Defining style

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Photos by me and my mum

I can't believe that it is over two years now since my style has radically changed. Many have asked me what influenced this change, I became interested in minimalism and realized that I felt many connections with designers/artists who specialize in this field. I reduced my closet from three to one and got rid of all the trend driven items I had bought over the years. I replaced these items with timeless pieces and I haven't changed a thing since then. When I first started to gravitate towards minimalism I was mostly inspired by designers who explored minimalism in shapes, in a way that wasn't restricted to the usual categories of gender. Before my transition into minimalism my style was very feminine and as time progressed I started to return to femininity but then within minimalism. Nowadays I prefer accentuating my femininity especially now that I'm working out more regularly. Funny thing is that people think that once you commit to a specific style you will basically look the same year after year. Fact is, you are much more aware of what defines your style and simply play around that concept. 

Embracing the new

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Wearing: Zara top and skirt

We are past the first week of September and I couldn't love this month more. It's the month where I get to enjoy the September issues of magazines, plan projects for next season and celebrate new collections with many others. As much as I love looking forward, reality is that we slowly have to transition to fall and as mentioned in my previous post I always reinvent items from last season into the new season. Luckily the weather has been fine lately, a slight summer breeze and lower temperatures, perfect to pair long sleeved tops with skirts. Today I wore one of my favorite shirts from last season, to me it has this Celiné-esque vibe and to others it may look like a straitjacket. But again, the most important thing when it comes to personal style is that you feel comfortable in all the things you wear. You should wear what you like and like what you wear.

Modesty

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Bustier H&M trend, belt Zara, bracelet COS, pants Zara.

I honestly can not remember the last time I wore a belt. Even though I like functional dressing, belts never seem to be on my radar. Aside from the fact that I didn't need them (I often wear skirts and my jeans are too tight to breath anyway) I simply never found a belt that I found aesthetically pleasing. While shopping for a photo shoot I came across this belt in the sale section. At the time I only bought it because it suited the concept of the shoot perfectly and until today it was hanging in my styling closet. As we all know, I'm not afraid to repeat an outfit so I simply wore my favorite top and loose pants combined with the belt. I honestly felt like I was wearing something completely new and I think that it is exactly the beauty of minimalism. Finding simplicity.

This is what it feels like

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Photo by Dajanara Josura

Until a few days ago we all thought we had to transition into fall a lot sooner then expected. Luckily September started better then ever and now we can take advantage of the last summer days. Still we are all preparing for fall and as a vivid lover of summer, I know it is never easy. As soon as fall hits I miss the sun glowing on my skin and leaving the house in skirts without tights. Because I know that I'm definitely not the only one who has difficulties to transition into fall I thought it would be a great idea to what works for me. First things first, when summer is over I always go through my wardrobe, all items that aren't suitable for the new season I will temporarily remove from my closet. This will give you an overview of the items you own and could wear for the new season. After I will go through things that inspire me, which can be anything from magazines to music and more. By looking into my sources of inspiration I can visualize how I want to transition into a new season. As a stylist I'm obviously up to date when it comes to the latest trends and shows but these usually do not effect my personal style much. Sometimes it is even more inspiring to look back in time. After I will create a list of items that I do not own yet and will wear after the new season as well. I find it very important to invest in items that are timeless, season after season. This might be the main reason why I do not pay much attention to trends when it comes to my personal style. Aside from a list of items I would like to purchase I also think of items I could design myself since high street brands do not always offer what I want. Once I feel completely ready for the new season I sometimes even look forward to different temperatures so I can wear my favorite new and existing items. Which reminds me, for all my Dutch readers who would like to hear more about how to prepare for the new season, make sure to check out RTL4 tomorrow during Koffie Tijd which airs at 10:00. There I will discuss upcoming trends and my favorite items for fall. 

All you need is less

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Photos by Dajanara Josura

As you all may know, I have always mentioned that basics are the base of a timeless wardrobe. Recently I bought some new basics, among them a ribbed tank top with low back which immediately reminded me of my love for the '90s. Many women ask me how to combine basic items without feeling like a plain jane. What works for me, aside from attention to detail by delicate jewelry or special fabrics, is accentuating my femininity. As far as I can remember I have always worn high waisted jeans/skirts, basically almost everything I own is high waisted. What I find most intriguing about high waisted garments are the points where they accentuate the body. They slim the waist and accentuate the hips and behind. Especially in combination with a pair of heels. Aside from that they are very comfortable. Again, when you are working with bascis look for things that intrigue you, this can vary from fabrics to finishing or color. Also search for garments that make you feel good about yourself and your body. Once you find the garments that work for your figure you will automatically feel special. If you are going somewhere special or you simply want to feel a bit more dressed up, combine these basics with your favorite statement pieces.

To embrace

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Today I celebrate the day I was born. To me this days stands for growth and acceptance. After 23 years I can finally say that I have found my true self and have accepted everything that came with it. I have been wanting to talk about this subject for a while and I guess now is the right time. When I was about the age of 12 there were so many things I wanted to change about myself. I constantly compared myself to others and even though nobody noticed I didn't have much self confidence, let alone self acceptance. Which is I guess normal about that age since you are hitting puberty and basically question everything. When I say change, I mean physical changes such as bigger breasts (very cliché). I simply didn't accept myself as I was and getting to a point has been quite a journey. Describing that journey will costs me my fingers since it's too long to write about. However, this got me thinking. If I was having issues at that time, how are others girls that age feeling right now? With social media becoming part of our everyday life girls are constantly confronted with images of other women. Some blogs emphasize materialism and some sort of perfection. And I'm not innocent either. I take good care of myself and do care how I look. However I constantly remind myself and others that there is more than that. Truth is, none of us are perfect. And yes you have heard this about a billion times before but it is true. And you know why none of us are perfect? Because we all have something that makes us unique. My forever designers bags under my eyes and small breast are part of me. There is no one, sure I might have a look a like somewhere on this planet, but there is no one like me. Same goes for you. For me, confidence starts by stopping to compare yourself with others. Sure it is not easy but you can never accept who you are if you desire to be something or someone else. I could have worn a couture dress (who am I kidding, I can't afford it) and talked about my plans for this day but instead I felt this urge to speak from the heart and share this with you. I believe that what I have learnt over the years and having the opportunity to share is much more valuable then a few photos and small text with no meaning. Let's all celebrate this day embracing everything about ourselves (the good and the bad) and continue doing this tomorrow. And the next day.
Life is beautiful and so are you.

Signature lines

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Photos by me and my mum

One of my most frequent questions I receive online are always about my photography. Since life is all about sharing knowledge I decided to dedicate this post to my tips and tricks when it comes to photography. To start at the beginning, invest money in a good camera and some lenses. Second, invest time to learn about your camera and photography. A good camera won't provide editorial worthy images by its self, you have to know what you are doing. Since a year or two I have been photographing with a Nikon D7000 and mostly shoot with two lenses (50mm or 85mm). People are always surprised when they hear that most of my photos are shot in the Netherlands, especially if they look at the architectural lines found in my photos. Photography for me, is all about compositions. If I could give anyone a tip it would be to try different angles, you will be amazed of the photos you will receive. It takes time and experimentation to create an signature in photography so above, all be patient.

The finest things

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Photo by me

Whenever someone visits my home one of the first things they ask is if they could see my closet. Funny thing is everyone seems to be so surprised when I show them what I own, which is one closet who I share with my man. Fact is, he has more clothes then I do. The next thing people wonder and often ask is how I can look so different on a day to day basis. Truth is (I have been living by this for years) reinvention is key. I invest in garments and accessories that are timeless and versatile. Since I often get the question how to recognize or select these pieces I thought I would share my tips here. Obviously the first thing that gravitates me towards a garment is the cut and style. However this doesn't mean I'm immediately sold. One of the main things I value when it comes to clothing is material. I rather not buy something that will fall apart after a few months. There are many materials when it comes to design and when it comes to my wardrobe I often buy clothing in materials such as cotton, wool, silk and leather. I will dedicate a separate post on materials soon. Aside from the materials I also pay attention to craftsmanship. How are the seams, zippers and buttons. This is also very important when it comes to buying new things. Last but not least I ask myself if I would wear this garment years from now and if the design is timeless. Color plays a role in this too even though I only buy things in black and white, there are many different shades when it comes to these colors. For example I hardly buy anything that isn't crispy white especially because sometimes whites can fade a bit. Some thing goes for accessories, I hardly buy jewelry in high street stores since they discolor and leave my skin with green spots. Rather I look for things that are delicate and in sterling silver such as this necklace I recently got. It's a perfect adjustment to my exciting collection, the bracelet I bought last season can still be found around my wrist daily.

Not long now

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Necklace COS, Top Mango, Skirt Zara

Every time I start with the sentence 'it has been a while' I feel like I'm repeating myself. But yes it has been a while but as you all know chasing your dreams doesn't come easily. Past week I have worked on three shoots (squeezed into one weekend) and on improving my website, logo and more. I couldn't be more happy to have the freedom to work on this but it does mean I have to manage my time as best as I can. I will be working on an editorial calendar as well to make the updates here more regular. For daily updates you can also follow me on instagram by the username ilankaverhoeven. 

Time passes

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Wearing Zara dress, COS bracelet

We should never take for granted what we have. We are able to live our dreams and enjoy the little things in life. Nothing comes easy but we are able to see the world and we simply should never forget how precious it is that we are here.