Saturday, November 23, 2013

DaWanda Designmarket Brussels: A report

On Sunday me and my bestie Sarah went on a roadtrip to the urban jungle that is out nation's capital: Brussels. The city reminds me of lengthy school trips and that nagging dear-god-please-let-this-be-over-soon feeling that comes with lengthy school trips. But not this time, as we went to see the DaWanda Designmarket! Yay!

DaWanda, originating from Germany and now available in English, French and Dutch too, is an online marketplace for DIY-ers to sell their goods. Kind of like Etsy, but more local.

In the goodie bag: 
Tablet sleeve by kaltwasser-TaschenTick, bunting by Van Jeanne, illustrations by HerrPfeffer

The concept of the Designmarket: A hotel is turned into a mini mall of 90-or-so mini pop up shops filled to the brim with Done-It-Themselves goodies. Needless to say, I was sold when I was invited to a bloggers' meet-up and workshop! This was actually the first time I EVER got invited to something because of my blog, and browsing through pretty things just so happens to be one of my favorite ways of spending a lazy Sunday.

But there was NO TIME for laziness, as the workshop included cross stitching a design on a tote bag! There were templates for mustaches, anchors and foxes and I was like "A FOX COULD BE A CAT" and thus I made a kitty tote. Durh.

If anyone was still wondering why I never have my pictures taken and do it all myself in my living room: That's my Chandler face. All of my posed photos are like this: Doubled up chin, fake smile, frightened eyes. SRSLY. My friend will confirm!

You know, I had been thinking about picking up embroidering for a while so I'm just going to go ahead and assume this is a sign I SHOULD pick up embroidering. I love detailed handiwork like that, it's so soothing, and much more of a before-bedtime activity than, say, watching Dexter. (I once dreamt I woke up to a bed full of limbs and in my dream I wasn't even the leastest bit freaked out about it.)

Anyway, I digress! On to the shopping experience! I decided to stick to browsing only considering Lala's shenanigans and having to buy a new phone have left me with a food-only budget for the rest of the month. Insert silent weeping here.
I personally found there to be a lot of relatively kitschy shops, which isn't really my thing but those shops seemed like the most popular ones amongst visitors so who am I, right?

I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures because the rooms were fairly dark. As a customer it didn't really bother me, but as a shaky photographer without a tripod, I would have liked a few extra light fixtures haha.

I definitely saw a lot of inspired and inspiring stuff. What did however disappoint me a little is that many designers missed an opportunity to present a brand instead of a product, seeing as it is far more expensive to create the experience of a brand online (in which you mostly rely on web- and print design) than it is when doing so in a shop! I mean, some props can go a long way!
But then again, I'm a huge branding geek and I could look at moodboards on Pinterest all day, so that's probably on me.

Instead of boring you with lengthy descriptions of stuff I saw, I just picked 3 of my favorite shops to show you some of their products available online at DaWanda!

Upon walking into the Adaoz shop I felt sort of a Frida Kahlo-esque vibe going, and lord knows I love some Frida! Am I crazy or are you feeling it too? There's some folk, some kitsch but a whole lot of life going on in these Parisian designs made primarily of vintage fabrics, and especially the sweatshirts felt really current and relevant: I could easily see these being sold as part of Urban Outfitters' or ASOS' vintage collections. Super sweet!

RAVENblakk is one of the shops that went all out on the branding: There were antlers, candles and even a small shrine in the room, I wish I could have gotten some pictures here but alas! They'd even switched off the lights completely, and it definitely enhanced the spooky/sexy vibe!
Some of the things online make me want to run to the thrift shop, buy everything that remotely fits and go wild with the scissors and embellishment, haha. Also check out their lookbook photoshoots on their website, lots of nipples but very editorial!

So I know steam punk is a thing, with the costumes and the whole gimmick, but these jewels weren't gimmicky at all, au contraire! Everything looked so refined and elegant, I felt like pulling out my AllSaints Haya maxi dress and strutting my stuff like I'm at the motherfucking Oscars. (Back in my days as a sales associate at AllSaints, I would wear that dress at the store and our manager would always be joking that I looked like I was going to present an award but bitch please we all know I'd be getting one for being so awesome. )

All in all, I enjoyed my day at DaWanda and I left so much more inspired than I came in, so I say that is a mission completed! On to the next chapter of #changeforthebetter!

PS: Just so you know, I changed my Twitter handle and there's no frikkin' way in hell I'm going to change the link in the icon in every post besides this one, so yeah. Now you know!



At November 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM , Blogger Elisse said...

Oh, ik heb je niet gezien! Je hebt gelijk wat betreft de shops. Na zo'n drie verdiepen had ik het wel allemaal ongeveer gezien, veel van de verkopers hadden ongeveer dezelfde producten (of toch in dezelfde stijl). Maaarrr er zaten ook enkele toppertjes tussen! De juwelen gemaakt met horlogeonderdelen vond ik ook echt prachtig, bijvoorbeeld!

At November 25, 2013 at 12:53 AM , Blogger Dress your life. said...

Oh wauw, die eerste trui ziet er geweldig uit :)! Ik had nog nooit van het event gehoord maar als ze er workshops bij toevoegen, maakt dat het veel leuker! Sabrina, x.

At November 26, 2013 at 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dank voor je mooie blogpost :) Worden wij erg blij van!


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