Tala à la Joline Jolink

Tala à la Joline Jolink

Jan 31, 2012 |  by  |  Fashion
About the author
Tala gets melancholic in the autumn – enjoys to wander around the city with a coffee to go and discover new places/boutiques/galleries – writes short stories and letters to random people – is in love with beautiful things – appreciates uniqueness, oddness and authenticity – works as a freelance writer – studies fashion and believes in possibilities in life.

My monthly meeting with a designer. A moment about them, and their creative view on me.

She loves a good cup of coffee, tasty and good looking food, nature, enjoys documentaries about world famous designers and melancholic music like Fleet Foxes and The XX. Would live in a painting by Georgia o’Keeffe because of the pretty, colourful, sensual floral shapes.

10.58am Wednesday, office/studio of Joline Jolink: moodboards, fabrics, designs, beautiful books, a huge working table and a welcoming modest smile meet me behind big green doors. She started her successful webshop five years ago and opened her first store last year in the heart of Amsterdam. “I’m living my dream. What’s left to wish for? A puppy-dog and opening new stores.”

Tala à la Joline Jolink

Joline is achieving what remains a dream for many designers. “Every season I pick a muse to inspire me on which I base my entire collection, instead of on the current trend. Sometimes I look for her, sometimes she finds me; when I visit a museum, watch a movie or open a book. A woman with a certain style can appeal to me because of who she is, or in most cases who she was, what she achieved in life, what she stood for. When I do my research, I read biographies and pay special attention to anecdotes and details, this makes it very personal. When designing it is supposed to complement and enhance who she is, not do the talking for her.”

Becoming a designer was her childhood dream, growing up with a grandmother who set an example by making and designing clothes. In the process, Joline discovered that it wasn’t as romantic as she had envisioned; it wasn’t just champagne, parties and lavish dresses.

You simply can’t make long gowns with high splits all the time, it just isn’t practical.

Joline creates wearable high fashion using fabrics of extraordinary quality. “Most importantly, I discovered that being a designer is serious business. I spend a relatively small amount of time designing.” And adds with a smile: “Fortunately I enjoy the entrepreneurial mindset too.” Together with her partner in life, love and business, Peter, she tackles it all. Her personality, her store, her webshop, her studio, it all comes together as an authentic statement. She smiles and her eyes light up when telling me about the little things in life she loves. Her love for details clearly shows in her designs.

One of her favourite places in Amsterdam is the Westerpark. “It’s a place where I have my own time enjoying the silence and nature in the morning whilst jogging, and where I meet up with friends in the afternoon for a coffee and a chat.” She surprised me by choosing leather pants as a symbolic representation of Amsterdam in a piece of clothing. Then she laughs and explains: “In my opinion Amsterdam has a rawness to it and it can be a little dark in the positive sense. It’s a place where all parts of society are visible and it has a realness and creative edge to it as well.

Tala à la Joline Jolink

I feel privileged to live in a city with so much history and soul.

To decide what to design for a woman there are a couple of things she wants to know. She asks me whether I ride a bicycle, where I live in the city, what time I wake up and what makes me happiest in life. Heading towards the end of our conversation I realize we haven’t heard the last of her yet, and I’m grateful for it. If Joline was the boss of Amsterdam she would invite everybody over to the store for a glass of champagne. Looking back on her life she would tell her younger self not to worry too much because everything will work out fine. We laugh: “Champagne and designing do go hand in hand after all.”

Photography by Mark Visbeek

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