We’re not political retailers. That’s just not our role. But there are times when the World changes and a palpable, inescapable shift occurs. This is one of those times. And while the events of the US Election may seem geographically far away, there is no running from the ripples, or waves, that will follow.
Now you might not have been happy with either candidate, but that is missing the point of why the outcome of the US Election is just so seismically enormous… and shocking.
The morning after the worst night ever I woke with tears in my eyes. The heavy sadness that comes when your belief that “she’ll be right” is shaken and something you didn’t think possible occurs. The World simply felt different. This was not a result of one’s political views over another’s, it was solely to do with simple human decency and the concept that a democratic government is for the people, there to do good - as opposed to openly alienate, discriminate, disenfranchise and hate. Many may say this is naive, but if we don't hold on to ideals and maintain some standards, its a very slippery slope...
So, that’s a lot to wake up to - to a realisation that the World has been coloured by the outcome in one country on the other side of the planet. But like it or not our planet is shrinking and the events in one country are no longer confined by it’s own borders. A couple of weeks ago we were eagerly embracing Halloween, so perhaps it's not so surprising that this election feels closer. We’re so fortunate here in Australia, but we’re not immune.
I for one take strength from the stand-up-and-fight tenacity of Americans (those not planning on moving to Canada that is!) who are pledging to do their part, small as it may be, to be better people: inclusive, open, rejecting prejudice and discrimination. The day after I dressed as if I was mourning, but tomorrow I’ll fight for optimism and try to regain my belief that the bully and bigot won’t ultimately win.
With significant political change history has usually followed with a sartorial answer to our psyche. This isn't looking too deeply into things, it's just a statement of fact. We dress for our lives, our times, our comfort and to feel good about ourselves. What's happening around us invariably affects these things and hence our needs and desires react and reflect. There is certainly a military element lacing collections already - bombers, army green, heavy tread boots and the ever-cool ripped jean. But there is also a revived sense of femininity coming our way. Floaty dresses, lacey garments, optimistic rainbow-hued stripes and pretty florals. And the best news is that (unlike elections) you don't need to pick sides; you can be neither, either or both. No matter your mood or headspace, you can express this to the world in what you feel like wearing any given day. Thankfully, we have the chance to each make the world a better place in the many small interactions we have every day. Yeah yeah, it's cheesy. But that doesn't make it any less true. World peace gets our vote every time.
The truth is, as reality sets in and the shock wears off, we'll all get back to life as we know it. The impact of last week will continue to lessen until the next headlines hit. But my hope is that we remember to be kind and good to each other. So let people into the traffic flow, remember to wave when they do the same to you, and slowly we might all be smiling more. Who knows what that can lead to?
On that note, everyone should read this article in New York Magazine, and see a Hawksburn point of view below.