Beyond the hype // Renée Sturme


It's not uncommon for me to put five different styles in one outfit.

Renée Sturme is a 17 year old student and blogger from Kessel, Netherlands. Follow her on FashionFillers, her frequently updated style blog.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and how you got into fashion.

I am a seventeen year old girl from a small town called Kessel, in the south of the Netherlands. It has only 3000 inhabitants (which even sounds like more than it actually is). I would say I'm a pretty unique and weird person out here. I feel a lot better when I'm in Amsterdam, because there are more people who have a personal style, which is also one of the reasons I want to move to that city.

Photography, styling, vintage and fashion design are my biggest passions. My mother passed away when I actually began developing myself, so I grew up pretty on my own and had to discover 'fashion' on my own—I guess mostly by the internet. How I learned to make my own clothing? I actually don't know, I just started sewing someday, without any know-how or ever having worked with a pattern in my life. Too many ideas were dancing around in my head, I just needed an outlet.

You are only 17 but employed. What do you do?

About two times a week I work at a vintage webshop, called, in Eindhoven. Going to work takes me about 2 hours, but I don't care because I love traveling and the variety of my job. I do all kinds of things, from photography and styling to designing jewelry and customizing vintage items.

What do you love about living in Kessel?

That's a hard question, because it's just a tiny boring village! There isn't really a thing I love about living here, but I guess people who've never been here before and live in a big city might like the peace of it. Walking alongside the river, hearing the birds singing, stuff like that.

Your top 3 places to see for someone visiting the Netherlands:

Amsterdam, of course. I personally think it's just an enormous 'village' because of the feeling. It has so many beautiful nostalgic things that make the city down to earth. No one cares about what you wear and it's full of artistic people. Also, the centre is anything but industrial. The canals, the houses on the side of them, and even the red light district are really cosy and charming. Secondly, I'd say Maastricht. Also cosy, just without the canals. It has beautiful buildings and plazas. I actually don't know a third place you should visit, but if you are in the south of the Netherlands, you should also go to Antwerp for a day, which is in Belgium. It's a really nostalgic and beautiful city, just like the other two. And, of course, there are some nice vintage shops.

Tell us about how FashionFillers got started and what it's all about.

FashionFillers, my blog, got started about one-and-a-half years ago, when I felt the need to meet people with the same interests, share my opinions, and have at least one person out there appreciate my style! It's just a personal style diary, full of things I like, pictures I take and my personal thoughts.

What is the latest project or idea that you're working on?

Currently I'm working on a drapey dress. Since this month I've also started taking an art course at the Academy of Arts in Arnhem, every Saturday.

How would you describe your style?

My style is a mix-up of all sort of styles, decades, and things I just adore. I really love the twenties and rock 'n roll, for example. But I'm not able to dress up to only one theme like 'fifties' or 'disco'—it's not uncommon for me to put five different styles in one outfit. I'm a mismatcher.

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes—mostly unconsciously—from the internet I guess; it's so enormously big. Clothing itself inspires me too. Sometimes when I see an item I like, I can immediately picture it in front of me as part of a full outfit.

If you could fill your wardrobe with an entire collection by one designer, who would it be?

I'm still reviewing all the Fashion Week shows, but I must say I love William Rast for Spring '09, a really wearable collection. A bit too much denim, but still really tough and independent. If some denim were replaced with grey, sand-colored or black cotton, it might be perfect. Another collection I'd love to own is Luella for Spring '09. Less wearable, but a true favorite. But if I really had to choose, I'd say Marc by Marc Jacobs. It's not only a nice collection, but it can also be mixed up with everything to make it more personal.

What are your favorite places to shop?

My favourite place to shop must be the internet. In my neighbourhood there isn't even a single nice store, so a lot of things like shoes and vintage dresses I buy online. I love to find vintage shops on eBay which aren't totally famous yet and get almost no bidders. In Amsterdam, there is an adorable, feminine vintage store called Laura Dolls. If you ever visit our capital, going there is a must!

Favorite color(s) of the moment:

Romantic colors as cream, coral, light peach and torquoise. Also black and grey, but those are not really colors. With those two, I like to add red accessories.

What do you think is the latest trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

I hate the word 'trend', but my answer would be independent 'homme'-looks for girls, with a touch of rock 'n roll. Simple and colorless. Here on LB I already see it a lot. Personally I absolutely love this—I've worn a lot of bold colors over the past, and now I just feel like keeping it simple and black. I adore oversized menswear.

Any trend you would not mind seeing go away?

I'd love to see UGG's go away. They're originally made to wear at home during cold days, and that is what they should be used for. I don't know why people like to have elephant feet. Also, I don't know why some people like Kanye's shutter shades that much. OK, if you're a rapper, I get it, but I've seen girls ruining their gorgeous outfit's with them!

The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:

The thing that just 'pops' out. If there isn't any…the shoes.

What is your next must have purchase?

I'm searching for the perfect low-heel, black-studded, lace-up ankle boots. At work, we had the most beautiful vintage pair, but my colleague got to them before I did. I offered her over 3 times the price she paid for them, but well, she unfortunately loves them too. Too bad, haha.

Are there any icons or famous people whose style you admire?

A fashion icon is something I don't really have, but there are certainly people whose style I really respect, like fellow LOOKBOOK members Rachel Lucio, Marisa Elyse and newcomer Snowshoe Rabbit. As for celebs and models, I think Mary-Kate Olsen and Iekeliene Stange have beautiful and personal styles. Amy Winehouse can also dress up really great at performances.

What's on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?

My taste in music is able to change a lot sometimes, but right now I love to listen to the Beatles, John Lennon and also sometimes John Legend and Bob Dylan. I love 'pure' music and really can't listen to today's pop. (It's making me sick.) Books I buy are about photography, fashion, eras, or music. I don't read novels and never buy DVD's. TV shows I love to watch are Law & Order (old episodes), Scrubs and Will & Grace.

Next place you want to travel to:

Paris, because of the beauty of the city. I also want to go back to New York City, as it made a huge impression on me when I was there exactly a year ago. The city just has such a great energy. I'd be able to save money for the trip, but I don't know anyone who would pay at least €1000 (for the ticket and hostel-stay only) to come along with me. And on my own I don't think it would really be that much fun.

What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?

My personal favourite must be Off to the city. I felt great and it was a fabulous day.

Member fave, as for girls: new romantic by Rachel L.

Member fave, as for guys. Simple, but still unique: Shopping outfit by Vesa P.

Something about yourself most people don't know:

I sing songs to my cat.

What can't you live without?

My iPod Touch and Canon 450D. They go everywhere I go. I need music to live, and my camera in case I see something interesting to photograph.

Websites you read on a daily basis:

Fashion Toast, LOOKBOOK, eBay and Hotmail. There are more blogs I check regularly, but not on a daily basis, because there are just too much. I have a long list of links at my own blog; you can find some adorable ones in there.

Favorite magazines:

I like about all fashion mag's, but only look at pictures though, because it makes me sick when people talk about 'the newest trends' and things like that. I love AVANTGARDE and BLEND, both of which are Dutch magazines. The first one is a bit like ELLE, and BLEND goes beyond just fashion to include a lot of photography.

By the year 2010, you will be what/where:

Hopefully then I'll be studying in Amsterdam, and have my own apartment over there!

What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?

Just make an effort to look nice and not like everyone else. Discover your own style and don't be scared to mismatch. Also remember you also don't have to spend money to get new clothes, just dive into your grandma's or dad's closet some time. I've personally found some great items in there.

What question should we ask the next interviewee?

What is the ultimate showpiece in your closet?


show previous comments

Emy Christianson
your amazing ^-^
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Julia Marie
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Zoë Harvey
renee! I am soooo glad they finally interviewed you, you really deserved it. but I thought you wanted to visit la :(
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Renée Sturme
Already a couple of months ago actually, but it's finally online now :) Yes I do want to! Of course, but I really cannot afford it. oh, i know: organize a benefit concert to raise money to get me there! haha.
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Paola Alexandra
She's inspiring
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Rebecca Unger
Finally! someone who knows where UGGs belong :D (great interview!)
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Mark Monroe
love it.
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Gavi G
just love natural :)
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Renée Sturme
thanks :)
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Paulina T
Renèe i think you really have a great sense of style,i went through your pictures and every combination you make is amazing,it really inspires me,by the way,i'm seventeen too =),see ya.
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Renée Sturme
thank you!

@Leo O: The shop's online only ;)
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Emmanuelle RIENDA
Thank you<3 i loved to read this... I pictured all the awsome memories i have from the netherlands...
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Natalia Romashko
this girl rocks!) awesome and unique style!
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Nat Bass
just love natural
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Love this interview, you have a fantastic style. Amsterdam is a must, you can't contain your creativity in a village :P
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