by - April 06, 2014

Wish you were there...

"My look is very of the culture. It’s a backlash to that super modern, dot-com, end of the ’90s era. It’s messy, human and organic. People tell me, 'Your website makes me feel okay with collecting weird things, being messy, having weird shoes.' I never thought it would have any impact, but if it does, that’s amazing."
Todd Selby

The Selby is something you're very familiar with or really have no clue about. Like my dad. My dad had no clue about The Selby. "The what?", he's asked me more than once. The Selby is this website/brand set up by this guy called Todd Selby. Mr. Selby put in 2008 some pictures on the internet and since then is privileged with world wide fame. That is, of course, when you know about him. Todd, I may say Todd, just basically created a job out of thin air. Like Sherlock Holmes. And, like Sherlock Holmes, he's great at it. He's an inspiring being who captures inspiring beings which in itself inspires beings. So when I found out that he was doing a signing of his new book Fashionable Selby at Mendo (a bookshop in Amsterdam), I just had to meet this mystical creature. And I obviously asked my father to come along with me, because there ain't no fun in travelling alone.

We took a train and headed our way to Amsterdam. The train journey, as ever, wasn't that very exciting. Although, my dad has this weird abbility to always know where things are. Like, "if you look to your right you'll see this and this building". It's probably just because he exercises a lot. His theme tune might as well be Bicycle by Queen... Alrighty then, it took us some time but we finally found the bookshop we needed. The guy who worked there told us that Todd could be in any minute and that the airport had lost his luggage (just so we knew I guess). We were the first ones to arrive at the crime scene and did a little snooping around. Mendo is very nice and looks quite luxurious (as the prices on the books would later confirm). The most striking thing that we noticed was that they even got books written in Japanese or sorts. If that ain't fancy, I don't know what is.

Finally the moment arrived, Todd Selby casually entered the bookshop (he was wearing an all black uniform excisting out of a black hoodie with matching tshirt and jogging pants). However, he had to finish this interview first with some newspaper and casually left the shop. Without telling his assistant/fellow traveler/person where he went. So she was like "where is he?" and everyone else was like "dunno". Eventually he strode back into the shop and did a little snooping around like we did before his arrival. He really took his time and was in no hurry whatsoever. While gazing he commented on the sizes of some books and asked if they were sellable (there was this Vivienne Westwood book that came up to my middle). And the guy who worked in the bookshop was like "yeah, I've just sold three of them last week" and Todd looked approvingly at the book... I'm actually getting to the part where I meet him, I swear!

After he had stretched his legs, he finally sat down and grabbed a pen to begin his day of hard labour. Although we were the first ones to arrive, the guy forgot to tell us that we first ought to buy a book (and put my name on a sticky note) before Todd could sign it. Therefore I ended up as number 2 in line. But that's alright. I'll survive. My dad and I were quite astounded of the amount of people who were there, which wasn't a lot. I'd expected a long line full of anticipation. There were some people, but no one had to stand outside (hereby added that the bookshop isn't that big).

As being number two, I tried to keep it cool. Not only mentally but also physically. It was a really hot day and I decided to wear this super cute skirt with matching top in bright pink with black polkadots (made by my mum), some tights which also had polkadots on it (I was going for a theme) and with on top of that a leather jacket. The leather jacket turned out to be too hot, but I couldn't take it off because 1) my whole back was wet (sweat ain't pretty indeed), 2) my arms would otherwise be fully exposed (I've got this arm-thing, which I'm trying to overcome but not at that very moment of vulnerability) and 3) I just looked pretty damn cool in that jacket. So as I slowly made my way towards Todd, I kept repeating to myself "Keep it cool. Stay Calm". Which I naturally absolutely didn't. Hereby not talking about OMG *high pitched scream*, but more of a not talking/nervous giggles kind of meet and greet.

Me & Todd forever and ever and ever... if only he knew *sigh*

My dad was there to take pictures, because I felt too embarrassed to take (secret) pictures of him, while my dad rightfully said that this is probably the only chance I ever get of seeing him for realzz. So he took my phone -not knowing how to operate it- and made some pictures of him when he walked up and down the shop. However, because I couldn't utter a word out of my mouth, he began to talk to my dad. So my dad was trying to explain about how excited I was -am- and how I'd been looking forward to meeting him etc. etc. So Todd tried to ease me a bit and said "darling" to me (and something else, but that darling part has sticked into my brains), which basically means that we're best friends forever and ever and ever. That's the way it works right? ;) He signed my book, asked if I'd like to take a picture with him, I nodded, my dad tried to operate my phone and sort of succeeded (thanks dad!) and then we got a bag for the book and left the store.

And that was basically it. You say hi (or in my case giggle), you give him something to doodle on and leave. At first sight this sounds a bit disappointing, but that's just the way these things work I guess. And besides, the disappointment doesn't rely on the fact that it was short term. I even doubt to say that disappointment is the right word I've chosen to describe this aftermath feeling. It's more seconds that's filled with upper happiness which can make you doubt about the whole happening and everything that's been acted after that. However, I just try to hold on to the bliss of the moment. It's been a week now and still I'm giggling like an idiot when I think back at those few seconds (those few seconds which probably haven't made a lasting impression on Todd, but that doesn't matter for my experience). The book, by the way, is absolutely amazing and inspiring and dripping full of weirdness and wonderfulness. Just the things you'd expect from Todd, but with a big scoop on top of that.

 Also, after meeting Todd, we did a little look around the area and I've bought a very nice burgundy colour dress at Episode. Can't wait to wear it! I also popped my head around the corner to say hi to my dearest friend  Karl. I really like the sleeves he's designed for the new collection. They are a bit bit stiff and square and absolutely out of my budget. But one always needs dreams to cherish. And that was basically it, we'd loved to stick around any longer but because I'd exams the next day, the wises choice was to leave. Sad face.

On our way back I'd asked my dad what he thought of Todd and he said something quite remarkable: "a foiled student who has found something that inspires people... and gets paid for it". A fitting job description if you ask me (if only mine would ever sound as sophisticated like that). So yeah, like I said, it all went down quite fast. It's funny to think how these small things can make an impression that will last a lifetime. It's something you can add to your list. Something I've done in my life I would normally never do. Amsterdam used to be this place far, far away. However, I've realized that nothing is really far away if you want to do it (and have the means to do it). It could be quite healthy from time to time to get out of your comfort zone and start giggling like a crazy person because you're nervous and unsettled. Because the experience is a reward for the effort. *ugh*

"Todd currently lives in New York City. His pastimes include going to the airport, eating four square meals a day, breaking his computers, and working on his tan."
The Selby


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