This post was sponsored by KEMP GADEGÅRD. They didn’t give any editorial direction, they just asked if I’d like to review a pair of their trousers. All thoughts, realisations and adventures are my own.
If you haven’t noticed/don’t follow me on Instagram, I’ve been travelling for what feels like forever. With a European performance tour, a stag do in Poland, a reuniting with international friends in Amsterdam and a DIY wedding in Canterbury that involved decorating a giant barn and taking it all down again in one weekend… August and September have been a non-stop whirlwind.
Now it’s over, I’m ready to seriously slow down.
Throughout the whole summer I feel like I’ve been rushing constantly, towards the end I started to feel like a car running on empty. I abandoned this blog for an entire week because I had no time or energy to give to it, something I haven’t done in about a year. This kind of non-stop tireless work ethic is one that can often be championed by society; we glorify how busy we are as if being busy is somehow an accurate measure of success. If we’re too busy, we must be in demand. If we’re in demand, we must be important. Right? There’s a reason that mass production and consumption is such a big business these days, as the world speeds up the culture of busy grows more pervasive: new clothes every week, new phones every six months, new information every minute, it can make our brains feel a bit melty melty.
There are lots of benefits to a more connected world, I’m never going to be one of those people that blames all of the worlds problems on the fact that we all have smart phones. But I think it’s also important in this day and age to be purposeful about finding our balance, a rhythm that works for us. Especially if we live in a big city. People literally run through London tube stations all the time, there’s no way all of them are simply late. It’s just not quite right.
Yesterday was my first day back in normality and the last day of having my Japanese best friends stay at the house, who were also in town for said barn wedding, and it was one that was lived considerably slower. I woke up late (seriously needed after minimal sleep for four nights), we took a three mile walk in the forest with the dog that ended in a pub lunch, before heading home to swap stories and photos before saying goodbye. I cooked a huge veggie pasta with the food they left behind, the first time I’ve cooked in at least a month. It was a glorious feeling, looking over the contents of the fridge and being creative from there. No pressure, no deadlines, no rush. It’s a feeling, and a lifestyle, I’m determined to cultivate now that I’m back.
I started to think about this last week when shooting these trousers (at the same time doing wedding research/prep on my phone). KEMP GADEGÅRD’s new collection is called ‘The Far Side of the Infinite’ so I wanted to head to Conservatory Archives in East London, a place filled with foliage and the ethereal feeling of being a little outside of the world. Seeing as the collection is inspired by Yves Klein, I also wanted the chance to be a little more creative in the images we took. On the walk there we kept stumbling across places I’d never noticed before, and we decided to actually stop to look at them properly. One of them, Honey Moon Cafe on Hackney Road which had just opened for the first time that day, turned out to be a beautiful discovery and a setting for most of these photos. And I realised.
It feels like London is a whole new place to me.
After all the madness and chaos, it’s like I have a second chance. A chance to find a new, regular routine that doesn’t glorify being busy, but instead makes room for balance. Even though I live in the city, I’m making the choice to live at my own pace unashamedly, even if it’s just in the smallest of moments.
Here are five achievable things I’m implementing into my new slower life:
- Every morning I meditate for 15 minutes.
- Every Monday I do the ten minute walk to the local florist. Their flowers don’t come pre-wrapped in plastic and are really reasonably priced, each week I’ll choose something new for my room.
- Every Wednesday I buy my fruit and vegetables from the surplus of the local allotments. I just found out about this, and I’m very excited.
- I do ballet at least three times a week, and I don’t feel guilty that I’m not spending that time making, reminding myself that training is as much a part of my work, and is just as valid as any conventional content/creative ‘output’.
- As much as possible, I visit the Barbican Conservatory at the weekend. It’s my favourite place in London, and I’ll take some time to read there in solitude.
What has this all got to do with the trousers you’re wearing? I hear you say. Well, to be perfectly honest, they’re just really bloody comfortable. All KEMP GADEGÅRD asked for was a review, it was only on the jaunt to get the photos did I end up having an entire essay-inspiring epiphany. But, it kind of relates. Their Yves trousers are the most comfortable I’ve ever owned for sure, whilst also being made of ridiculously soft GOTS certified cotton and created slowly and fairly in Spain. It’s so hard to find clothes that combine class and comfort, and it’s hard to feel like you’re living and feeling calm when the very clothes you’re wearing make you feel uneasy, uncomfortable and unhappy with your body. They’re my go-to item for unwinding, the day after the wedding pack down was over I slipped them on and breathed a sigh of relief for the freedom and confidence they gave me. They even let me be my most flexible and free, I mean look at that lunge. The dancer in me can be unleashed at any moment.
I just love them. They don’t make me confident, I can only cultivate that from within myself, but they certainly help me channel it better. And, just like KEMP GADEGÅRD’s approach to slowing down, I feel more stable, secure and balanced.
After so much transience, it’s nice to be home.
You can shop KEMP GADEGÅRD’s full collection on their website.
Photos by the ever wonderful Gianna Scavo.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.