Kayla Foran (@kaylajanewhite) and I met over instagram and through mutual creative friends. I'd heard of her through so many of my creative friends and it felt like I knew her, without ever having met her. It got to the stage that it seemed ridiculous to not meet in person, and so we did one magical morning at Paramount Coffee. Kayla is warm, vivacious and has an unparalleled design eye when it comes to styling and photography. Having recently travelled to Antwerp, we jump onto the couch with Kayla to discuss all things Antwerp, travel fashion & design (Alongside imagery taken by Kayla in Antwerp with The Blackline Bottega studio work)
1 | I have never been to Antwerp, and until you mentioned you were travelling there, hadn't really looked into it. But now I'm aware and really excited by the design movement in Antwerp. What drew you there?
Exactly that - design, fashion and architecture!
This was my second time around and it was everything I remembered and loved.
An Architect I admire (Vincent Van Duysen) calls Antwerp home and this is how I came to find myself down the rabbit hole of all things Antwerp and I simply just had to go!
2 | I'm constantly seduced by your leaning towards simple, monochromatic palettes with texture and light. In some ways I think we chase similar content but from different angles and mediums. Is this a conscious decision on your part or something you're innately drawn to?
I'd say 'innately drawn to' perfectly describes how I feel when I'm creating anything.
My love for simplicity stems from growing up in a large family, whilst it was awesome, it naturally was busy and cluttered most of the time and my personality needs some order and simplicity, which as an adult I've had the freedom to do, and I see that flow into my creative work. I'm not with the minimalistic trend, I've always been this way, it's who I am.
3 | Travel is such an enriching cultural and creative experience. What do you find continues to fuel your creativity after your trips - and in particular what is continuing to inspire you from Antwerp?
The people I met in Antwerp were kind and put a lot of love and care into whatever they did. I felt constantly inspired everywhere - I went there as the appreciation for good design and fashion is at the heart of the city. You can find the same type of culture within Sydney; there's a community of people who appreciate the same things you do so I have found myself frequenting the same cafes, studios and stores. I love to be a part of connecting likeminded creatives and meeting new faces, its great and I did feel inspired in Antwerp to come home and really be apart of our community here.
4 | I'm so creatively driven by textures, visuals & aesthetics, that accommodation becomes a really key part of my trip planning. I like to find off-the-instagram-map accommodation (because I'm not looking to experience something I've already seen) and eateries that appeal to my design sensibilities. When you're planning trips, what are the key elements you must have that are non-negotiable for you?
I feel this way too! I know not everyone feels it so important for everything to be pleasing to the eye, but it's also a part of who I am, it's something I'm passionate about...it's my career.
I am inspired by a great design or a beautiful space so it's a part of my planning for every trip to find somewhere that will add to my experience, yes!
I don't see anything wrong with chasing things you find beautiful in life. I've often discovered a new place or practice simply from finding some great accommodation and going from there.
5| You're travelling with a gorgeous family tribe - has that changed the way you travel to still gain the same level of creative immersion in a country that you've previously experienced on holidays?
Kids can help you gain new perspective; you won't get to experience everything the same as you would travelling solo but I wouldn't hesitate to bring my kids...it forces you to slow down..it's a good way to feel like a local.
My son has learnt to love interesting buildings too (I've rubbed off on him) and he doesn't mind relaxing at a cafe, so there's still time for that!
6 | What are your top tips for accommodation in Antwerp? Suburbs to stay in? Suburbs to explore?
For a stay I highly reccomend August hotel or their sister hotel, Hotel Julien, the area is beautiful. If you don't stay visit their restraunt, spa or cafe.
Granmarkt 13 is a beautiful concept store complete with a place to stay at the top and a delicious restarunt at the bottom.
Take a walk...get up early and admire the architecture without the later hustle and bustle - we tended to stick within the city circle (you can see it on the map).
7 | Where would you recommend shopping?
Definitiely Granmarkt 13 or grab a bite to eat with coffee at St Vincent and peruse their store.