even the Hortus joined in. We first went to the Asian Library - Cinema Room Vos. A new part of the library with a big screen and lovely chairs. When we entered my parents were already inside! Such a nice surprise! 
With pounding heart I watched the movies, waiting for my own... it was so great to see the film on the screen! What a perfect place to premiere my film!*

'The journey to Batik- Tari Batik' in the Cinema Room Vos

'The journey to Batik- Tari Batik' in the Cinema Room Vos

Panel in hallway of the Library

Image from presentation "Dressing the 'Stans': 
Textiles, dress and jewellery from Central Asia" by Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

While the films continued playing in the Cinema Room Vos, we went to the lecture "Dressing the 'Stans': Textiles, dress and jewellery from Central Asia" by Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood in the Academy building. What amazing places to study at by the way, wauw, lucky students!
The lecture about the exhibition with the same title at the Textile Research Center, on display till 21 December, gave an insight into traditional dress of Central Asia and why TRC chose it. Next to having an interesting collection of pieces to show, they found that the Leiden Asian Year had a lot on Southeast Asia, but nothing on Central Asia. To fill the gap they made a selection of textiles worn and used in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In the presentation she also showed some new developments on textile research. Black and white photos coloured in. But not in a technicolor kind of way, in an actual scientific way in which they can see which colours the grey-tones must have had. It results in very colourful group portraits, but also a women posing in a burqa which is now a beautiful Indigo blue (see photo above).
It changes your perspective on a history that looks grim and without color, but instead was filled with colours, patterns and gorgeous textiles. Love to know and see more of this photo-project, so if you read this and you know more, please comment below!

Pustaha written by Guru Abinsahan

In the Dousa Special Collections Reading Room, Pop-up exhibitions were made throughout the day. Unfortunately we could only see one. For next time, yes please, University Leiden, make it a two day thing. Everything on the program was amazing, but impossible to see it all. 
Anyway, I found a new place to live. No seriously, but I wouldn't mind to spend a couple of days there. What a marvellous collection of books! Liesbeth Ouwehand made a selection of books with and from animals! I joked I wouldn't get this close again to a tiger ever again, so here was my chance! Next to it was a bookcover made of crocodile-skin, wauw!
Also a selection was made of books in different forms like the magic books, Pustaha, from Sumatra. So special to see these beautiful books up close, I took many pictures so I could share some with you!

Exercise in letter writing with illustration of bird"
Look at all the patterns in the borders

"Tatimbai Anak Dalom, a Lampung tale of a young man, Anak Dalom, 
living at the court of Bangkalulu who sails to Petani to abduct his two chosen brides"
 Lampung is the region at the southern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia

Part a collection of 31 fables with mostly birds as main figures, 
look at this Pino kind of bird, lovely!

Pustaha written by Guru so Matahut 

A Waringa from before 1896

Manuscript in 3 volumes dedicated to insects and amphibians, around 1656, 
Mayor of Delft and collector Hendrik d'Acquet commissioned artist to make drawings after his impressive animal collection

Watercolour by R.B. Djajeng Soedhirdja, made in 1904. 
It shows the Sultan of Yogyakarta and his followers on their way to visit the Dutch Resident

See the whole, 25 meters long, watercolour online on

Apparently anyone, not only students, scholars or professors, can use the Asian Library and make appointments to see the special collections. Also they are working on digitalising parts of their collection. There is now a crowdfunding to scan the 250 ancient tales of Prince Panji which will not only make them available for a wider audience, they will also be preserved.

Can't wait to visit the Asian Library again!

* For more about my film 'The journey to Batik-Tari batik' and for screening info, visit and/or send me an email