My Style: Bibi van der Velden

Portrait of Bibi van der Velden

Photo: Courtesy of Bibi van der Velden

Which city has the best-dressed women?

The obvious answer would be a city like Paris or New York. However, for me London is the most interesting city fashion-wise, because it’s more experimental and playful versus the sleek designer clothes that you see on the streets in Paris and New York. I love the edginess that London girls can sometime have and how they mix vintage, high-street and designer clothes.

Please describe your style in three words.

Eclectic, timeless, effortless.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Having a preconceived idea in your head β€” just go with the moment.

Do you believe in role models?

I believe in inspirations. There are so many people who do inspiring things from which you can learn.

What are your favourite fabrics?

I love natural fabrics such as silk, linen, and cotton, but I have a big passion for antique lace and anything embroidered. Over the years I have built an impressive collection of beautiful antique pieces, some of which have nearly disintegrated, but for me this adds to their beauty.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

I would say in general anything goes, certain harmony in combinations is important. I'm never a big fan of overdoing it, never everything of the same colour, material or style. Always find balance in combining different elements.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Bold, in a not too loud way.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

No rules, just a deep love for certain pieces mixed with understated basics and always a few interesting details.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

The pieces designer friends have made for me over the years. And the white cable jumper knitted by my grandmother for my father.

Celebrities and style...

Are usually something put together by a stylist, which I find a shame as style should be an echo of your personality. There are exceptions though (think of people like Helena Christensen and Kate Moss), and when they get it right they really nail it.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

I would say shawls and scarfs. And I am afraid I have a shoe addiction.

A woman should always look like...

A reflection of herself and the mood she is in β€” except when she's in a bad one!

Who taught you about your style?

It's important that you learn as you go regarding your style. It should be an accumulation of the phases you go through in life, knowledge you acquire regarding designers, fabrics, what works and what doesn't work, and experimenting.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

By grabbing one piece that appeals to me which can also sometimes only be an accessory and combining the rest around it. Usually never more than five minutes of my time.

What is your biggest regret?

Never have regrets, they are a waste of time. Either do something you should have done or file it under 'not important'.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

As I try to avoid shops, my shopping is always incidental.

We will never see you wearing...

Crocs, not even when I am sculpting.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Funnily enough, probably her skin. I can be in awe of beautiful, peachy skin.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

I would say Alexander McQueen even after his death.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

It doesn't have to be, as long as comfort doesn't mean terry cloth track suits.

Who would you like to see next in My Style?

Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

More is more and less is less.

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