a little sneak peek of what I’m up to…
Posted in paris: made by hand July 31st, 2009 by piablog


… and a clue: it has something to do with the book.

I will show + tell all next week. Happy weekend mes cher amis. Be as free as you can be… eat blueberries, smile, and laugh. These are all good things for the soul.

Thanks for all the fun this week, I hope you’ve had fun too.

inspiration from my trash folder…
Posted in pia's photos July 31st, 2009 by piablog


Yesterday I opened my trash folder to check if I had accidentally thrown out an image I was looking for and when I opened it I was inspired! There were pretty plum and amber images everywhere, in little pint-sized versions, making a lovely moodboard. So I captured the file before emptying, and made this little collection for you above. It also includes some cryptic clues as to what I am working on at the moment. Those of you on my facebook page have been getting little clues already, so perhaps you might guess this time. I’m still debating with myself to keep it secret, or just tell you! I know some of you like surprises, but this one is so hard to keep quiet, it really really wants to burst free!


PS It’s Friday. I love Fridays.

cloth creatures for Orange Babies…
Posted in amsterdam, photographers, recent work July 30th, 2009 by piablog

A few months ago House of Orange asked if I would help out with one of their ideas for the Tribute to Orange Babies fashion event which was held last Sunday. The concept involved a ‘reverse goodie bag’ of sorts – so instead of people coming to the fashion show and leaving with a goodie bag, they would donate a piece of clothing which would go into ‘goodie bags’ that would be sent to the children in Africa. How cool is that?

So, the idea was to make some photographs displaying the kids clothes that were to be donated. The photographer Hans, fashion stylist Sabine, and I sat down to brainstorm some ideas about what we could make. We came up with an idea of creating a mini set with children giving away their clothes in bundles, like little gifts. We decided to use African fabric as a backdrop, and to make some fun creatures and objects out of the clothes. Then we thought it might be nice to have the kids draw something for the African children, and we would somehow incorporate the drawing into their photo and make little postcard-like images. Hans later added a polaroid look to the images…


Off to work I went, trying to think up how I could make creatures out of clothes without damaging the clothes at all. Tricky huh! I decided to start with some simple ball shapes – I made piles of clothes and then began to wrap them up tightly into balls with thick, colorful cotton thread. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped until I was happy with the shape and size of each ball.

Then I got a bit more creative. I made a big bunny of sorts by stuffing left over wadding I had in my cupboard into little pants to make floppy ears. Then I made a head by putting the wadding into a stripey t-shirt and wrapping the thick thread around the base and top. I attached the floppy ear shapes to the head by binding the ends tightly together. I added a little white fabric flower to the head to make it ‘pretty’. I made the rest of the body the same way and soon, I had a funny looking bunny creature that I was rather fond of…


…it turned out to be a rather windy day when we were on set (which was the ijburg beach), but lots of fun. Hans and Sabine had rounded up friends with kids so we had lots who were willing to get in front of the camera and strut their stuff! I love working with kids – they are so natural and perfect in every way – no matter what they do, where they look or how they sit, they’re always gorgeous.

In the end I made all sorts of things like balls, flags, bunnies and I even grabbed a windsurf board from the local surf school and wrapped the clothes and thread around it! The boys loved that one.

After the kids had their photo taken we gave them a piece of paper and coloured markers and they sat down and made a drawing. Here is a little poster of all the images together…


I really like the images as little promo cards. I hope they come in handy for Orange Babies, and I hope the children in Africa get all those fab clothes soon. I even saw some tiny white KLM slippers that were donated! So sweet. And tiny flip flops too. Oh, playing with all those baby clothes did make me a wee bit clucky, but what’s new. :-)


all photographs by hans van brakel for orange babies.

Amsterdam International Fashion Week: A Tribute to Orange Babies…
Posted in amsterdam, fashion July 29th, 2009 by piablog

orangebabies3 photographs copyright Peter Stigter

Do you remember a little while ago I mentioned I was working on something fun for an upcoming event and I needed lots of kids clothes? Here is the post for a quick recap if you need it.

The event was the last catwalk show of the Amsterdam Fashion Week. It was a special show called “A Tribute To Orange Babies” created by the incredibly talented team of agents, photographers, stylists, make-up artists and models at the styling agency I am represented by – House of Orange – in celebration of its charity department called Orange Babies which has been successfully raising funds and awareness for children in Africa for the past 10 years. The show was held last Sunday at 9pm.

And boy, was it a hit!

The tent was packed. It appeared everyone who was ‘anyone’ of the Amsterdam fashion scene was there. I even had someone remark to me that this was the place to be right now. Wow!

So what was a non-fashiony gal like me to wear to such an event? It was the first time I had even been to a fashion show. I wore my skinny black organic cotton jeans, tall(ish)black heels, a simple shoe-string strapped white singlet tucked in. And. Well, that’s it! I decided to go without accessories – that was to be my fashion statement for the night. While some of you may shriek that I went accessory-less, I promise you I did do my hair, and I wore makeup – two extraordinarily special things for me to do for any event.

The night was a great success and I walked out inspired ever more by what one can do with recycled things. You all know how passionate I am about this topic.

Anyway, each styling team for each runway creation was stunning. Some of my faves were:

The deconstruction of tailoring, by Nick Foss and Rene Vandebeld: of which 10 or so rather dazzling specimens of the opposite sex walked out in gorgeous reconstructed/deconstructed men’s suits. Beautiful.

Silhouettes, construction bound and found by Caroline Fuchs, Maarten Spruyt, and Kevin Power: 8 human-like creatures dressed in recycled baskets as hats and shoes, old lamp shades as skirts, macrame plant hangers as headpieces, recycled plastic bodices, pampas grass, old pillows… an amazing collection of recycled wares made into art fashion. It was dreamy.

orangebabies4 photographs copyright Peter Stigter

Little Time, Little Money: a non-stop runway of models in perfectly styled second hand clothes. Totally inspiring.

Yvette and I rather loved that front number – aren’t the colours beautiful together? also the hair. and makeup – it was all gorgeous. Photograph Peter Stigter

At the end of the show there were credits on the screen, and I was chuffed to see my name up there in lights! So what did I do exactly? Well, it has nothing to do with the catwalk, but everything to do with making something fun for Orange Babies. I’ll show you in the next post…

thank you for the mention: Real Living magazine…
Posted in paris: made by hand July 29th, 2009 by piablog


I was wrapped when deputy editor Natalie Walton (who also writes the fab daily imprint blog) of Real Living magazine told me recently that my little book was featured in their ‘fave finds’ section of the august issue which is out now! wowsers. I never expected the book to get so much attention. It’s just a little book, after all.

Thank you Real Living!