Have you ever been to Amsterdam? I first went aged 18. This decision was prompted largely by the fact my Dad was dead set against it, something than instantly made my visiting the Dutch capital inevitable. As the lone female in a large group of boys the trip itself involved a whole lot of aimlessly wandering around the Red Light District, very disgusting hostels and fast food that came out of vending machines. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy the experience. Since that deeply unpleasant trip I’ve been back to Amsterdam, discovered the impossibly picturesque, gallery packed and generally gorgeous side of it and fallen hard. If you’re not a scrubby, clueless teenage tourist it’s a city of such immeasurable culture and coolness you’re left daydreaming of the canal boat lifestyle. In recent years Amsterdam has also shown itself to be a veritable hotbed of exciting fashion talent. Case in point, Stills.
I feel bad that I’m only posting about Stills now. I was introduced to the brand months and months ago so you may well be very familiar with them by this point. But then again, you may not. Theirs is a subtle, unassuming elegance. Once that resides in their Amsterdam atelier, focusing on perfecting the cut of their cloth, the architectural brilliance of their stores and the captivating beauty of their imagery rather than dressing ‘slebs or splashing themselves all over social media. Now, I’m a big advocator of using all the technological tools available to promote one’s wares far and wide but there’s something about the cool, calm and collected way designers Korrie Vulkers and Martin Tramper go about their business that is utterly compelling. I also suspect that they know, once someone’s stumbled across the understated sensuality of Stills they won’t forget it anytime soon even if they have to hunt a little harder than usual to find it. It is in fact only now, some five months on from being introduced to the brand that I’ve finally ‘got’ what the name’s all about; stillness, which, in a world that couldn’t be moving any faster is a rare and delectable luxury. That’s not to say for one minute that their creations are boring. You know me, I’ve no time for head-to-toe neutrals. Admittedly Stills gives great neutral, in tactile worked fabrics, buttersoft leathers and sumptuous silks, but they also deliver a myriad of rich hues which leave me weak at the knees every time I look at them.
Spring/Summer 2014 provides a crystal clear example of this fusion of minimalism and eye candy. Razor sharp cuts and stark monochrome shades meet painstakingly concocted, hand woven raffia jacquards, delicate prints and melt-in-your-mouth colours. Gossamer fine, draped and flowing shapes are juxtaposed with structured silhouettes echoing the striking modernism of their Dopel Strijkers designed boutiques. Though a myriad of contradictory qualities and a rigid adherence to their core brand values, Stills is a brand to watch for 2014 and beyond. I recommend snapping up a piece or three now and revelling in feeling thoroughly smug.
Stills is currently stocked in the UK at Harvey Nichols and Fenwicks, Bond Street. More stockist info here.
Love Ella. X