From Amsterdam.


In the tradition of the super-tall Dutch, meet Sylvia van der Klooster! This model-turned-designer of leather handbags was sublimely layered this past weekend when I ran into her in the Village.

Note the different textures in her various layers and the elite use palate. What I really want to point out is how she achieves a sense of fresh creativity in part by avoiding the colour black. Quick tangent: I often ask people who tend to wear black all of the time what prevents them from opening up the gradient a little, and though the standard answer I get is usually something like, “black is easy,” I’ve come to understand that nobody wants to admit that they’re too afraid to make a mistake or don’t know how to choose a brighter set of colours for their wardrobe. If you fall into this camp, pay close attention to the details on Sylvia (below) and adhere to a couple of easy rules the next time you go clothes shopping:

1. Find a colour you like (or sits well on you) that isn’t black, grey or navy, but a colour that also matches with whichever of the aforementioned three you have plenty of in your closet already.

2. Find two other colours that work well to accent the new colour you’re getting into. Use your primary color for things like shirts, pants or skirts (but not all at once), and use the other 2 colours for accenting items like scarves, undershirts or frames for glasses. If your primary colour is being invested on a jacket, subordinate everything else accordingly.

3. Keep looking until you find something you know you’ll wear. Stay patient and consider that fashion with a good foundation is a marathon race.

4. Here’s an excellent style rule that’s been around for ages: Always try to wear 2, but no more than 3 colours at once. This is perhaps the easiest rule to help break out all of you monochrome readers out there. Fashion is supposed to be fun; style is supposed to be you. The closer the two are in harmony, the better energy you’ll receive from others!

As for Sylvia, now if I could only get her to meet Isabelle and Roos, we could get a Dutch TV remake of Charlie’s Angels.

Alas, a boy can dream . . .