De stijl van kunstenares Ans Markus

Remarkable style

A lot has been published already about the work of the Dutch artist Ans Markus. From articles in books to interviews in magazines.interviews. The most recent exhibition she worked on was at museum The Fundatie in Zwolle and Het Nijenhuis in Heino. It was a great success. More than 90.000 people enjoyed her work. I photographed Ans several times before when I bumped into her at the Noordermarkt or at Fashion Week, both in Amsterdam. I was really interested in photographing her again and getting to know more about her remarkable style. She invited me to her house on one of the Amsterdam canals…


Talking about designers

“Balenciaga is my absolute favorite. Great lines and very strong shapes. I only own one Balenciaga item, though. It’s a dress, made of a black, shiny fabric with a small fishtail. However, my favorite piece of clothing is a skirt, in red and black organza, designed by Yohji Yamamoto. On the back, it looks like a pair of culottes, and very importantly, it has pockets as well. I also have a jacket by Chanel and pieces by Dior and Dolce&Gabana. Sometimes I buy those design pieces second hand and I wear them to special occasions.”

De stijl van kunstenares Ans Markus

Organza skirt by Yamamoto (photo @MisjaB FashionWeek 2015)

Leather for work

“Like all Dutch women, I cycle a lot, which has an influence on the choices I make in clothing. Tight skirts are just not that convinient. Although I even cycle wearing an evening dress to an opening night in the theater. In Amsterdam, that’s completely normal. When I’m working I prefer to wear one of my leather outfits. For me, leather clothes are very handy, because I might get paint all over me, especially when I’m giving a workshop. I can easily wipe it off. so it’s very practical and it feels good too, like a second skin. I also adore panter prints and striped shirts. The other day every item in my wardrobe was counted for a book called ‘Dit boek gaat niet over mode (it’s not about fashion). It added up to 1430 pieces: 250 dresses, 50 black and white striped shirts,142 leather items and 42 pieces with panther prints.”

De stijl van kunstenares Ans Markus

The joy of shopping

“Nowadays I hardly shop anymore. I just go the Noordermarket every monday morning, which to me isn’t shopping but treasure hunting. Something I enjoy immensly. I love finding stuff that I can change or add something to. Even if it’s slightly damaged I can add a corsage for example. I have no problem at all using siccors on a designer dress. `I love the proces of creating. If had not been a painter I would have probably ended up in fashion.”

Mother & Daughters

“When I was a little girl I aready loved nice clothes. I can remember that I got a new dress for Christmas and Easter. My mother didn’t have much money to spend on it, she made those dresses herself. She was quite a lady herself, even when she was getting older. For a long time it seemed that my daughter Sigrid wasn’t that much interested in fashion. But nowadays she works as a Fashion Auctioneer Catawiki. Though it’s ‘all in the family'”


I’m also invited  to take a look in Ans wardrobe. It’s not a usual wardrobe, it’s a whole floor!  Filled with clothing racks. I see clothes in all kind of different colors. Racks with shoes and bags and a lot of jewelry. It’s amazing. Ans: “Yeah, it’s because I can’t put away anything. But next year I’m gonna celebrate my 70th birthday. Time to clean my wardrobe. See if I can make some people happy with my clothes.”

De stijl van kunstenares Ans Markus


After the photo shoot Ans insist on walking along with me to the railway station. It’s rather cold outside. Saying goodbye she puts her scarf around my neck, saying ‘an early Christmas gift’. How sweet, it warms immediately.




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