Blog : The Netherlands

All across the hours

Can I wait the hours
Would it be untrue?
Climb up to the tower
So that you can see
All across the hours

Frightened eyes
Looking back at me
Change your mind
Don’t care about me
Frightened eyes
Looking back at me
Change your mind
Don’t leave without me

It’s deeper than you and me
It’s further than you could see
It’s too much to ask, tell me
It’s all in a glance, you’ll see

-The Hours, Beach House

Setlist: Wild / Equal Mind / Walk in the Park / Other People / Norway / Master of None / Silver Soul / The Hours / New Year / Lazuli / On the sea / Zebra / Wishes / Take Care / Myth / + Turtle Island / 10 mile stereo / Irene

Last night I saw Beach House again, this time at Tivoli Utrecht. As always, they were magical. In those two hours of sweltering grandeur, I felt like my truest self – all shimmering and sparkly, swooning of the feelings tucked in the deepest chambers of my heart, raw and real and alive.

Every line and every note is what my heart is shouting. In the middle of the set I felt light-headed because of the heat and I wasn’t feeling that well, but the music carried me on. Ever-enigmatic Victoria waved goodbye in the end, and said “Thank you for choosing to go and see us, instead of staying in and being cozy.” I’m glad I went.

If you built yourself a myth
You’d know just what to give
What comes after this
Momentary bliss?

Help me to name it.

– Myth, Beach House

On a roof and under a bridge

Where does your garden grow? On a roof, and under a bridge.

Last Friday was Roof Garden Arnhem’s opening – Arnhem’s summer hangout of the century. Roof Garden is an initiative of As We Speak + Belhamels to transform the top floor of a parking garage into an open space where people can relax and have fun – there is a bar, a coffee corner, a jacuzzi, wooden crates, sunning chairs, a viewing deck and green plants all over. SUPER FUN!

It reminded me of Trädgården in Stockholm, me and my friends’ (and everyone’s) favorite hangout during the summer. Located under the bridge, you can’t help but smile the moment you enter the labyrinthine summer party garden. It’s the vibe of the place that makes you feel so good – everyone is just so happy there. Video installations and Nintendo games, ice cream carts and indie pop gigs, sofas and ping pong tables, dazzling people and dancefloors. I think of Trädgården all year long, even when I’m not in Stockholm and even in the middle of winter. It is place where a lot of my happy memories are stored: hazy summer moments of playing ping pong to catch someone’s eye, sitting on top of elevated crates gazing across the dancefloor, dancing with Suzy and Carol and the rest of the gang, laughing my heart out. The apple ciders and the midnight sun.

With Andy, Marina and Isabella. Tradgården, Stockholm 2010.
With Kniven, Kalle, Andy and Felix. Tradgården, Stockholm 2010.

I can’t help but experience a future deja vu! Trädgården followed me to where I am now- this time in the form of a skyline sensation. (“Joy moves always to new locations, the ease of its flow never freezing” – says Rumi, my favorite 8th Century poet whose wisdom keeps popping up with every turn of my modern life. One of my best friends Bituin wrote that line on a birthday card she gave me when I was a teenager. I never forgot about it.)

Here are my very first pictures of Roof Garden Arnhem, so in the future I can look back and say “Oh this was the very beginning of that golden summer!” Here we come, fantastic memories!

Where does your garden grow? On a roof and under a bridge. Cheers to past, present and future special places! 🙂

Arts Holland Magazine Presentation

Arts Holland, a first introduction
from Arts Holland on Vimeo.

I’m currently working with Arts Holland as an editor since May and I’m loving every second of it! We promote Holland internationally as an attractive cultural destination. We have a website, an open data platform and the very first edition of the magazine which was launched yesterday at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam in cooperation with SICA. With a dazzling view of the Ij river, we celebrated with the presence of the press, contributors, our colleagues and our partners.

It’s great meeting the other people who are also part of project: Arts Holland is a collaboration of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), the Waag Society and the Nederlands Uitburo (yours truly and my awesome colleagues Kim and Anna who are the center of the editorial and creative team). Ambassadors and diplomats from Dutch embassies all over the world and partners from KLM, Total Active Media and the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht were also there. It’s very heartwarming to see the reactions of the people upon getting their hands on a copy – all smiles and cheerful gushes! I hope people would love and be inspired by our magazine – we definitely enjoyed working on it and put a lot of love in it.

Weren’t there for the launch? You can still read the magazine online:

“Best in Show: Between Space and Structure” highlights the best and the brightest Dutch fashion designers today. I wrote an online piece for the website which talks about selected designers featured in the magazine, and the history of contemporary Dutch fashion:


Best in Show

Holland is home to avant-garde, innovative and inspiring fashion. Art academies in the country are highly regarded in the global fashion industry, with talented graduates such as Viktor & Rolf who believe that “couture should be a field for experimentation.” With absolute dedication and a clear vision, Dutch designers are in the forefront of avant-garde contemporary fashion.

What characterizes Dutch fashion? Radboud University researchers conducted an ambitious study aiming to understand and reinforce the cultural innovation of Dutch fashion in an international context. Dutch Fashion Identity in a Globalised World is based on the assumption that Dutch fashion is capitalized on a unique cultural mix of individualism, innovation and post-modern design. Dutch Modernism in fashion came to its peak in the 90’s, when a group of six recently-graduated Dutch designers calling themselves Le Cri Néerlandais presented their works at the Institute Néerlandais in 1994. These promising designers were Saskia van Drimmelen, Pascale Gatzen, Marcel Verheijen, Lucas Ossendrijver, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor & Rolf). The international press showed positive feedback for the group. I-D magazine even hailed them as the successors of the Antwerp Six, and the ones to determine the future of fashion.

The promise of Le Cri Néerlandais are fulfilled today in the works of young Dutch fashion designers. Art academies in Holland train their students in fashion design to focus on individual expression and conceptual thinking. This method brings an emphasis on the freedom to experiment, but at the same time it also encourages a positive attitude towards functionality and rationality. Therefore, resulting pieces are conceptual and introspective, artistic and practical, experimental and wearable. These values translate well in the collections of young, contemporary designers from Holland.

Take a look at some of the best and brightest fashion designers of today’s Dutch fashion scene. These selected designers are featured in the Arts Holland magazine article ‘Best in Show‘. In addition, we have provided addresses of where you can shop and take home these wearable pieces of art.

Mattijs van Bergen
Mattijs van Bergen was educated at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London. His most recent collection showed feminine models dressed in hues of black & gold, blue and orange. The pieces incorporated distinct lines with soft flowing skirts: a cross between science fiction and glamour. Structured, surprisingly wearable, and never over the top experimental, Mattijs’ pieces are subtle works of art.

Matthijs van Bergen Matthijs van Bergen Matthijs van Bergen
For point of sale, please visit the website.

Iris van Herpen
One of the most striking designers of this moment, Iris van Herpen, stands for a reciprocity between craftsmanship and 
innovation in technique and materials, inspired on the world to come. Iris van Herpen creates a new direction of couture that combines fine handwork techniques with futuristic digital technology.

 Iris van HerpenIris van HerpenIris van Herpen

  • Margreeth Olsthoorn – Witte de Withstraat 5a, 3012 DK Rotterdam
  • United Nude Flagship Store – Spuistraat 125A, 1012 SM Amsterdam
  • SPRMRKT – Rozengracht 191-193, 1016 LZ Amsterdam

Jan Taminiau
Far, far away from the dogmatic strictures of fashion, Jan Taminiau searches for new forms and new horizons. In the quest for the perfect fit new shapes and unconventional techniques are being pursued. The meticulously constructed creations enable the wearer to experiment endlessly with form.

Jan TaminiauJan TaminiauJan Taminiau

  • Atelier Jan Taminiau – Rijksstraatweg 117D, 1396 JJ Baambrugge

Hyun Yeu
Hyun Yeu’s label ‘Ado Les Scents‘ sets the standard for menswear. The label vision manifests itself in elegant, high-quality menswear with innovative shapes and fabrics. ‘Ado Les Scents’ aims for a young-minded crowd. These men are not afraid to stand out and show their vulnerable side.

Hyun Yeu
For point of sales, please visit the website.

Spijkers & Spijkers
Spijkers & Spijkers
are twin sisters Truus and Riet Spijkers, graduates of ArtEZ Institute of the Arts who have started their own label in 2000. Since then, they have built a distinctive and instantly recognizable style which rewrites the stereotypical ideas of femininity. The duo is inspired by 1920’s modernism, artistically mixing soft materials with hard and sharp lines. The result: bold and functional designs with a wisp of dreaminess, emphasizing the female body in a strong and independent way.

Spijkers & Spijkers

  • Van Ravenstein – Keizersgracht 359, 1016 EJ Amsterdam
  • Margreeth Olsthoorn – Witte de Withstraat 5a, 3012 DK Rotterdam
  • Buise/ Can’t Do Without – Cornelis Schuytstrat 12, 1071 JH Amsterdam
  • Margriet Nannings – Prinsenstraat 8 1015 DC Amsterdam


Mondriaan Dream Sequence

Dream Sequence 1.
Helene and Anton Müller, wild at heart. Someday, we will be patrons of the arts. A very nice architect friend of ours will build our own art nouveau hunting lodge, decorated with paintings of the Munch and van der Lecks of our time (who will also be our friends).

Dream Sequence 2.
Face to face to face with Mondriaan, van der Leck and the new flowers of Van Gogh.

Dream Sequence 3.
Getting lost in the sculpture garden, in pursuit of the elusive coffee tent in the middle of the woods.

Dream Sequence 4.
Biking in the Veluwe and feeling a great big rush of freedom. Everlasting fields, as far as the eye can see. Rugged trees and mighty skies. Remembering Anne Frank’s words written on her bedroom wall: “I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle and look at the world, feel young and know that I am free.”

Read more about the dreamy landscape of the Veluwe, the history of the Kröller-Müllers and Arnhem as a creative city (my favorite cafe TAPE was even mentioned!) in “Wild at Heart“, an article from KLM’s inflight magazine Holland Herald.

Facing Pages and drifting off to the Swedish archipelago

I popped by the Facing Pages festival yesterday and checked out all the pretty independent magazines on exhibit.

One of the magazines I was browsing through had a feature of a Swedish family’s summer house on the west coast of Sweden.

This is one of my dreams (with a small adjustment: mine will be on the east coast, an hour’s boat ride from Stockholm). The ancestral house sits on a rock quarry, with separate apartments for the members of the family. Look at the interiors – perfection! Rustic, charming, unassuming, impeccable design and at the same time simple, cozy, and with that hard to explain Swedish touch. It’s more of a feeling, I suppose.


This is my home right now. Well, I have always had a home, different ones in different times. Home to me for the past years have been a psychological phenomenon, a place where you can be yourself and where you are surrounded with the people that you love and who love you. A place where the most authentic “you” can flourish, and where you have the freedom and the state of mind to create, express and just be yourself. Simply, somewhere where you can be comfortable, happy and true. It is a bit different from the traditional definition of home, which is a more physical and non-flexible entity (and most usually refers to “where you came from”). Mine is a more mobile definition, perhaps a skill I have adapted to to match the currents of my life and/or a truth that I have discovered. I believe that you can be at home anywhere. In any case, for me some places (physical ones) tend to stick out more as “home” than others. One particular place radiates because my dreams live there.

And another one, this one.. this one grows on me with each passing day. 🙂


Ice Hotel @ TAPE

Friday night was super fun! I dj-ed at TAPE and played Scandinavian indie pop, electro, shoegaze, the usual Angel sound. It was my first time to play at TAPE (and in Arnhem!), so I was curious to see how people will take it. From the smiles on their faces, the shuffling on the dance floor, the buzz in the air and the feedback I got, they liked it! 🙂 Some nice people even came up to me to say that they loved the music! Ahhh.

Good music should be playing everywhere! It’s such an important thing, but often taken for granted. Good music can change your mood in a heartbeat and can instantly make you feel better.. even great! And if I can give people a happy, sparkling feeling on a Friday night, then I am already happy!

And it doesn’t even have to be so complicated, good music is good music. You don’t need to be a “professional” DJ to get a crowd going. Well.. but I guess you have to have an impeccable taste in music! Hehe.

Here are some more action shots from last night:

I might do this again soon, I’ll keep you updated! For now, I leave you with one of the lovely tracks from last night, enjoy!

Jonathan Johansson – Blommorna (Niva Remix) by NIVA

A “New” Van Gogh

Breaking news in the Netherlands and the art world: there’s a new Van Gogh! I was so happy when I saw the news at De Wereld Draait Door tonight.

Still life with meadow flowers and roses, Van Gogh. Kröller-Müller Museum.


Welcome to the “real” world “Het Bloemstilleven met akkerbloemen en rozen”!

The painting’s authenticity has been in doubt ever since the museum acquired it in 1974. But now, a team of researchers from the TU Delft, the University of Antwerp, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) Hamburg, the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum has succeeded in confirming that it is truly a painting by Van Gogh. The leading clue was the underlying painting they discovered through x-ray. Beneath the flowers, they discovered a painting of two wrestling men, and they connected it with a 1886 letter of Van Gogh to his brother Theo. Awesome!

How apt that I’ve been reading Vincent’s letters to his brother Theo for the past few months. I have always admired the brothers’ very close relationship and how they have always been there for each other. The correspondence of the brothers, along with other letters of Van Gogh can all be accessed online, thanks to the Van Gogh Museum and Huygen’s ING. You can even see the original scans and translations in English! I can spend hours just reading his letters!

And how cosmic that the “new” painting is so close to where I live now. I’ve been planning to visit the Veluwe park and forests, where the Kröller-Müller museum is actually located.Now is the perfect time. The time for new flowers!

“Still life with meadow flowers and roses” can be viewed from tomorrow at 12.30pm at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.


DJ Ice Hotel @ TAPE Arnhem 30.03 – 22 uur

I’m DJ-ing for TAPE bar on March 30, Friday at 22.00! It’s Scandinavian night in the Netherlands – danceable indie pop, electronica and shoegaze all night long! YES! It’s also my first time to play in Arnhem, so it’s bound to be epic! 🙂 See you there, spread the northern love!

Here’s the announcement from TAPE’s website:

DJ Ice Hotel


Onze eerste Spotify DJ heeft zich aangediend. En wat voor een! DJ Ice Hotel is een Filippijnse met een grote liefde voor Scandinavie. Oftewel, deze kokette dame gaat dansbare indiepop, electronica en shoegaze uit het noorden draaien. Zij aan de ene kant van de bar. Speakers, dansvloertje en leuke mensen aan de andere. Het feest kan beginnen!