The lounging boys of Sjaak Hullekes summer 2014 collection in the Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam

Protesters in Istanbul, photo courtesy Guardian


While their peers in Istanbul and Cairo are mastering the ABC of political protests, the young boys of Amsterdam indulge in arts-y pursuits lounging languorously in hip hotel suites: playing the cello, reading sheet music, sketching and contemplating.


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We are in the Penthouse suite of the Conservatorium Hotel, a stone throw away from the Museum quarter, home to three most important museums in Amsterdam,  the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum.


Given such potent artistic heritage, it is perhaps not surprising that for the presentation of his collection aptly called  the Artist’s Journey Sjaak Hullekes opted for the intimacy of  Tableaux Vivants in a hotel suite rather than a runway show at the Amsterdam Fashion Week that kicks off today.


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Muted palette with occasional accents of colour and pattern. Zebra patterned socks under slim cut trousers. Safari jackets. Short sporty jackets with panel inserts. A netted jacket trimmed in suede. Cardigans with mesh backs. And scarves. Lots of scarves. With hand-made fringes. With prints. Of Google map street images of the hotel neighbourhood  in Amsterdam.


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With its austere lines and varying shades of grey offset by tribal rugs and golden candle sticks  the interior of the Penthouse suite provided a perfect setting to Sjaak Hullekes’ collection. The day light streaming in lent the quality of a Flemish painting to the scene. And an air of eroticism. Innocent eroticism.


Sjaak and Sebastiaan, the lovely duo behind the label, were personally in attendance spotting timid smiles and wrap around aprons. Aprons? Because Sjaak Hullekes brand is une marque artisanale. And the workmanship on each piece is truly impressive. In a very subtle way.


Will the lounging boys convince men to wear Sjaak Hullekes? Well, if these men frequent places like Conservatorium Hotel, dressed by Sjaak they are certain to look the part.


Sjaak Hullekes pop up store will be in the Conservatorium Hotel till July 15, 2013

Sjaak Hullekes  store in The Hague is on Denneweg 116.