La Greca Magazine
Walking arm-in-arm towards the Mercedes Benz pick-up point in the beating heart of Zoute, my fashion Saturday companion and I were wondering about our destination. The secrecy of the location where Emma’s Pool Party was taking place had already risen much anticipation in the city’s social circles and quite some envy towards the lucky selected few who had received a precious invitation for this exclusive Knokke Fashion Weekend event. The hostess, Belgian blogger Emma Gelaude, did her best to make the suspense worthwhile.
At the meeting point, the smiling well-groomed driver unfolded our personal invitation, confirmed the names on the guest list and kindly opened the door for us. In less than 10 minutes we were brought to the front step of the mystery 70’s villa with the well-maintained luxurious dark thatched roof. “The house belonged to the previous owner of the Casino! My father was very close to the Nellens family” my friend noticed, as she went on to share the details of this special architectural style with me.
Published in summer 2016 issue of
The interior swimming pool in the middle of what used to be the living room of the two-storey villa was decorated with paintings of nude female figures. The two-dimensional use of the black contour created a sense of pop art. As we took a first walk around the pool, the drawings seemed even more playful like modern sirens submerged into the crystal clear water. The hovering funky golden balloons over it became iridescent as the bright daylight landed on them through the tilted glass walls, which were extended in a steep angle towards the back terrace. The house seemed to have a story to tell, so did the enticing sparkles on the little river stream, which were whispering to me from behind the glass. When we went outside, we paused in admiration. In front of us lay a vast green garden with a perfectly manicured lawn bordered by the flowing water. Even the sun beds were design items. White shadows of what looked like humans invited us to lie on them and sip in the rays of the generous sun.
As time passed, more people joined and soon the vibrant atmosphere was leaked outside. The fashion party was a fresh combination of fashion brand expositions and artworks allocated in the various rooms of the villa, DJ and live music, dance shows and a bar by CIROC. Exhibitors included both known and smaller brands, such as MAC Cosmetics, handmade Lilu bags, trendy Morobé shoes, Café Costume for tailor-made gentlemen attires, fun outfits from PDP by LINS, Preloved vintage bags, Louis Reichman’s and Botier’s diamond and gold creations, and Yves Saint Laurent with its blazing new perfume.
Of course, curious by nature as I am, I had to try it all. The best part? Letting go completely at the YSL photoshoot. “You can grab anything in the room and do whatever springs to mind. I will capture a Polaroid shot and Emma will post the best one on Instagram. The winner gets a bottle of Opium by YSL” explained the elegant photographer in the black tuxedo. But, admittedly, a bit later I found out that I had not been the most inventive girl in the photo booth and realized that strength sometimes does lie in numbers. The group picture of the American Women’s Club of Brussels is proof enough! I couldn’t be prouder of my friends’ artistic qualities and complete lack of hesitation.
Emma’s Pool Party brought out the inquisitive and fun side in us. Collaborators and guests, let’s all raise our cocktail glasses to a successful part II.
Author: Marianna Lagakou - Van Zandweghe