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  • Adele Leung

Stillness is a Responsibility of Fashion

Stillness in Fashion: Photo Adele Leung

The hall lights dimmed and the runway lit up, the crowd turned quiet in the minimally designed white washed stadium. The beat to the music began, the first model entered the catwalk. From the music to the clothing designs to the expressions on the model's faces, everything about fashion was speaking one word: be ‘hard’.

That morning before coming to the fashion show, I had experienced a tense episode with my child. We had been experiencing many lovely and heart opening moments recently, but that morning I had a bit too much on my plate, thinking I could pull it all off by being super woman again.

I was feeling pressured but did not express it– instead I tried to rush to fit everything in. I lost the awareness to say “No, I can't do it now” to my son and by not expressing what I felt, I was owned by rush and overwhelm and eventually he walked off leaving me to feel it all.

So when I came to the fashion show, with this incident still fresh, I felt how the energy of fashion wanted me to just ignore how vulnerable the morning had left me. Everything wanted me to just be hard and ignore my son's behavior and what had just happened. But I didn't want to not feel.

So I watched the show that was before my eyes intently, taking it all in and being aware of everything felt. I noticed the people first, the models looked tired and sad, their facial and bodily expressions looked imprisoned. Even the clothing designs reflected this imprisonment, some included hoods, some were like boxes, others had weapon looking shapes growing out from them, it all felt like a hard armor of protection.

Because I was already in 'feeling mode' when I walked into the stadium, what I saw and felt in the fashion did not shock me as it has in the past, but simply presented itself to be clearly seen.

But then I looked deeper than the surface.

Reflecting on my own experience, what I had felt that morning was already the hardness that I would come to meet, and instead of reading what I could feel was ahead, I got swept up by rush and overwhelm to numb myself to what I had already clocked was about to unfold. This is the rhythm of our city, a rhythm that does not want us to stop, it tells us we are important if we are busy, and fashion, is the epitome of this representation.

Sitting in the dark hall and being a part of the fashion industry, and at that moment in the midst of the big daddy of rush and overwhelm, within my heart I realized—stillness is not a luxury, but a responsibility.

When each movement we make comes from this stillness, there is a true beauty and grace that we can offer back to each other in the industry and then out to the world.

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