Of course! Our Holland correspondent Mariël van den Donk is herself a fashion designer who runs a boutique called Ditha Bonita. Here she is, fun, feisty and fashionable:Over to her for more on Dutch fashion:
Some outstanding fashion designers and labels have originated in Holland: Viktor & Rolf, Alexander van Slobbe, Marlies Dekkers, Jan Jansen, Piet Paris and companies Gaastra, G-Star, Oilily en Mexx.
We have also produced some of the most beautiful topmodels in history, like Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone, Yfke Sturm.
Naturally, then, you would think that we Dutch are amongst the first to try on new trends and that we embrace everything exciting and new.
Yeah… right, keep on dreaming. Don’t get me wrong. The Dutch do not dress badly or sloppy, but they are very mainstream. If there is one thing the Dutch do not like, it is standing out.
That is why I love to go to the south of Holland, especially Maastricht. The women over there are very feminine and stylish, the men know how to wear a suit or trendy outfit. This city in the province of Limburg has a French ‘joie de vivre’; they enjoy life and their fashion. No less-is-more here; jewellery has to be big and beautiful, bags classy and stylish, scarves sexy and silky and women’s shoes preferably with high heels. And the good news: in winter there is even more colour.
So really, it is great fun, shopping in Holland, because the fashion stores have everything imaginable and more. It’s a shop-until-you-drop paradise for fashionistas. Amsterdam is obvious. But stay away from the main street, Kalverstraat. The Jewish district is much more trendy.
Do go to Haarlem, an old city with a lot of vintage stores. Or Groningen: the many students add a lot of flavour to the street fashion. Maastricht, Den Bosch, Alkmaar and, last but not least, Amersfoort are famous for their nice shops.
Note: There is one exception to the ‘mainstream fashion’ rule and that is when the Dutch National Soccer team plays an important game. Then old, young, man or woman, everyone dresses up in our national colour: orange. And suddenly the whole idea is to stand out in the crowd…