Do you believe in the power of connection? I do. Connection is a mysterious force which unfolds in so many different ways. About a week ago I had a really dark dream. I woke up with an uncomfortable feeling, but I wasn't planning to let it determine my day although it kept my mind really busy on my way to the train station. I got myself into the train and took the nearest seat.
'Hello goodmorning!', an older man said to me with a lot of energy and a really friendly face.
This man was approaching me in a way I just felt this was going to be a conversation, but I had no idea where this conversation would lead us. He told me he was a poet. and a mail man. He had a performance this sunday and invited me to come. I told him that I was also a storyteller with film and told him a bit about the work I did. Then he asked me: 'Can I recite you my poem?' 'Ofcourse', I told him. So he gave a small performance in the train, just for me, while everyone was just pretending he wasn't there, while I was just amazed by his presence, listening to his poem about enjoying life.
'When I perform I always try to vary between light and dark poems', he explained. He looked me deep in the eyes when he said: 'That also goes for you. Always begin in darkness but end in the light. There is no light without darkness.' I was speachless. This man was speaking to my soul as if he knew me and I needed this message like I never did before. That is the moment when I felt a really deep connection.
Photo - @larsverkroostphotography
Leonie Vlaar is a fashion designer who also believes in real connection. Her logo is a pin, which stands for the connection of fabrics of her designs and the people who co-create and wear her designs. I admire her because of the way she works. She really breathes slow fashion. She is doing everything and then I really mean everything, with the most attention and creativity that it hits you right into your soul. This was the person who needed to create my coat. I see a coat as one of the most interesting garments, since you are wearing it almost every day. It shows how you want people to see you.
Together we designed this coat of sustainable fabrics in collaboration with Annemieke Koster of Enschede Textielstad. The coat is made of recycled fabric and created with real craftsmanship. Leonie is really concerned about the design and wants it to suit you perfectly. That is why she really connects to translate your personality in a coat. As you can see, I am a really layered person, a blend of lightness and darkness, haha!'
I had the honor to collaborate with Leonie, Lars and Michel for this inspiring video where the story of Leonie unfolds and shows the power of real connection.
Video: Michel de Ram
I believe this is the future of fashion. Consumers collaborating with the creators. So you can really see, feel and appreciate the effort that has been put in the garment you are wearing. In this way you will appreciate and value it so much more than buying a shirt in a fast fashion store just to get a rush. I believe these aspects are really important to change the fashion industry, just like the use of recycled and sustainable fabrics, craftsmanship and local production are.
BESPOKE MADE COAT