Designer Wednesday: Rescuing a Hummingbird
Sometimes it feels as if we are all hummingbirds; our wings are beating so fast they become blurred. What we can learn from the hummingbird is that when you are constantly moving you are also depleting your energy. In order to keep living a hummingbird must find a tree and take steps to slow down or it will not be able to live until the morning. When this happens it goes into a deep sleep called a torpor. Heartbeat and metabolism slows down and the hummingbird emerges in the morning ready to fly another day.
What does fashion, me and hummingbirds have in common? In the digital and social media world of fashion (which is where I live) everything is coming at you from multiple directions and at breakneck speed. Fast fashion and even faster fashion in the form of capsules and small drops are launched daily and soon become a digital blur surrounded by a haze of blue light. There are not sharp edges to poke you, no discrete sounds and smells and no natural light.
When I start feeling like a hummingbird my “torpor” state is to put on some comfortable clothes, and by that I mean natural, organic materials that allow you to feel their goodness against your skin, usually with a pair of well worn jeans and of late, beat-up sneakers. When Calvin is my photographer everything is taken outdoors in natural light and since he comes from the world of film cameras there is no Photoshop on his computer. His photos are as natural as you can get, without meeting me in person! I return to old but well—loved objects that have personal meaning both about the object and the person who graced me with it. Paradoxically, yet relevant to the topic of this post, I have met all the people, whose objects I am styled in today, in the world of social media. They are the people, who through their commitment to relationships and to slowing down, are reminding hummingbirds like me to perch on a tree.
The sunglasses are from my official eyewear stylist (and now good friend) Sue Randhawa. In the midst of a crazy whirlwind 2 day trip to Paris we both found time to share a meal and catch up. Waiting for her in the lobby of my hoteI I felt jet lagged and weary. Dinner not only fed me some good food but replenished my energy. The earrings were purchased to commemorate an inspiring journey to Iceland orchestrated by another friend. We shared a soak in a blue lagoon and talked about everything in the world. My sore muscles from tension emerged relaxed. The black turtleneck is from a long-time digital friend, Alexander Stutterheim, who inspired by his grandfather to respect what has come before, knows how to make something old relevant and modern as he did with a raincoat and is now doing with John Sterner, a very special knitwear line. Designed as a business and as an object, around values of sustainability and social justice (he has knitting collectives made up of refugees and his own herd of sheep), my sweater reminds me what luxury should be and what makes something worth investing in. Like everything else in life, despite it’s sapping of energy, social media has also brought me wonderful friends such as these who remind me to stop, perch on a tree and slow down.
What’s are you doing when you go into your state of torpor?