Filed under: Shopping Safaris

Benelux Beckons: Amsterdam Fashion Week


Dara at Amsterdam Fashion Week’s opening bash.

There’s a booming fashion scene beyond New York, Paris, Milan and London. Case in point: Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW) kicked-off their fifth season in July ‘06 at the ultra cool Westergasfabriek (a.k.a. former Gas Works).


a model strutting down the catwalk

Housed in a tented in-door space (a baby-sized version of New York’s Bryant Park), a bevy of international stylists, editors (including the Fashion Junkie) and buyers filled stadium seats to preview dozens of catwalk shows, seminars (100 years of Dutch Fashion), workshops, parties, film screenings, trade shows and fashion exhibitions. Some Dutch designers that should be on your radar screen: G-star, Mart Visser Collection, Hans Ubbink, Blue Blood, Percy Irausquin, Daryl van Wouw, Emily Hermans, Der Kommissar and Edwin.


a Dutch diva dressed in a local designer

The cool quotient continued with a week-long series of “Laundry Days” shopping events held at hip retail spots throughout the City. Participating shop window displays were decorated with funky Laundry Days logos and some of the latest Dutch fashion designs. For those who missed out on the scene, a free “Fashion Weekly” newspaper was distributed everywhere.

Photography  Photography © Michael Thieberg

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Filed: Amsterdam, Shopping Safaris

Benelux Beckons: De Kaaskamer

  • De Kaaskamer
  • best cheese shop In the city
  • Runstraat 7, Amsterdam
  • 31-(0)-20-623-3483

Gouda For You!

This small (and stinky) shop carries over 400 mouth-watering varieties of cheese from the Netherlands (mmm… gouda) to Norway. Make sure you don’t miss out on the freshly baked baguette sandwiches that are stuffed with the perfect ratio of meat-to-cheese. 

Photography  Photography © Michael Thieberg

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Filed: Amsterdam, Shopping Safaris

Benelux Beckons: Vleminckx Sausmeesters

  • Vleminckx Sausmeesters
  • best frituur stand
  • Voetboogstraat 31, Amsterdam (just off the Spui)
  • Mon-Sat. 11am-6pm, Sun. 12pm-5:30pm
  • $2 Euros per portion
  • Click here for a store map!

Best Frituur Stand

In business since 1887, Vleminckx Sausmeesters make no small potatoes about the art of making French fries. Purveyors of the best Belgian-style frites on the planet, head straight to the back of the line before even thinking about stuffing your face with their artery-clogging, paper-cone filled concoctions. Within minutes, you’ll be the proud recipient of an over-sized portion (available in medium and large only) that’s seared to perfection. Then, sink your choppers into consistently crispy, golden brown strands smothered in salt and super thick mayonnaise (choose from over 30 flavors). Buyers beware: for only $2 Euros a portion, we guarantee you’ll be back for seconds… and thirds…

Photography  Photography © Michael Thieberg

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Filed: Amsterdam, Shopping Safaris

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Benelux Beckons: Cora Kemperman

Dutch designer, Cora Kemperman, has been whipping up wearable works of art for the past decade. Famous for dramatic, multi-layered silhouettes like the signature (meter-wide) “falda” skirt, her frocks are fluid, feminine and frequently combined with Indian-infused elements like sequins, beaded embroidery and gold jacquards. Your best bets for the season: jet black bubble skirts, white blouses accented with ruffles, wide-legged, pin-striped pant suits and stunning Kimono-inspired tops. With stores solely in Belgium and the Netherlands, you’d be foolish to ponder over any purchase.

Photography  Photography © Cora Kemperman

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Filed: Amsterdam, Shopping Safaris

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Benelux Beckons: Kitsch Kitchen

This kitschy home décor hideaway is akin to stumbling upon a foreign supermarket during an acid trip… sans food. What you will salivate over is the candy-colored collection selection of swirl-y and sparkly knick-knacks for adults and kids. Picture a mind-numbing selection of miniature metallic windmills, plastic Popsicle holders, fruit-patterned luggage, paper Lanterns, patio sets, umbrellas, wacky wrapping paper, toy animals, kaleidoscope key chains, beach balls and floral-painted wrenches. Peruse the top floor for an equally amusing assortment of custom-designed furniture and hand-painted ceramics.

Photography  Photography © Michael Thieberg

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