Sunday 18 November 2012

Amsterdam Designer Studio

Well what a weekend I have had.  I mentioned in my last blog post I had been invited to go and visit a famous Design studio in Amsterdam, and my dear sewing friend Sigrid came along with me.

As you can see from the pictures below we went to visit the design studio of Viktor and Rolf.

You would walk past this building without having any knowledge what was hidden behind a very inconspicuous sign, and if you didn't know the address,  you wouldn't even know it was there.

The building itself has lots of history behind it, and we entered through a small door into wonderful marble lined walls and floor.  We were guided up an impressive staircase that would look at home in any palace,  and taken to see where the design team create the designs for the new collection using CAD technology.  For each garment there were lots and lots of mood boards with different variations of the same garment, waiting for approval by the famous gentlemen.

Top left hand corner picture shows fabrics laid out on the floor, and we were informed that many many hours are spent selecting the fabric for each garment.  Lisa our guide told us that some fabrics cost €100's and that one particular garment had a production cost €800 just to make the garment, without the cost of the fabric, designers, and shop mark-up.

Viktor and Rolf make miniature size dolls of their outfits and you can see on the back wall photographs of these dolls.  Bottom right is a section of the area the machinists work in. All but one machine had "do not touch" marked on them, except one which had "Intern machine" written on it.  This did make me smile.

Below is a photograph of Lisa and I taken by Sigrid in the Board Room of V&R - tough gig!!!

Lisa was very busy working on the current collection so didn't have time to go for lunch with us so we thanked her for her hospitality and headed across the road because we noticed a cute little shop that sold buttons - check out the door knobs.

The shop had 100's of buttons in it and many of them were vintage buttons and I spent €20 on the set you see in the picture below.

Our next destination was the famous Kantjeboord.  Let me tell you after the excitement of V&R, then the button shop, by the time we left Kantjeboord I was exhausted.  I had purchased some lace from one of the girls from our sewing weekend and I took the samples with me, so it was a case of looking for the lycra, elastics, ribbons bows etc to match the lace I had bought - this in itself took quite a lot of time and really made me appreciate the time Sigrid has spent find these things for me in the past (thank you).  I did find some very pretty lace that I couldn't resist and they also gave us a small pack of lace as a gift for being such a good customer.  I can't tell you how much I spent.... boy it adds up and thankfully Sigrid had some spare Euros in her purse to make up the shortfall in my own purse.  I can't say I will not want to go back to the shop because I would be telling a fib, I can say I have enough to keep me going for a few months to come.

I am now back in the uk, and sadly will not have any time to do any sewing until Thursday night at the earliest, but I had the best ever weekend.

I have to give a huge thanks to Sigrid who not only let me stay with her and her family, but also acted as my chauffeur getting us to where we needed to go.  Also thanks to Lisa for giving us a glimpse into another world that we mere mortals can only dream about.

Hope you have all had a great weekend.  Catch you later....... 


  1. What an opportunity! Sounds like a fun weekend. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. It was wonderful having you visit us. I enjoyed the weekend immensely. I thank you as well.

  3. Sounds like a sewist's dream weekend!

  4. I have to agree with MushyWear and I thank you as well.

  5. And to think you went there to work!!! That must have been the most enjoyable 'work-weekend' ever....

  6. I certainly didn't have a weekend like yours! - Stop it, please, please..... though thank you for thinking of us stuck at home.

  7. Incredible weekend with a great friend, doesn't get much better than that!

  8. Loved reading about your meetup and shopping! What a fun weekend.

  9. What an incredible weekend you had. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. Oh, what an absolutely wonderful weekend!! I am so envious!

  11. Lucky you. It sounds like you had a fabulous time (and bought some wonderful supplies!)