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Hello and welcome to last year – aka Mong Kok & Dutch Design Week

Okay, so I’m going to do one last cathartic blogpost about all the leftovers I have from last year and then it’s full steam ahead with all-new stuff. Promise. And for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a a brief recap. I got divorced. Life happened. And I was too busy taking care of business to blog. But I’m okay now. Out of the tunnel. And it’s not like the last six months were one big epic mess, though. I had the time of my life in the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong.  And right after that I was as proud as a peacock to once again be part of the international press tour of Dutch Design Week. See? So here its is, a look back at everything that I meant to share with you at one point but didn’t. Hello and welcome to last year!

I love Mong Kok – Star Warts and all!

Madonna may love New York. But who trusts anything coming from the mouth of a 60-year old with a dubious grill situation, anyway? Fuhgeddaboutit! Hong Kong, baby! Hong Kong is where it’s at! I was there last September and this city was hot in every sense of the word. I especially loved Mong Kok (hihi), which is the most densely populated neighborhood in the world. In fact, I loved it so much (dare I say I had some serious Mong Kok craving?),  I spent at least three nights just walking about, thoroughly enjoying the sensory overload. Of course, because is was so overwhelmingly hot and humid I invariably ended up with a bit of what the Dutch call zweetreet, but who’s complaining when the world around you looks just like Blade Runner, right? I had plenty of time to cool down on the metro back to my dreadfully suburban but oh so quiet Tsuen Wan hotel anyway.

Mong Kok market /// More on Interioator.com

Want to go to the market at 11PM? Sure, why not!

Star Wart fake Lego in Hong Kong /// More on Interiorator.com

I was taken aback by all the fake Gucci bags, sunglasses and the Star Wart Lego. It was all so shameless!

Mong Kok

I wonder what’s on the third floor!

Mong Kok neon signs

This is exactly what I thought the future would look like when I was but a youngster.

Mong Kok neon signs

My kind of town!

Mong Kok neon signs

Busy, busy, busy!

Mong Kok neon signs

A very high-tack fluorescent green Audi – and why not?

Mong Kok neon signs

Some serious Blade Runner sh*t going on here.

Dutch Design Week 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and no, I’m not talking about Christmas. I’ve been on the two-day international press tour of Dutch Design Week three times now and it is the best. I get to meet all the designers, see all the major exhibitions and go to the hottest parties. Fingers crossed I get an invitation this year (are you reading this, Katja?).

BTW, the 2017 edition of Dutch Design Week will celebrate 100 years of De Stijl – should be interesting! For now, let’s go back to 2016, when the excellent Van Abbemuseum had an exhibition curated by the beloved Dutch Design Acacdemy teacher Mathieu Meijers. Broken White was all about color – right up my alley. We got a great – and very quick – tour of the exhibition, so I was only able to take pictures of the part that featured the work of Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck. If you want to see more, be sure to check out the Van Abbemuseum press archive of this amazing exhibition.

Dutch Design Week 2016 - Walter van BeirendonckDutch Design Week 2016 - Walter van Beirendonck Dutch Design Week 2016 - Walter van Beirendonck Dutch Design Week 2016 - Walter van Beirendonck Dutch Design Week 2016 - Walter van Beirendonck

Then, it was on to Dutch luxury department store De Bijenkorf. The top floor of its Eindhoven store was converted into an airport runway for Modebelofte, the annual groundbreaking Dutch Design Week fashion exhibition. Once again, there were lots of outlandish avantgarde outfits on display that made me wish I was fierce enough to wear them.

Dutch Design Week 2016 - Modebelofte Dutch Design Week 2016 - Modebelofte

Dutch Design Week 2016 - Modebelofte Dutch Design Week 2016 - Modebelofte

At night, we visited the remote area of Sectie C, a personal favorite of mine. Lots of works by Nacho Carbonell on display as you can see. A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been my thing but I have to say I thought the Luciferase lights looked stunning. Interesting to see by the way that more designers are focusing on crystals and amethyst these days. I feel a trend coming on.

Dutch Design Week 2016 - Nacho Carbonell Dutch Design Week 2016 - Nacho Carbonell Dutch Design Week 2016 - Nacho Carbonell Dutch Design Week 2016 - Nacho Carbonell Dutch Design Week 2016 - Nacho Carbonell

The Islamopolis exhibition was a pleasant surprise – but again, I didn’t have much time to take some good photo’s. It’s nice to see design from a different perspective – and I’d love to see more work coming from the Islamic world. The chair you see below by the way, helps the elderly to pray with a little more comfort.

Dutch Design Week 2016 - Islamopolis

And then finally, FISSA time with Maarten Baas and Sergio Herman – what a pair! One of the best, if not the best, Dutch designer teamed up with chef Sergio Herman for a temporary restaurant right next to the Maarten Baas Makes Time exhibition. God, I wish I could have eaten there! Apparently there were singers hiding beneath the lids of the serving platters at the center of each table – that must have been some surprise!

Dutch Design Week 2016 - Maarten Baas Dutch Design Week 2016 - Maarten Baas

And with that I leave you for another few days. I’m off to Amsterdam now, where none other than photographer Chidi Onwuka is going to help me improve photography skills.

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