Apr 1, 2014

Pencils, skirts and pencil skirts

“I’d like to wear things that are a bit more classy, a bit more mature,” I said. “Yea, me too,” my friend replied. She was wearing her boyfriend’s jogging pants, whilst I wore a sloppy T-shirt with a picture of a bunny printed on it. Both of us sighed.

Later on, I started wondering what I had really meant. What exactly is “classy” or “more mature”? I turned to my dear old friend, Google. ‘Classy’ brought me Audrey Hepburn in a little black dress, and ‘mature‘ threw Meryl Streep and her pencil skirt in my face. Erm….not exactly what my sartorial soul was longing for. Classic style, as fashion knows it, is typically made of timeless basics: jeans, trench coats, A-line skirts and such. Also the colour black tends to give clothes a classy flair with its simplicity. I know this all too well - for years, I was obsessed with colourless this and that, because black was such an easy choice. However, when I hung out with my friends, who were like the fireworks of fashion in their playful outfits, my own attire made me yawn. I have also had a fling with the so-called classic smart casuals: straight pants, slipovers, white blouses and black heels. Long story short; none of it worked. I am not a serious office kind of a girl with pearls, neither am I a monotonous minimalist. In fact, just thinking about classic items or the ever so smart wardrobe essentials gives me an urge to sit up straight, cross my legs and raise my pinkie ready to grab a glass of wine. However, the truth is that I spend majority of my time sitting in less than ladylike positions, snortling at stupid jokes, tinkering on the floor and drinking tea from a chunky mug that is a far cry from any kind of elegance. Conclusion: the answer to my longing for classiness won’t be found in pencil skirts, but in something that lets me be me without having to be afraid of breaking seams or smudging fine silk.

Magazines keep on praising wardrobe essentials in their collages, but it’s better to think twice before you swallow everything they say. Fashion classics might be universal, but classics of personal style are very subjective. The rebel inside me has come to believe that you can be classy without owning a trench coat or a pair of straight pants. In fact, your classics can be anything you like as long as they make it easy for you to build the rest of your uniform around them. Pencil skirts are fine, but if you prefer keeping your pencils and skirts apart, that’s perfectly fine, too! Flourescent colours and plastic necklaces can be just as essential to you as belted coats are to Vogue.

After running these thoughts through my mind, I might say goodbye to my pyjama worthy T-shirts and pursue something more pleasing to my eye. However, I won’t ditch all my printed tees. Why? Because just as there are days when I would like to have a graceful flair, there will also be days when a bit of funny, printed sloppiness will sooth me like nothing else. Perfect classy-sloppy balance – that’s what’s essential to me! Besides, isn’t there enough of Serious Suit Mentality in the world already?

These are the thoughts I penned down on the pages of Oh Marie! magazine's latest issue. You can find the entire article here and browse through the rest of the magazine below:


What about you...? What are your personal "fashion classics"?

Mar 18, 2014

The Organic Fashion Utopia & interview with Manuela Minimarini

Dear readers, we have some exciting news from the world friendly fashion front! Manuela Minimarini, a recent graduate from Amsterdam Fashion Institute, has created a vegan fashion magazine titled T.O.F.U. and is hoping to publish it with the help of the fashion crowds through a crowdfunding platform We Make It. To get a little taste of T.O.F.U. (pun intended), we asked the golden hearted veganista some questions about her project and what lies beneath it:


1. Who are you in one sentence?
I am Manuela Ernst Minimarini, a vegan lifestyle lover who prays to unicorns and wants to make this world a fresher, healthier and more lovable one.

2. How did you become interested in vegan fashion and lifestyle?
I have been a vegan for 2 years now after having been a vegetarian before. I have had a big heart for animals ever since I can remember. While studying fashion, I figured I need to combine those two passions of mine to not only make myself happy, but also to change the world a little bit.

3. Where does the magazine's name T.O.F.U. come from?
T.O.F.U. became the name, because I wanted to make the vegan lifestyle more accessible and people just like to approach things they are familiar with - everyone knows what tofu is. Also, it is a funny fact that lots of meat eaters think that all non-meat eaters/vegans eat lots of tofu as a replacement for meat. I like the irony in the name, but T.O.F.U. is also an acronym of The Organic Fashion Utopia, which is what I want to create with this magazine. A new organic, plant based fashion world that opens up to you through the magazine.

4. In the era of apps, blogs and websites, we must ask the worn out question: why a printed magazine?
That is a very good question, but next to being an online era, this is actually also the golden age of new titles. People like magazines that are for niches. T.O.F.U. is one of those, because it is targeted to the vegan community, which is in fact growing a lot as veganism is becoming more and more trendy. This and the fact that there is no other printed magazine like T.O.F.U. combined with my personal passion for print feels like a very good reason to make a printed magazine.

5. What inspired you whilst making T.O.F.U.?

Might sound a bit odd...but Me, I and Myself inspired me. :) I was my own target group as well, as is everyone in the new vegan community that is growing all the time.

6. Close your eyes for a minute and picture a scene with someone reading T.O.F.U. What kind of a person she is and where and how is she reading the magazine?
I picture a fun woman, who wants to stay young at heart and always has a smile on her face. She is dressed in her own individual fashion-oriented way and is living the vegan lifestyle or aspires to live it.
She would read the magazine in a café with a freshly juiced organic orange juice, at home on the couch with a cup of tea and a piece of raw chocolate. She would keep the magazine in her bag with all her fruits, ready to be read. T.O.F.U. is a magazine to enjoy over time, and each time you read it, you can discover something new.

7. What are the three best and the three worst things in trying to lead a sustainable vegan lifestyle?
The 3 best:
1. You feel wonderful with lots of energy.
2. The Karma is in balance - you give and you receive.
3. You lower your carbon footprint and help the environment

The 3 worst:
1. You can't close your eyes in front of the sometimes brutal reality anymore.
2. You might feel alone at times in the world that can be ignorant to all the pain that there is.
3. You are unfortunately still the minority...but this will change: veganism is the future!

8. What can T.O.F.U. give to
a) vegan fashionistas?

It will be your partner in crime and support you in your choices for cosmetics, fashion, food and animal love. Plus it gives you a way to connect with others.

b) someone who is not vegan?
It can inspire the non-vegan by showing how easy and fun the vegan lifestyle is by presenting the things in our lives in a trendy, fashion-oriented way.

9. Could you give a little sneak peek and share your favourite spread from T.O.F.U? Why is it your favourite?
It's difficult to choose my favourite spread, I love so many of them...in fact, I love the whole magazine!
Amongst others, this one is very dear to me. It shows how easy it is to make your own fruity and plant based vegan cosmetics. I made the pictures and had a fun day with Jeannette van Raaij, who is also a big inspiration to me.

For more sneak peeks, check Theorganicfashionutopia.com

10. Last but not least: could you recommend something to us?
I of course recommend supporting T.O.F.U. at We Make It (you can find it here)! By making a donation, you will also make sure that you will be able to read the magazine in spring. For the rest: I love the raw chocolate bars of Concious, mmm, and I am addicted to pink banana pudding that I eat almost every morning. Here's how to make it: put min. 5 bananas with frozen raspberries into a blender with some water, blend it and add some raw chocolate nibs, brazilian nuts and coconut flakes. It's pure heaven on the vegan earth :)! The book I read while eating this dream breakfast is "Angel Detox" by the fabulous Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves. More secrets of mine in the hopefully 2nd issue of T.O.F.U. Magazine!

Find out more about T.O.F.U. here and show your support at We Make It! 
You can also follow the magazine on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Feb 13, 2014

"Sometimes good things need to end for better things to begin"


Sad news: After growing from a small idea into Amsterdam's very own clothes swapping event, Krijg De Kleren's story has come to an end. We feel so honoured having met the great people behind the event and getting to be part of their venture. It is always sad to see great things disappear from a city's agenda, but we've no doubt that we will get to hear from the power behind Krijg De Kleren again in the future! Rock on!

However, there are also some good news: Krijg De Kleren's last edition will be held in Amsterdam (SSBA Salon at Leidseplein) this Sunday, the 16th of February. Join in with your clothes and swap your forgotten fashion pieces with other fashionistas! We and our ex-clothes are participating, too, so hope to see you there!

More information on Krijg De Kleren's Facebook page and the event's page.


Feb 12, 2014

Winter wonders


Fashion industry has spoken and the February issues of magazines have splashed pastel colours on their pages - the long mid-winter months are almost over and spring will start to show signs of arrival soon! However, despite the light spirits and baby tones in editorials, majority of us are still wrapped in winter coats and big scarves. Some love it, whilst others loathe it.

Now, if you have less than loving feelings towards the cold period of the year or are utterly fed up with your winter gear, here are a few nice things about winter fashions that can help you survive through a few more months:
Mittens, mittens, mittens!
Mittens keep your fingers warm, but they have other functions, too! Put your public transportation card inside your glove and ‘beeb’ yourself a trip easily without having to fiddle with your wallet. Tired of freezing in front of the door, looking for the keys that have been swallowed by your handbag? Attach a little pouch inside your mittens and keep your keys at hand – literally!

Pocket paradise
Winter wear is every guy’s dream, as most winter coats have plenty of pockets in them. Inside, outside and in well hidden places. You will have more places to put your napkins, lipsticks and combs without overfilling your bag. If you want to make your life really easy, prepare your winter coats by filling their pockets with all your necessities; you will never end up in desperation after having forgotten something! You can also hide candies inside your pockets to be unwrapped in an emergency. 
Note: Unless you want to turn yourself into a walking jar of chocolate spread, avoid melting candies and choose gummy bears instead. 

Don’t have enough pockets…? Make yourself more! 

Be a Matryoshka 
Here’s a different to layering: you know the elaborately painted Russian dolls inside a doll? Although layering is praised mostly for the practicality of keeping you warm, it is also a great way to reveal a sassy mini dress under a casual pullover-jeans combo under an ice skating outfit. Layering lets you do tons of different activities without having to worry about not wearing the right things. Besides, when everyone is wearing layers, someone is bound to feel warm and willing to borrow a scarf to a compadre who is cold.

Hat trick
This one is for those who A) like hats or B) have bad hair days or C) both. Wearing a hat is the easiest way to keep yourself warm (“You lose most heat from your head,” as the association of mothers’ states), but it is also a great way to spice up your outfit or help yourself worry less about what the wind will do to your hair. Winter is an ideal time to save a severe case of hair catastrophe with headwear, as people are going to be less likely to start wondering why you are wearing a hat indoors – trust me, it’s experience speaking here!

Everyday oddities
Babies with fuzzy hats. Toe socks. Dogs in sweaters. Onesies for adults. Do we need to say more?

Pssst...! We have dedicated an entire column to woollen socks and winter wonders. You can read it on the blog of Oh Marie magazine here.

Dec 21, 2013

When Santa gives you lemons

Ho ho ho, it’s that time of the year, when it is okay to have gingerbread for lunch and put up as many Christmas lights as we want without having to argue about how early is too early to bring out the decorations. It’s the time of the year, when we must again face the Mission (Almost) Impossible of making sure that our brothers, mothers, sisters, fathers, dogs, friends and cousins will all get a fair share of joy wrapped in colourful papers. The season is filled with cozy get-togethers around the Christmas tree, moments of laughter and many smiles, but also a few forced grins. “Gee, Auntie, this is...erm...awesome. Thanks.” Misfit gifts - they are the nuisance of the holidays and will be dumped to the back of people's closets never to be worn. Now, there are two things you can do:

1. Don't make it worse
Stop yourself before you drive yourself mad running around stores, trying to find something (or anything!) for your loved ones. If you don't have a faintest idea of what to give, then get your hands dirty with DIY and bake a tray of Christmas delicacies or write inside jokes on gingerbread cookies. The gift will feel much more personal than a random piece of soap bought from a random store, and cookies are sure to make anyone happy!

2. Learn to cope
When Santa gives you lemons, make lemonade. Read an article from Oh Marie-magazine written by our editor-in-chief Emmi and discover a few different ways of dealing with your misfit gifts.

Have a very merry Christmas y'all!

Nov 11, 2013

Dear Fashion Diary

Today we woke up to sunshine outdoors and limelight online: Amelia's Magazine, one of our all-time favourite indie mags, published an interview about the story behind the Dear Fashion Journal on their website today. Click here to read it!

But what is that book in the picture? Why is the article is titled "Dear Fashion Diary"...? Well,  Dear Fashion Diary is the latest project of Emmi (our editor-in-chief) and Laura de Jong, Emmi's friend and colleague and the founder of Free Fashion Challenge. Yes, it's a crime that we have not told you about the diary yet although it's been in stores world wide already since September, but before you call the police, give us a chance to tell you more about it now. (Better late than never, eh?)

Emmi and Laura met during their studies in the the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, and got to know each other during the Free Fashion Challenge when they spend a year without shopping. After the challenge, the girls decided to collaborate in hopes of inspiring others to discover the creativity of fashion outside the cycle of consumption. When Emmi started working on the Dear Fashion Journal, the girls started meeting up for brainstorm sessions in cafes, libraries and train stations. Time passed, the journal was published and it was time for something new. When BIS Publishers offered Emmi a chance to make a creative fashion diary, there was no doubt who she would ask to collaborate with her. So the girls kicked off a hectic period of 4 months, working during the days and leading a double life as book makers at night!

Next to their nearly identical names, Dear Fashion Diary and Journal share the same sustainable ideology: the better you know your personal taste and style, the smarter shopper you can become and the less impulsive, silly buys you will make. Whereas the journal is a magazine to read, the diary is an active DIY book that will let you document your fashion life, discover your taste and become your own style guru. It is your own personal collection of inspiration, leading you off the beaten tracks of fashion with over 50 creative assignments from making a wardrobe inventory to creating your own colour palette and analysing your signature items.

Dear Fashion Diary can be found in selected bookstores around the world and can also be ordered through Amazon or on the publisher's website here. In the UK, you can find it at Tate Modern, Podshop, Blackwells, Rizzoli Bookshop and Waterstones.

Curious to read more about the process behind the diary? Check Emmi's personal blog, where she wrote about the diary and the its launch event or follow the Diary on Facebook or Twitter!

Nov 2, 2013

Column: Dear holes

Are you a lazy fixer of loose buttons and holes on your clothes? No worries, for you are not the only one! Read the first "Dear..."-column of Emmi, our editor-in-chief, on Oh Marie! magazine, get a doze of Martha Stewart's DIY energy and grab that needle! 

Dear holes,


When it comes to fashion, I tend to stick to the safe side. I have made enough mistakes  to have learned what I like and what looks good on me (although these two don’t always go hand in hand). I say no to white jeans, to leggings and beige colours and welcome anything that is cozy, girly, dark blue or bronze with open arms! I can spend one honeymoon after another with my favourite outfits, wearing the same things in rotation for weeks until something forces me to change the routine. You know, having to do the laundry, dress according to what the weatherman says or change just for the sake of it, to prove yourself that the clothes aren’t glued on you. However, recently I have changed my personal dress code because of something else. Something very, very small that somehow ended up being an annoyingly big deal; a hole in my favourite cardigan! Combined with my utter laziness, that tiny rip has suddenly become the biggest factor in my daily choice of outfits. I don’t let trends dictate what I wear - I let holes do it instead! 
...read the rest here (in Dutch or English): Dear holes - Oh Marie!

PS. Already noticed that tab called "Free downloads" on top of the page...? Well, that's exactly what it is: a page for you to download stuff without any cost! Click the link and get a free illustrated darning guide for dummies, print it out, share it or send it to someone who needs a subtle hint!