Recently I had a very interesting Skype call, a blast from the past and a look into the future, all at once. It was a gentle reminder with a nervous energy and suddenly it felt like I was 15 years old again. I was reminded of the person I once used to be, the person that could see her future so clearly, as long as the future included a white picket fence. Having this memory of past-me felt like being wrapped in velvet, soft and comfortable. But just as quickly as that all consuming feeling came over me, it disappeared and I was reminded that I cannot stand velvet.
Let me back up here for a second, at 15 I was in fashion school, it’s a real thing, look it up. It was a vocational school that trained me as a fashion designer, seamstress and introduced me to book keeping and organizing fashion shows. It was all the glitz and glamour and fourteen thousand more times the work because, as I realized over the course of five years, I have little patience when it comes to sewing, ironing, washing, designing and to this day, even wearing fashionable clothes. It’s not that I run around in rags, although I totally would if I could, but comfort to me was always more important than looking like high fashion and if you haven’t noticed yet, there is little room for comfort in fashion. Fast forward to today…
I absolutely love soft surfaces and if you ask A, he’ll be the first to tell you that I have the softest wardrobe you will ever find. I buy my clothes (and furniture and anything else for that matter) based on its softness, it’s been like that for as long as I can remember. So, in theory velvet meets all the criteria that should make me happy, it’s soft to the touch, durable and keeps you warm, and I think many of my fellow fashion people will agree that velvet is one of the softest fabrics on the market. And that’s just it, the 15 year old me (and consequently also the slightly older me) wanted that velvet life desperately, the one that looked amazing from afar, warm and comfy and cozy. I searched so long for that life, that even the slightest resemblance of velvet would have me heads over heels.
What they don’t tell you when you buy your velvet couch or velvet drapes or velvet anything for that matter, is that velvet is heavy and unforgiving, it won’t let the sun shine through and most importantly, real velvet is a pain to keep clean (in case you’re wondering, part of my training included learning lots about fabrics, the smells, the touch, the way the fibers are build and how to detect the direction they’re going!). And so, the life that I thought I wanted, the velvet life was everything but what I actually needed. Life isn’t straight forward (if it is to you, you should seriously consider stepping out of your comfort bubble, it will do you some good). More often than not, I dressed inappropriately, wore (and am still wearing) clothes I probably shouldn’t wear, have a million and one fabrics in my closet that I probably never should have even looked at, but you know what? These fabrics are what makes life so amazing.
Of course, my velvet past has it’s good sides, it was so easy to see all the big milestones… But see, yes, I have a long journey still ahead of me, trying to figure out where I may or may not be going in the near and far future. And I realized that although velvet lasts a lifetime, I’d much rather work with fabrics that are much more forgiving, maybe even stained clothes if need be, just as long as they are fitting the person I am today. The person that will give more than she has, a person that will forever stand up and say loud and proud if something is on her mind. The person that loves with all her heart and to all the ocean’s depths and back. It’s not an easy life (after all, have you tried to work with fabrics like hemp and silk before? They can be horrible from start to finish!) and from afar it may not look as cozy and comfy as velvet, but that’s okay. I’d much rather have a million different soft fabrics in my household than having unforgiving, relentless heaviness, that only velvet draped over my shoulders would bring into my life.