Designer Diaries – Queen Maxima and Jan Taminiau

“Through my whole life, I loved light and I love what it does to fabrics. Light gives a magic moment to life. And that is why light is a constant inspiration to me.”

Jan Taminiau.

JanTaminiau was born in 1975 in Goirle, the Netherlands. The thoroughly Dutch designer is considered one of the most influential and eclectically inspired couturiers working today. In addition to the light mentioned in the quote above, at various times he has been inspired by: marbled book covers, robots, camouflage prints, superheroines from comic books and his grandmother’s attic, which was packed with antiques.

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He is known for his feminine designs, and for his disdain for the “perfect fabric”. He’ll find remnants of interesting cloth and work up designs around the flaws. He is also known for his rich use of materials, including heavy embroidery. He will often embellish the bodice of his creations more heavily than the skirts, which he feels should remain fluid, and move with the wearer.

There is no record of the creative designer first meeting up with the flamboyant royal, but then Princess Maxima was seen wearing one of his designs around 2009. Yes, that is from the “Postbag” collection, and the designer recycled Dutch postal bags into the design.

Elle Magazine, ‘Postbag Jacket’

We are more familiar with the evening gowns by Taminiau, and it’s there that the designer does the Queen particularly well. Much like the Duchess of Cambridge and Sarah Burton for McQueen, Queen Maxima reaches for Taminiau for the really big, high-profile events. The Queen seems to know exactly what jewels to pair with the dresses, and that only enhances the effect.

Taminiau was tagged to produce the gowns for both the 2013 inauguration ceremony and the glittering party afterward. The gown for the daytime inauguration was tricky – it needed to be dignified and dramatic and not evening-flashy. Taminiau designed a crepe and chiffon gown and coat. The gown featured detailed embroidery, and the coat/cape added drama with the bold shoulders and train.

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The gown for the evening celebration was a lace burgundy/purple number with a short train. The dress was worn again to the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, an outing I prefer because it came with a tiara and one of my favorite necklaces.

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I know that I have posted this photo on this blog at least three times, but come on, it’s worth it, right? For the 2019 State Banquet in India, Máxima wore a one-shoulder dress by Jan Taminiau. The gown is fashioned from a real Indian sari, which she bought during the state visit to India in 2007. The fabric was purchased in Jaipur, also known as the pink city, because of all the pink buildings.

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in 2019, Taminiau launched his very first ready-to-wear collection, a reinterpretation of his haute couture creations. He focused on designs using sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, silk, twill, and tweed. We haven’t seen Max in one of these designs, as far as I am aware. If you can find a photo of her wearing something from the collection, spam it below. Actually, spam all Taminiau – worn by the Queen or not.