The Simple Things
After going through more than nine months of 2016, this year proved to be quite chaotic in many ways, for the world in general. Everytime life gets complicated or too complex, I just remind myself of the simple things, that’s what saves the day. The Simple Things are the new Super-Hero.
When Pantone chose the colors of the year for 2016 with serenity blue and rose quartz, everyone felt like they’re predicting that it’s going to be a crazy year when we all will need a softness and lightness in our lives. There were already more than usual talk about war, about the refugees, about how technology makes us go a bit off the rails and so on.
And Pantone does work for fashion and interior design, in its purpose. But mainly – like every single trend there is – it says a lot about where we are right now and where we’re heading, the social climate, the political one, the economical one and the place that humanity finds itself in that period of time. It says a lot about what’s yet to come and how the outside – in this particular case, the colors and fabrics and the visuals around us, the exterior, the wrapping, the packing – need to somehow balance the rest – that is to balance the chaos.
The serenity blue brings that sense of peace, the calm of the sea. The shades of blue and rose intertwined make a great sunset palette which gives us a breath of fresh air and the most beautiful image of the sun setting slowly in the far distance. So by putting these two colors out in the open and encouranging visual artists to use them in their work – which they did, in abundance – they tried to balance it out, the energy of the world.
Somehow, they tried to make the outside more simple, more natural, more organic. And if you look at the trends for the next seasons, you’ll see that the natural and organic trends will go as far as the most simple things in the world. Will go to the arhaic simplicity and cave man and its basic way of survival.
Any kind of art has always been about the times we’re living in. And we might say that it’s a crazy time to live in. There’s a lot of pressure roaming around in the air, socially. There’s a lot of pressure to enjoy life by spending money on experiences so there’s pressure to earn money which leads to pressure to work a lot. Also, there’s pressure to be socially active. And that involves being online and staying connected to people through social media, as well. There’s pressure to look good. There’s pressure to improve yourself and live healthy. All of these take time. So there’s very very little time left to PAUSE and enjoy anything.
I understood that no matter how fast I want to go into the world, I need to PAUSE from time to time. I would say we all need to PAUSE everyday. We need to stop whatever we are doing and think about what really matters, what’s human and what’s not (for each of us, ofc), we need to think about THE SIMPLE THINGS.
Many times, I hear people talking about their childhood with such melancholic words and feelings. Most of the time, all I hear is “everything was so simple back then, with no worries”. And that’s right, it was simple because it was MOSTLY about our needs and our emotions. But it’s up to us to keep it simple right now as well. It’s up to us to remind ourselves about that kid – that may still be inside us as he still reminisces and we find him in the small guilty pleasures.
When I remind myself that the present is all that matters and how the simple things keep me grounded and happy, that’s when I know I can UNPAUSE and go on in the whirlwind of life.
And every single time I am unhappy or not satisfied with the world, I think it’s time for a break. Everytime I think too much, it’s time to start feeling more and thinking less. That’s what balance is about, having both of them, not just an avalanche of thoughts or an overflow of emotions. And a small break – a few minutes in the middle of the day or early in the morning – makes a great friend.
When I look at how people desire money, objects, fame, instant gratification etc. all I can think is that we confuse what we NEED and what we DESIRE and we think that we cannot be happy unless we have what we desire. Which is untrue because the simple things are the ones that we NEED. If we put aside our desires for a second, we would be a lot happier or it would be easier for us to be happy.
In the same time, if we PAUSE right now and look at the present and ask ourselves if we have what we need in this very moment – you’re connected to the internet while reading this so you have a life that allows you to take time to read this and browse online so you have the bare necessities of life. I think most of us have what we need in this very moment. Because we are ALIVE.
For me, reconnecting myself to the simple things works with being and staying present. And I get to that point by reading about it (Pema Chodron’s – Living Beautifully is my Bible), doing yoga every day, doing meditation and taking time to focus on the present, on what I feel, what I need and what’s the most honest, true and simple version of myself. Sometimes, I may choose to present myself on the outside as a bit more complex or complicated than I actually am, but I feel it’s the same for everyone. Staying present take all the “clothes” off.
And honestly, it takes time to learn how to stay present. I allow myself at least one hour everyday for yoga + meditation + focusing on the present + cleaning my mind and my heart of non-sense and almost every toxic or unpositive thing, thought and feeling there is. I don’t think I am always present and always manage to enjoy the simple things and not get bothered when some desires are left unattended. But I try to do it, the most I can, for now. And also, I didn’t always made time for this. But it’s been my TOP priority in the last 10 months and it changed everything around because it changed everything inside me, I made room for more light and dettached myself from the darkness.
The Simple Things in Fashion
With fashion, it’s about the simple things as well. Just take a second to think about the clothes YOU need. It’s not about desires, it’s about the simple clothes that you need.
So yeah, there’s a new season that started. It’s getting colder by the minute and you wanna be beautiful for fall or autumn. I keep seeing the word BASICS in H&M everytime I go in there. And I think it’s a good word when it comes to buying. If you NEED clothes, you should always go for basics and if you can afford more than that, that’s a bonus. And no, you won’t be basic if you wear basics. You’ll just have the bare necessities and with a bit of creativity, you can make a wonderful wardrobe out of it.
What I love about men’s fashion is that it has a certain simplicity to it. It feels more natural and more oriented that womenswear, in a way. I guess the clothes for women are in many ways more creative with more shapes and colors and patterns. But that’s the big challenge for guys. To have individuality when you’re wearing a suit and you’re in the middle of a 300 men crowd where everyone is wearing a suit. Being able to stand out in that crowd while shining in a simple suit, I think that’s the very definition of style. It goes back to what you are, to your roots, to the simple things and the organic ones too. It goes back to BASICS.
I’ll write more about how simplicity translates into fashion soon enough. For now, I was just thinking about what we need regarding to the simple things in our closet.
For this small shoot that I did with the beautiful photographer Nico Grigore in Paris while we were shooting Sore’s new music video, I played around with the new MODERN ESSENTIALS from the DAVID BECKHAM collection for H&M for Fall/Winter 2016 which is already in stores. You know I love the greys – I went for dark tones of grey this time. I also love the sandy textures and anything that brings that rock-sandy mood into it, it feels peaceful for me, I don’t know why I associate it with quiet and peace.
I love colors and creativity, they’re fun and I love a good challenge but I also find myself more and more into minimal and simple things these days. Maybe it’s gotta do with the age. Or with the fact that I’m finally figuring some important things about life. It feels like when I focus on the present and what I need right now to smile and find harmony, it’s always the simple things.
Photography & editing by Nico Grigore
Thanks Ruxandra & Ioana from H&M
All clothes from H&M
The jacket is from the new David Beckham for H&M, Modern Essentials collection