Taking another look at The Quality of Fashion.
For some strange reason, the Dutch and the Belgians refuse to stay home, and instead travel the world, as my grandfather did, the Belgian tailor and his brother.
Looking globally, I recently discovered another Belgian ex-pat in the NYTimes “T” Magazine section. (The link to the article and beautiful photos is below.) She is living and working in India. I’ve heavily edited the article for this post.
68-year-old Isla (LouLou) Van Damme has built up her ” The Quality of Fashion “ career as a designer, a stylist, a restaurateur — you name it — on two basic precepts: “It has to be mad and it has to be beautiful.” Van Damme, of course, is a little of both.
I had to laugh when I read: “A Belgian woman, first of all, is the most difficult in the world. The first thing she’ll do is look inside at the seams. That’s a Belgian: very classical, very severe.” My grandfather did that, as do I still today when our quality fashions come into Mix.
At her own boutique, Santosh, in India Van Damme was best at outfitting and advising. Working though a new shop, Bungalow 8, also in India, Van Damme thrills at the opportunity to interface with her customers – all of them – like we do at Mix. “I love dressing larger (sic) women — always very badly looked after by salesgirls. And I take them and say, ‘Of course we can dress you!’ “
“Change, change, change all the time” is her mantra underscoring her fashion quality philosophy. “ Loulou embraces age,” Ahluwalia, the owner of Bungalow 8 says. “She embraces life.”
Loulou Van Damme is known for The Quality of Fashion, and this spirit of fashion is a quality of life issue is what best reflects the Mix on Michigan and Mix in Nickels Arcade philosophy.
The Quality of Fashion, Loulou Van Damme