Yelp @ Amsterdam Fashion Week: Tales Of The Unicorn

Yelp Amsterdam brings you: The Official Amsterdam Fashion Week 2013!
Fashionista's, designers, make up artists and fabric-lovers; from 18 till 27 January 2013 gives Amsterdam fashion a whole new meaning…  The part associated with Fashion Week is mostly 'Uptown'; it includes the famous "bravo, bravo" fashion shows, Champagne-sippin' stylists, supermodels, and all the fashion galore for people 'in the industry', which is not accessible for us Plain Janes & Regular Joes. BUT, and this concerns you dear Amsterdammer, there is also a part named AFW Downtown: fun events, special offers & discounts at local stores, fashion shows, and events available for everyone!  
Offers & Discounts throughout Amsterdam!

Let us inform you: As Yelp connects locals to great local businesses, Yelp Amsterdam has a special partnership with Amsterdam Fashion Week; The Yelp Community Manager Philippine W and the fabulous Elite Georgina P are exploring the city to report Downtown to you! Who do we meet, what are we doing and how can we 'regular, non-fashion-related Amsterdammers' experience the Amsterdam Fashion Week? What happens when you unleash us in Fashionland? If there was any a time to bring out our Yelp Amsterdam mascotte: it has to be now! The Yelp Unicorn represents, well basically anyone in the city. Yes, that also means you! We take this magical creature everywhere as though we were taking you, lovely, with us on our adventures. We have in store for you: a daily update of multiple events & our adventures in this blog; so you can read what Downtown is all about & decide if you'd like to join in on the fun. 

We're all unicorns… Join Us!

Friday 18.01CELEBRATE! The Official Openingparty

Day 1: "Ceeeeeelebrate good times, c'mon"! Oh, yes, we were soon to be part of 'Kool & the Gang' of the who-is-who in Amsterdam's Fashionland with a shiny invitation to the official Openingsparty of Amsterdam Fashion Week! Unicorn: check, camera: check, 22.30 sharp: check, we knocked on the guestlist's door, as we didn't want to be fashionably late.  Ehm yes, as it turned out, the rest of Fashionland was… Lesson learned: check. It was gezellig, it was fun! The atmosphere was very relaxed; a joyful bunch of people and not too fashionable so we didn't feel out of place. Just for the record, the theatrical show was amazing! And a little bit eerie: two poirots hanging from the ceiling, dancing with light-effects. Just sayin'… The music wasn't really our cup-of-tea in AIR 1, lovely band Daily Brand though, but mostly we hysterically danced to Doppelgang in AIR 2! And we wondered… will this look be sooo 2013? There were more striking outfits that we pondered: to trend or not to trend? We were actually hoping to see more excentric looking fahsionista's, artists, designers, or 'famous people'. Perhaps they will show themselves at SALUTE. Inspiration came to us in many ways: We spotted the local designers Jonathan & Marinde, who looked very 'fashionable' to us and stole our hearts. We named them "The Vexing Twins " for the rest of the evening. We saw some great (bows, bowties, retro earrings, shoes)- and not so great (milli vanilli & Texas belts)- looks and we realised: we can relax… There were lots of 'studs' / 80s-inspired accessoires, and sequins. Do you have some sparkling 80s-looking accessoiries in your wardrobe? Then you're ready for 2013
CELEBRATE! Wild night…

Downtown Weekend 19-20 January

"It's a beautiful daaay"! AFW app downloaded: check, bicycles: check. Excited? CHECK! Let's see what AFW-Oud-Zuid has got to offer today… First Stop: College Hotel for the PETITE Fashion for Kids. Soooo adorable! I never expected that I would enjoy it as much as I did; overall children and me are not the best of friends. But. This. Was. Fun! Little soon-to-be-models showing clothing from Oilily and ByKyra and giving it their best. Seriously a recommendation for all you parents, well this might appeal more to the women; go have coffee with your girlfriends in style, there are nannies who can look after your little ones, there's a playroom and enjoy children's fashion wear with your kids. For all you Toddlers & Tiara-moms: you can also have your daughter enter the fashion show. Just sayin'… Afterwards, it was time for the Goodiebag-Quest! So many shops (about 60!) were offering a special discount/offers/goodiebag, so we had to make choices; if you want to act truly Dutch, you need a structured tour. We started at the Beethovenstraat; picked up the goodiebags from DA Boogaard & Douglas (lovely angel in the store), had some Starbucks Coffee (recharge) and followed our way to Inglot for the make up workshop! You could get a full make-up-make-over and have professional, amazingly looking photos taken. For free! While discussing tips 'n' tricks for applying eyeliner, my eyes wondered off to an amazingly looking woman in a bright, blue jumpsuit. As it turns out, it's Astrid Elisee! You can buy her 100% silk jumpsuits with 20% discount which, in my head, equals 200% I-want-it-modus. While we were chatting away, guess what?! I'm going to wear one of her designs this Saturday! So. Check. Me. Out at the Vodafone Firestarters… Ok, getting ahead of ourselves.

Feeling luxurious, feeling beautiful (thank you Inglot), off to see the Conservatorium Hotel and what better place than to step into the sparkling world of jewelry? Bonebakker hosted a special event with High Fashion Travel and Piet Paris! We met the founder, Helen, and spoke about her concept: organizing exclusive fashion travels, e.g. to Florence, with going backstage to fashionshows, going to well know fashion houses, and learn from craftsmen. Later when I grow up, I want to Travel High Fashion. We also got to know more about Piet, who is one of the fashionworld's greatest illustrators for 20 years already! Needless to say, we regular-non-fashion-related Amsterdam girls weren't aware of that we were talking to 'fashion celebrities'… They were both so kind and friendly! Fashion people are awesome! Full stop. Time flies, so we swiftly flew off to the Grand Marnier Pop Up Catwalk and Models on Ice. All we could think: "Beautiful girls, beautiful clothes but MY aren't they freezing"?! Poor girls… Back to the Conservatorium Hotel for the special Amsterdam Fashion Week cocktail! They look pretty girly but I can tell you; they're strong ones. *Sigh*. What a day… Never knew that running around town, getting loads of things for free, meeting so many genuinly, nice, and creative people, buying new clothes (sorry joined bank account) turned out to be so inspiring! 
Downtown Saturday. Fascinating!

Snowy Sunday 20.01

"Let it snow, let it snow", ooooh behold: snowy Sunday! Frost, flakes, or slipperly slopes, couldn't stop our newly discovered pasjon for fasjon. It did make it a bit more difficult though… As many Amsterdam unicorns, we also didn't feel truly safe on our bikes. First stop: looking at the Zohra Murad designs at the Hampshire Beethoven Hotel. The designs look stunning, don't get us wrong, but there are only 2 dresses on display. Fan of Zohra? Then definitely check out her designs in real life. Not much of a fan? Nah, then you don't miss much. The catwalk show at Claudia Sträter was fun, although it was a bit uncomfortable to watch; outside, the snow falls and a lovely girl shows summer wear… We've noticed bright colours, such as orange, pink, and yellow for this summer. Hmmm not sure how my complexion feels about this, perhaps I need to skip this trend. Alice told us all about her brand Colori, what's in a name? Colours, shoes & bags in lots and lots of colours. We poured ourselves another glass of Prosecco, hopped onto our bikes and we felt the need to explore the PC Hooftstraat, how's that for luxury?! Shoebaloo had some cool vintage clothing for us to look at! Unfortunately, we were late for the Breakfast & Champagne at Azzurro, but we did get to pick their brain about their vision on the trends for summer 2013; apparently, not much has changed so you can proudly wear your brigthly coloured prints & neon this summer. "The P.C." equals LVMH-Gucci-Pucci-madness. Will I ever be able to buy items here? Well, Dr Adams might not sound fancy compared to the Big Names, they do offer 20% extra discount this week! New shoes with 70% off! HA! Sorry joined bank account no.2, we're keeping it Dutch… Last stop: VLVT for the Panty Droppa, with Brown Hill, Roan & MC Shockwave. More bubbles, music, a little dancing, and we completely forgot about snow! Great day for the unicorn! We would definitely recommend the stores that offer discounts, as most of the stores have SALE anyway, it's a great way to expand your wardrobe for less! And if you want to buy new items… Just sayin'. 
Snowy Sunday 

Downtown 21.01: Let's Talk Business 

"Monday Blues", the
working life has begun again… YELP NEWS! The Amsterdam Fashion Week also has
! And here I was, thinking it was 'just' Uptown and Downtown…
There's a third party involved here ladies & gentlemen, and let me tell
you: three is NOT a crowd
… The Business Programme has several workshops,
lectures and talkshows that take place during AFW throughout the city and are open for anyone to join. Aim? To
connect fashion with commerce and entrepreneurs with aspiring students. So let's talk business of the past few days! 'Fashion
' at MMousse sounded like combining my two
favourite things in the whole wide world: eating & talking. And that on a Monday… A group of
girls (for obvious reasons) gathered at the lovely venue, situated right behind
the Nieuwmarkt. Maud, one of the founders of MMousse gave an inspiring speech about their vision, aims, and goals and I must say; pretty clever ladies. Most notably as they have a swing in their office (let out your 5-year-old you) and mix in Yoga classes at the office, to keep the bodies / mind / and soul happy. Speaker #2, Emilie Sobel –– was really captivating; a witty, open, honest girl, with great work ethic we'd like to add. As we Dutchies say, "niet lullen, maar poetsen". There's another
'fashion bites' this Friday, so if you're interested, drop by! Look at these amazing photos, made by Joey de Leeuw. The Business Programme events of AFW are very interesting for, well seriously everyone. It's about learning from each other, sharing experiences, sharing ideas & tips how to grow your business, meet people etc. And yes, it's related to the fashion industry (see Daring Designers for example), but we think that it can be useful for all the Amsterdam unicorns if you're open to learn. Just check it out!

Daring Designers  

Off to the Piet Heinkade, Pakhuis de Zwijger! Oh yes, the Unicorn travels from left to right, up and down to report. The lecture 'Daring Designers' was all about informing students about being succesful (as in: make money) with your own fashion label. We thought Sjaak Hullekes was spot-on and we found his message striking; Dutch designers can have a somewhat misplaced arrogance and an attitude that turning your label profitable or more 'commercial' for a bigger audience, is not renouncing your principles or your own label. You have to think about 1) what's your own style and which 'big names' & fashion houses resembles that style. 2) Go to stores that sell that brand and look at the prices, if they sell garment in a particular price range, your items should aslo be in that price range otherwise it won't necessarily sell. Then you can calculate backwards and look at the options (hours of work put in + producers + fabric + accessoires) you can use, to fit that price range. And 3), Go abroad. The Netherlands is very small country, there's a limited group of people that are willing to spent €€€€ on their wardrobe and they don't always want to spend it on your garments. Designers are, needless to say, very artistic and creative but you need a concrete business approach in making your label profitable. GO Sjaak GO! And might we add, what a charming, endearing man he is! Truly lovely! Oh and we fell in love with the designs from Allan Vos! Theatrical, edgy, different, yet so wearable! Please, please, pretty Allan please, let us know when we can wear that amazing white-puffed-sleeved-blouse of yours. It's made for Unicorns… The photos of the Allan Vos designs (photos in the top left corner of the collage) are made by Team Peter Stigter, all rights & props to them! 
Daring Designers

Thrilling Thursday! 

Another day of Downtown pleasure mixed with a little bit of Uptown delight! Koko organized a fashion show; this amazingly cute shop is excellent for coffee, bananacake, and shopping for unique pieces from local designers… So naturally they needed to have a show during Fashion Week! A row of chairs was set from the back to the front (everyone sat 'front row' LOVED it), and the models / music / make up was impressive. While sipping on our Fiol, feeling fabulous, we almost forgot to run of to our first, official Uptown show! Wow, Fashion Violence: this is what we expected, and hoped for: Lots of extravagant outfits / shoes / accessoires / hairdos / everything! And the beauty of it, as I experienced, it doesn't really matter what you're wearing! We have to admit, we were a bit nervous… What do we wear? How are we going to blend in with the 'hip', fashion crowd? But let me tell you: we didn't feel pressured at all, as everything can look 'fashionable' and the crazier the better. So when you're going Uptown, dress as you like. Because you can! The show we watched was SIS, by Spijkers & Spijkers. We would describe it as: Preppy-Western-while-listening-to-Elvis… Yes, well, describing fashion shows isn't that easy we can tell you, however we think we're the right direction we think. Or click here to see for yourself :).

One of the BEST Downtown experiences we had -hands down- was the event organized by Kade 43: Unlock Your Personal Style. They had the lovely Andy playing the piano and singing, they had wine & snacks, and here it comes… Ladies, this one's for you: They had the 'colorist' Adinda in, who showed which colours are good for your complexion and which not. So, you sat in front of a mirror, she held up different shades and fabric next to your face and she explained which work and -also good to know – which didn't… Then you were sent off to the stylist Suuz Bisschops; she discussed your figure, forms and what really works for your body. Do we want to know ladies, Yes. We. Do. She dressed you with the different designers & clothing in the store, making you look fabulous. Third, you were sent off to the photographer to have exraordinary photos taken of yourself and let's be honest, we all want to have beautiful of ourselves. Seriously, what a brilliant event! We floated outside the store with regained knowledge; I need 'warm' tones, 50s dresses or anything that shows off the curves, and bright lipstick. No worries m'Kade43 dears, I am on it! The top 4 photos were made by the lovely Cristina Stolan!
Thrilling Thursday