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Discover Benelux  |  Dutch Design  |  Made in the Netherlands

Weaving stories into dresses It was always Herna van Dronkelaar’s ardent wish to become a fashion designer and after years of learning, investing and dreaming, her dream came true. Residing in the town of Barneveld, a 45-minute drive from Amsterdam, the Dutchwoman has emerged as the go-to designer for bridal and formal dresses. Under her label Herna’s Atelier (the Dutch word for studio), she combines both her technical and arty sides. A self-taught artist, but a certified designer: this is how Herna van Dronkelaar describes herself. “I was always into designing clothes and was able to turn my hobby into my work.” It is a craft, requiring a high level of insight and unbridled passion for the trade. “Bridal dresses have always been my core business, but lately I’m gravitating more and more towards formal dresses as well, seeing how I can put even more of myself in them,” she explains. “The fabrics can be anything, but I can get really excited by high quality wool or smooth silk. The latter is not easy to work with, but if you can, it’s pure joy.”

TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN  |  PHOTOS: STUDIO BUBBELS

There is not much on display in the studio of Van Dronkelaar for a good reason: all of her dresses are custom-made. “I’m only happy with my dresses if they reflect the personality of the customer and feel natural to them. To get to that point, I invite the person over and get a good picture of them, not only in measurements, but personality too. Taking shape sizes requires me to touch people and some are a bit nervous about that at first, but in the end, everybody trusts me. They tell me personal stories and we connect, making that dress, in essence, something we create together. With a unique dress having that finishing touch, the customer goes home with a piece of haute couture.”

Web: www.herna-atelier.nl

‘Their experiences are our canvases’ TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: NOESER

Inspired by her own children, Annuska Toebast–Wensink had the idea to launch a fashion line for newborns and toddlers. Fast forward four years and Dutch fashion brand nOeser has gone worldwide, and is available in 20 countries on three different continents. “Children’s worlds and their experiences are our canvases,” she explains. The name nOeser is inspired by Annuska’s first name, because her friends call her ‘Noes’. The brand creates non-seasonal items for newborns, as well as seasonal fashion outfits for babies and children aged 0 - 8 years, inspired by on-trend colours. “And we have a MOM’s collection, so women can twin with their kids.” Her children’s world led to the creation of the 2018 collection ‘Peter Pan and the Lost Boys’. “My children and I were watching this film and they were just loving it. So the decision was very easy: to create the new collection

based on that,” smiles Annuska. “We launched the new line by organising a kids’ fashion show on a pirate ship, where children could experience the pirate life and their parents learnt about our new collection.” It is important to offer fashionable clothing ‘made for’ children, rather than ‘made by’ children. That is why nOeser ensures its clothes are made by production partners who adhere to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). And together with the relief organisation ‘Free a Girl’, nOeser created a charity sweatshirt, of which the proceeds go to support this good cause. “Children should not be forced into child labour or prostitution. We just want kids to enjoy their dreams and adventures, and to see the world as one big, beautiful playground.” Web: www.noeser.eu

Issue 51  |  March 2018  |  31

Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Benelux, Issue 51, March 2018  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Discover Benelux, Issue 51, March 2018  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

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