From Amsterdam with love
On our journey we often encounter fascinating sites, objects and, most importantly, interesting characters. Some of the locations are referred to in this blog, some of the items find their way straight into our collection and now and then we even manage to scribble a few lines about the people we meet. In the spotlight today: Tommy Page, Club Clothier, Prinsenstraat 7, Amsterdam.
A temple to classic gentlemanly culture in Amsterdam: it's well worth enquiring after the details here (English, Dutch and a smattering of German are spoken) - and exploring.
British dress culture in the Netherlands
If you're on the hunt for vintage and tweedy menswear and British clothing culture, you cannot go past Tommy Page in Amsterdam. So our essential recommendation: head there! And, while you're at it, ask Tommy to suggest a decent café in the neighbourhood after you have slipped into some suits, blazers etc. to your heart's delight. And be sure to enquire about his own collection (suit, jacket, high-cut legwear) and the hidden box of marvellous vintage pocket squares that he doesn't really want to part with.
Prinsenstraat 7 - step inside. Hartelijk welkom.
Tommy Page about Tommy Page
So, my name is Tommy Page; shop owner, second son of 3 born between a North London Rocker and a Catholic redhead from Amsterdam in the mid seventies; made in England; born in Holland; lost in translation; likes to express himself eloquently through British dress culture. Dutch loudmouth. Tweed addict. Einzelganger with the aspiration to be appreciated by a few.
Don't just carelessly stroll by, go in and let the adventure start. Vintage and new collections for gents. It's all right there.
The Proust Questionnaire
The questionnaire, which we will now apply to Tommy Page in a somewhat modified form, has its origins in a parlour game popularised (though not invented) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist. The idea is as follows: By answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true character. Tommy is in the very best company of numerous renowned personalities who have answered the questionnaire, including Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx and Arthur Conan Doyle. Well:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
In bed; I am an extremely good sleeper; whenever I go to bed I wonder where else I will lead my life. Needless to say I need ample time in the morning to transition and figure out what the hell happened last night and what to wear today: always accompanied with a cup of builders tea.
Who are your favorite musicians and/or artists?
I can listen to Chet Baker on a loop. Attending piano concerts of my dear friend Nicolas van Poucke are always very exciting and transcending; he posses great vigour and technique. Another one of my favourite musicians here in Amsterdam is Samuele Ghezzi; together with his fellow musicians his classic sessions are truly rejuvenating.
It's high time to buy yourself something of superior quality. When it comes to expertise and guidance and you prefer not to put too much of a strain on your budget, Tommy Page is the right address.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My pair of handmade Carmina Swan Neck Oxford Cordovans; after years and years (and still) of wearing used and restored men's shoes; there also comes a time to make something of quality for yourself.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Creativity; technology has provided many ways for people to express ‘creativity’ but often it’s just plain rubbish, bad taste, greed, not finished or simply a bad idea from the start; and there is too much of it in my eyes and ears aaalll the time.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
The bags under my eyes; the traintracks of life, why are they so wrinkly? Do I sleep too much?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Orthodoxy is the graveyard of all intelligence”; I learnt that from my teacher Vivienne Westwood back in the 90’s.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I like to believe that I am still to meet the greatest love of my life. Rather sooner than later.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Ability to fly would be very welcome: often I try to achieve a helicopter view. Then I want to fly away.
A view from the inside of the cosy shop. There are both obvious and concealed gems to be found in every nook and cranny.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Creating my shop in the centre of Amsterdam; out of nothing else than passion and dedication. There I create collections under my own name and recycle quality menswear. It’s work in progress and ofcourse never finished nor perfect.
What is your most treasured possession?
My country apartment: I don’t actually own it; but nobody actually owns anything.
What is your favorite occupation?
Autumn walks through the forest or walks along the beach: always very cleansing! And I enjoy my work very much.
On a summer visit - at the foreground: the above-mentioned box filled with vintage pockets. Just ask for it! (f.l.t.r. Ralph Joseph Thenhaus, Andreas Thenhaus, Tommy Page)
Who are your heroes in real life and fiction?
I think Alan Turing was a hero; during his life's drive and aspiration to connect the impossible must have been such a conflicting existence. He achieved a lot for so many, but never did he himself get to reap what he had sewn during his own life; which he ended close to his 42nd birthday. Real life hero? I hear Bonnie Tyler singing now.
What do you regret most?
Je ne regrette rien! Not yet anyway..
What is your motto?
"Do something about it or suck it up buttercup." (Could that perhaps be my boutonnière?)
We have no more to say, so off we go to Amsterdam, Prinsenstraat 7, in the centre of the picturesque historic city centre.
Author: Andreas Thenhaus, Tommy Page
Photos: Tommy Page