1. No one wears clogs: This is a gross misconception. It transpires that the Dutch are a very well shod people without need to resort to clumpy wooden shoes.
2. Former warlords like their bling: While sitting in on a session of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, I caught a glimpse of Charles Taylor, currently on trial for crimes against humanity. It would with appear hobnobbing the supermodels was beneficial to his fashion sense – Taylor likes his suits sharp. He’s also a man with a passion for accessorising – gold cufflinks, gold pen … it’d sicken you.
3. Amsterdam, while not a recognised fashion capital, should be hailed as a boutique capital. So many little shops and grottos with gorgeous clothes and accessories just begging you to step in off the canals and spend a little.
4. Amsterdam, the cycle chic mecca: The bikes are functional, the clothes are everyday clothes. No one dresses down to cycle around – cycling is a part of life. People on bikes exude an air of cool sophistication. The women wear heels, the men wear skinny jeans and nobody bats an eye at their fashionable attire.
5. Amsterdam has a fashion week: http://www.amsterdamfashionweek.com/. This would almost make me book another ticket back over. Amsterdam Fashion Week takes place from the 10th to the 18th of July and is apparently based on an approach typical of Amsterdam: it deliberately differs from the traditional paths followed in leading fashion cities. An example might be Redlight Fashion. According to iamstersdam.com since January 2008, Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District is transformed during Fashion Week into a massive open air shop window. Several former prostitute’s rooms in the area have been transformed into exhibition spaces for talented clothing, shoes and streetwear designers. The aim of the initiative is to give talented fashion designers an original platform to present their creations to the public. And what could be more original than displaying your wares alongside the ladies of the night.