The following is an extract from my article for CALM. Read it in full here.
From the early days of London Collections: Men to now, the menswear scene in London has exploded into a flurry of street style and catwalk photographers, models and media running around like headless chickens, trying to cover and covet all of the latest trends. It’s also the first event in a roller coaster month around Europe, which will take the majority of the industry folk from London to Florence to Milan to Paris. Safe to say, it can be a bit of a whirlwind—mostly for good reasons; occasionally for bad. Earlier in January, CALM collaborated with Topman on The Common Room for LFWM’s first foray into East London, taking over Labour & Wait and in turn giving the fashion industry a much-needed place of solace. Having visited it between shows, it made me realise just how important respite is when you’re on-the-go. But that’s just it. How do you successfully implement good habits that prioritise mental and physical well-being in an industry that is constantly switched on, and constantly has the world’s collective eyes on it?
I’ve been a part of the fashion industry for around five years professionally. One of the things that initially pulled me into it was the demand of paying attention to detail and always having to look your best. When I dress well, I know I look good because I feel like I can take on the world without breaking a sweat. Subconsciously, I began to realise that it also worked as a coping mechanism on days when I was getting really bad. I delved into it a little further for an online interview, in which I mentioned my struggles with depression and how dressing up helped me, “I'd wake up early (mainly because it would be difficult to get out of bed) and took that extra time to think about what I was wearing and how it all worked together - from the glasses down to the shoes. I initially considered it merely a distraction tactic; something I could focus on. But I realised that dressing well gave me a little (and much needed) confidence boost. I'd walk around and I felt like I was doing something important; as if I were going somewhere of prominence even when I had no set destination in mind. Getting compliments ended up being the icing on the cake. It all sounds quite narcissistic, but sometimes that's what's necessary for me to feel a little bit better about myself. And that's perfectly okay.”