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digital magazine fall | winter 2019

Dare to use your voice - INSPIRED BY BILLIE HOLIDAY -


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CONTENTS

Billie Holiday ~ badass queen of blues The sensual revolution

32.

Lady Day and I

14.

My style collection

08. 34.

10.

My voice, my purpose

27. Velvet-cloaked voice in smoky glamour

06.


38.

Push it!

Glamour the magical power of persuasion

My couture collection

13.

42.

The care bra 32.My style collection

28.

Rebels with a cause

24.


Velvet-cloaked voice in smoky glamour - Bi l l ie Hol id ay -


All my work as a feminist designer is inspired by muses. Powerful female icons from past and present. Although women have been marginalized for centuries, archetypes of female power have always been there. Through my designs, I bring them to you. To help us shape the world of modern-day feminism.

“Wear my Velvet Voice collection and sway to the rhythm of your own blues!” — Marlies Dekkers

This season, I sing the ballad of Billie Holiday: musical supernova, freedom fighter, badass Queen of Blues. “There’s two kinds of blues, happy blues and sad blues,” Billie used to say. “Everything I sing is part of my life.” And indeed, as the Frida Kahlo of the music world, ‘Lady Day’ used her voluptuous voice to turn female anger, pain and sadness into creations of staggering beauty. As an early feminine feminist, she wore heels and lipstick but could kick any man’s ass (she once single-handedly beat up two racist sailors). More importantly, Billie Holiday always spoke and sang her truth; inspiring generations of women to march to their own beats and roar their convictions.

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“If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” — Billie Holiday


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“I never hurt nobody but myself and that’s nobody’s business but my own.” — Billie Holiday


Badass QUEEN OF BLUES - Bi l l ie Hol id ay -

Like a flower that grows from a crack in the sidewalk, Billie Holiday reached for the sun and bloomed, despite relentless adversity. Like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, she transformed her pain and sadness into art, turning broken pieces into masterpieces. “Lady Day got diamond eyes, she sees the truth behind the lies”, Bono would sing in ‘Angel of Harlem’. Indeed, with gardenias in her hair, smoldering through smoke and tears, Billie Holiday used her voice to speak and sing her truth. Without shame, and no matter the price. Billie Holiday was born as Eleanora Fagan

with Diana Ross playing the legendary jazz

in Baltimore in 1915. Slavery had only

singer, Billie describes a dark, damaging

officially ended 50 years earlier, and Billie

childhood: growing up away from her

-who borrowed her name from fearless

mother, in the home of a cousin who beat

movie diva Billie Dove- would hear stories

her; surviving an attempted rape by a

from her great-grandmother about life as a

neighbor. “The worst thing that can happen

slave. In her autobiography ‘Lady Sings the

to a woman. And here it was happening to

Blues’, which would later inspire a movie

me when I was 10,” Billie wrote...

READ MORE


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This season, celebrate Billie Holiday’s sensual style and feminist flair with my exquisite Velvet Voice collection. Swing to your own beat in this ladylike combination of lustrous magenta velvet and lace ruffles. A lovely bow with a brilliant flower refers to the unforgettable gardenia in Lady Day’s hair while a band of gothic lettering says it loud and proud: you are a (feminine) feminist! I even hid one of my favorite quotes by Billie in the lining of the panties and body. A sexy little secret between you and me. plunge balcony thong body

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“I take a deep breath and SPEAK MY TRUTH. As loud as I can.” — Marlies Dekkers

- Da re t o u se you r voice -


The first time I saw the phenomenon that is Billie Holiday, she was wearing a frumpy maid uniform. Even though the movie I was watching with my mother - a romantic melodrama called ‘New Orleans’ (1947) - was innocent enough, and I was still a child, I could already tell there was something terribly wrong with the picture. This gorgeous, proud woman was too glamorous for her outfit; as a matter of fact, she was way too formidable for the movie! I would soon find out that Billie Holiday was one of those women that society likes to call ‘too much’. I was hooked.

When I say ‘Billie Holiday’, what image

pieces into masterpieces, and she had

do you see? The greatest jazz singer of

done so in a uniquely feminine way.

all time, hypnotizing a sold-out Carnegie Hall with that voice, luscious gardenias

Inspired by women like Frida and Billie,

in her hair? Or the junkie arriving at the

I decided to dedicate my career, -my life

police station in a mink coat and shades, a

even- to create art from a feminine point

damaged, but badass survivor of poverty

of view. My goal: to empower women with

and sexual abuse? Me, I cannot see one

my designs. I am now past the age that

without the other. Because as soon as I

Billie had when she passed away (44, so

started listening to her music as a teen, I

young!) and I have lost count of the times

realized that Billie had taken all her pain,

I have called ‘too much’ in my life. As a

anger and sadness and transformed them

working-class girl, I was ‘too ambitious’, as

into music: songs that can make you fall

an artist and designer, ‘too pretentious’. My

in love and break you heart. Like Mexican

skirts have been too short, my heels too

painter Frida Kahlo, she had turned broken

high, my opinions expressed too loudly.

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“SOMEBODY ONCE SAID WE NEVER KNOW WHAT IS ENOUGH... UNTIL WE WE KNOW WHAT'S MORE THAN ENOUGH.” — Billie Holiday


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- u si n g mu sic t o say 'me t oo' -

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From original ‘bad girl’ Billie Holliday to Rihanna and Lady Gaga; an ode to the rebellious women who have defied victimization by turning damage into beauty with their voices. "Somebody once said we never know what

way I’m provocative as a person, I somehow

is enough until we know what’s more than

felt it was my own fault,” Lady Gaga said

enough" Billie Holiday declared in her bi-

about her own rape experience, at 19. But

ography Lady Sings the Blues. Over sixty

when the singer was ready to use her voice,

years later, a group of Hollywood celebri-

she did so spectacularly: with a monu-

ties and singers like Taylor Swift and Kes-

mental power ballad called ‘Till it happens

ha knew: they had had enough. More than

to you’ which she performed during the

enough. ‘Time’s up!’ was their rallying cry;

2016 Oscars, surrounded by 50 sexual-

the clock had run out

assault survivors. “You

on sexual assault, har-

tell me it gets better,” she

assment and inequality.

sang with a raw, haunt-

Their weapon of choice?

ing voice. “What the hell

Their voices.

do you know?”.

Till the #metoo move-

As a matter of fact, a

ment came along, a

number of fed-up, vio-

terrible truth had been

— Marlies Dekkers

lated women have used music throughout the

hiding in plain sight for many years: worldwide, 1 in 3 women - a

years to say ‘me too’ without shame. In

shocking 35%! - has experienced sexu-

the song ‘Billie’s Blues’ (1936), a defiant

al violence. Most of these women never

Billie Holiday warns the men who have

spoke up. They felt lonely and ashamed;

done her wrong: ”I’ve been your slave, ever

sometimes even guilty. “I didn’t tell anyone

since I’ve been your babe. But before I’ll be

for years. Because of the way I dress and the

your dog, I’ll see you in your grave.”

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This season, steal the show with my Dame de Paris collection in luxurious chestnut brown with sparkly gold accents. The stunning play of lines adorning the top of the cups refers to the glorious Notre-Dame Cathedral and frames your curves perfectly. Gold lurex thread enriches the straps and is woven into the smooth fabric in a jazzy stripy pattern. Dare to sparkle!

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My voice, MY PURPOSE - S ylva n a Si mon s -

Few women are as controversial as Sylvana Simons, the Dutch dancer and tv presenter who gave up the privileges of fame to fight racism and discrimination. An icon to some, a villain to others, Sylvana is something infinitely more complex and precious to me: a dear friend whom I watched become a legend in her own lifetime. I had tea with Sylvana to speak about “For 25 years, I had been avoiding this moment.� READ MORE

Photography: Carlie Hermes

love, loneliness, and the incident that changed her life forever.


The CARE Bra: strength, support, style - t he s t or y beh i nd my speci a l br a for bre a s t c a ncer s u r v ivor s -


Breast cancer awareness has always been a cause very close to my heart. And from the beginning of my brand, I have had conversations with breast cancer survivors who told me about their struggles, needs and wishes. Since comfort and support is in the DNA of all my designs, I often received very positive feedback from these women about my collections. But I wanted to know more. A few years ago, after a meeting with

coverage than usual. I created a wide,

renowned surgical oncologist Jean Klink-

crescent-shaped back panel with seam-

enbijl, I decided to organize a special

less wings for extra support. I also placed

get-together for my team and a group of

pockets on the inside that can hold any

(ex-)breast cancer patients. That evening,

size of prosthesis in place. The result was

I discovered that out of the 15 women pre-

optimal comfort and support, but I want-

sent, 14 women had their needs met by my

ed to give more than that. My dream was

regular designs. Not bad, but not enough

to help women reconquer their femininity damaged by

for me. I knew what I had to do: design a special post-op bra. Based on all the precious

feed-

back and professional advice I

“My dream is to help women reconquer their femininity damaged by the disease.”

the disease. And

— Marlies Dekkers

lines, inspired by

so, as a stylish, finishing touch, I adorned the top of the cups with a beautiful play of the Notre-Dame

received throughout the years, I gave the

cathedral (to me, a glorious symbol of

bra a flexible shape to ensure an extreme-

hope and grace). Et voilá, a combination

ly comfortable fit. The soft, pre-shaped

of care, comfort and class. A Care Bra,

cups had to be wireless and offer more

created by all of us together.

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Stella Bergsma is a singer, a writer, a Twitter virtuoso and an inventor of new words. With terms like ‘sletvrees’ (Dutch equivalent of ‘slut phobia’) and ‘suckjobs’ (blowjobs that suck), she touches society’s raw nerves while shaping a brave new world. I couldn’t wait to get down and dirty -or should I say wordy?with one of my favorite feminine feminists. READ MORE

The SENSUAL revolution - S t el l a B erg sm a -


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Ooze old-school glamour in my sensational Emerald Lady collection. I chose an emerald green fabric that shimmers like one of Billie Holiday’s figure-hugging satin dresses and gathered it to accentuate your killer curves. The bindings of the bras and panties sparkle with rhinestones while an eye-catching clasp decorates the center of your décolleté like a precious piece of jewelry. Life is short; flaunt what you’ve got. Dare to dazzle!

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Treat yourself to some satinbound sensuality with my heavenly Angel of Harlem collection. Inspired by the glamorous lingerie worn by Billie Holiday and other Harlem angels, I added luxurious details to my usual combination of a comfortable fit and a flattering design. Deep-black satin ribbons were pulled by hand through gunmetal eyelets, adorable satin bows were placed as a finishing touch. The pièce de rÊsistance of the collection is a stunning corset that will surely give plunge balcony corset

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“I need a little hot dog between my rolls; move your finger, drop something in my bowl.” Cardi B’s latest saucy rhymes? No, it is badass Blues legend Bessie Smith serenading sex in 1931, in a song written by the equally badass Nina Simone. From those early 20th-century rebel blues on, popular music has been the perfect outlet for women to shamelessly celebrate female sexual pleasure. Even during the prudish Fifties, there was pop diva Dinah Washington singing about a ‘Big Long Slidin’ Thing’ and a decade later, Jane Birkin recorded the first female orgasm in a song with ‘Je t’aime... moi non plus’. Granted, there was a guy involved -French provocateur Serge Gainsbourg- but Jane’s moans broke a taboo by showing the world that yes, women actually do enjoy sex. A lot.

The trailblazer for our current wave of

singing ‘I love it when you eat it’ to Lady

shameless, sex-positive singers is of

Gaga describing her ‘Sexxx Dreams’ to Fer-

course Madonna. By writhing around

gie celebrating mothers as sexual beings

the stage singing ‘Like a Virgin’ in a low-

in her steamy ‘M.I.L.F. $’ video. (I think it is

cut wedding dress in 1984, she single-

no coincidence that all 3 women rock my

handedly blew up the Madonna/whore

lingerie!). Together, we are fighting as hard

complex and opened the door for badass

as ever for equal rights, but this time, we’re

b*tches like Salt ‘n Pepa and L’il Kim to

including -to quote the Beastie Boys- our

say: “Let’s talk about sex baby, but on OUR

right to party! So, let’s celebrate our sexy-

terms!” And luckily, we are still doing that,

ass selves by making a ‘badass b*tches’

in deliciously diverse ways; from Rihanna

playlist! I’ll start with my 3 favorites:

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Push it!

- celebr at i n g a cent u r y of sh a melessly sex y son g s (from a female perspective)

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This season, channel Billie Holiday’s badass sensuality with dashing menswear details.

Macho

suspender

straps and sexy faux leather ornaments give your décolleté a power boost and turn your bum into a cheeky eyecatcher. And don’t you love the delicious combination of classic navy blue with powerpink pinstripes? Man, it’s good to be a woman!

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This season, more is more as glamour is back with a glittery vengeance. But was it ever really away? Not for me! From Marlene Dietrich in a top hat to BeyoncĂŠ shaking her booty in glittery thigh-high boots; to me, glamour is timeless and has many faces. It is the magical dust that gives everyday life that golden sparkle. More importantly, when used well, glamour can actually change your life. It has definitely shaped mine...

- t he m a g ic a l power of per s u a sion -

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“lady day got diamond eyes, she sees the truth behinD the lies.” — Bono (Angel of Harlem)


This season, stimulate your senses with my splendid Strings collection. Treating your body like a priceless instrument, I used a spectacular play of lines to frame your curves and finetune your beauty.

Each

precious

piece

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This season, release your inner bombshell in my burgundy Backstage Boudoir collection! For a sultry, yet elegant effect, I draped my ultra-flattering design in a translucent fine mesh which was ruffled by hand and decorated with playful polka dots. And don’t you just love the silver sparkles on the bindings? Dare to be bodacious!

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Profile for Marlies Dekkers

marlies|dekkers fall winter 2019  

Feminine Feminist is the glossy magazine of the famous lingerie and swimwear designer Marlies Dekkers. She has achieved international succes...

marlies|dekkers fall winter 2019  

Feminine Feminist is the glossy magazine of the famous lingerie and swimwear designer Marlies Dekkers. She has achieved international succes...