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.

The bodysuit

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Every once in a while you find a garment that you simply can't resist buying twice, in this case in black and white. A bodysuit is such a classic item and for me, it's the perfect basic for summer. I wear it with anything, a pencil skirt, pair of wide trousers, jeans and shorts. If the fabric was suitable for the beach I would wear it as a bathing suit as well. What are your favorite items for summer?

Simplicity

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Summer is finally approaching. A season when fabrics are softer and lighter, styles are looser and in general dressing becomes much easier. However, when it comes to my summer essentials - aside from simple shirts and skirts - I wear a lot of form fitting garments. Especially this year, where I somehow feel the need to accentuate femininity like I did years before.

Abstract forms

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It has been a bit quiet around here, those who follow me on instagram know that the past few weeks I have been very busy with graduating, moving and taking care of my mother who recently got surgery. I happily graduated last week and moved into our first apartment the next day. My mother is doing better and I'm slowly getting back to a regular routine. Over the years I have build a reputation of shoe hoarder, especially of shoes that most people consider to be far from regular. It started around the age of 15, despite my length I wanted to wear heels and bought my first pair of pumps of approximately 12cm. Years later after finding my unique signature, I have become very selective when it comes to my shoes. There are a few things I look for in shoes, they should be timeless but also have something unique. Comfort.. Well most of the times that is my least concern. If I'm attracted to a shoe nothing can stop me. Not even dead toes.

To choose

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Wearing: Top and skirt by my mum

As my graduation is approaching I have been thinking constantly of my future. In the second year of my study I finally knew what I really wanted and since then I have been working hard to improve my skills to get to where I want to be. Over the years I have analyzed my vision and crafted into a strong signature. Ever since I have been holding on to this, as I believe that a vision should be cherished and stimulated at all times. And yes there are times that I doubt myself and even sabotage situations out of fear for something new. Nevertheless I learn from every situation and with this knowledge (that we often stand in our own way to success) I believe I can go further. Building up a career is never easy, especially in the fashion industry where you have to invest a lot of time and money before you can live of what you love to do the most. However, I couldn't see myself doing anything else than what I do now, working as a stylist gives me great satisfaction and I will do everything to accomplish my goals. My vision, my story will be told.