Updated: Mar 26
Sebastian Hilgetag ELLE Nina Hnizdo
My palms touched in the prayer pose and my head bowed in gratitude. The yoga practice had come to an end signifying the death and rebirth of my own self. The appreciation for that moment of stillness hadn’t come with ease and was acquired after months of continuous practice.
Just a year ago I was on the 30th year of my career as a Creative Director and Designer. 30 years being on the fast track and moving from one management position to another while designing, developing and producing massive amounts of apparel for various brands. Does this picture look familiar?
In fact, the fashion industry, as it has been in the last 30 years, reminds me of a steam train that rumbles through the pristine stretch of nature covering it in smoke, like this one in the picture. We are passengers on that train being led by its powerful engine and unable to stop it or to get off.
While riding the mad train we don’t have time to think or understand the entire scope. We don’t know if the train is heading towards the broken bridge. We don’t know the origin of its fuel and how much smoke it produces. We don’t know who is operating the train and who determines its speed.
For many of us, passengers of the fashion train, type-A personalities and diligent professionals, this moment of confinement and stillness feels foreign. It has taken us a couple of weeks to engage our internal breaks, deal with the unrest and realize the importance of the present moment.
Let’s use this moment to relook at the world of fashion from a completely different perspective. Let’s examine all parts of the industry from the position of the outsider in this temporary white-out. If we are wise, an opportunity like this will not present itself, in our lifetime, again.
Let’s bow our heads with appreciation and understand what this moment really is - a white canvas. For any designer, the white canvas is a nativity and an opportunity to create. The most treasured mementos that humanity possesses began as a white canvas: Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Van Gough’s Sunflowers, or Rembrandt’s Danaë.
As we prepare our canvas and stretch it over a sturdy frame, let’s begin planning ahead. Painting the same old industry picture will be unwise. As fashion develops in a circular pattern, going to the beginning of times, may be the right path to the future.
“In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
If the word was first, let’s start the process of transformation with a question. Let’s ask the most difficult questions like “Why”. Then move to “How” and finally arrive at ”What”. Let’s use the time of stillness to slow down the steaming train and ensure the rails are in a mindful direction. Let’s stretch our white canvas and dream a new picture of our future.
Until then...stay safe and inspired.
Images are courtesy of:
Stephan Glathe Nicole Meyer
ELLE Decor on Instagram-A moment of reflection