THIS MONTH // BALANCE
Have you ever given thought to the actual meaning of standing on your own two feet? But truly? Ever considered how seamlessly you do it? Precisely how many of your 600+ muscles are currently activated? You stand tall, you balance – suddenly at your most able. This is the moment of greatest potential where anything can happen. You take one step, then another. Next thing you know you’re running, and in some incredible feat of magic, you’re still upright. Your strong body, functioning without you even giving it a second thought. In a split second you are balancing in mid air. You are in flight.
Both in movement and at a standstill, we practice balance. Simultaneously, in each moment of the day we stand between the ‘chaos’ of every unknown thought playing in our heads and the calm of just knowing exactly what, where, who and how. We hope we get it right, we strive for equality between the two, but realising it’s not always possible. Sometimes we forget that balance is not necessarily the endpoint we believe it to be. It’s about the movement away from one thing and towards another. It’s the dance between veering to one side, sometimes to the other. There are moments where we feel in control, and other times where we are just going with it. Either way, it’s constant and unrelenting.
We are taught we need to find a balance between work and play, between social activities and me-time, between the food we know is good for us and the food we crave… Sometimes finding that balance becomes the struggle; to find that perfect equilibrium is overwhelming and we feel we’ve tipped the scale. Was all that hard work for nothing?
Enter: the change of perspective. Balance isn’t the end goal. Balance is the game. It’s the journey that gets us there. As we go through this life questioning ourselves and our surrounding, whether we’re good enough or not, perhaps the most important aspect where we need to practice balance is in our ability to show some self-love. And realise it’s already perfectly in balance in this moment.
Have you ever given thought to the idea of standing on your own two feet? Trust yourself.
Balance in art, as seen in recent news: https://www.dezeen.com/2019/07/30/rael-san-fratello-us-mexico-border-wall-seesaw/
Balance in age: Garance Doré on growth: https://www.wearedore.com/garance/diary/growth/
Balance in tradition: a curious dive into Castellers:
Listening to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDAKS18Gv1U
THIS MONTH // PLAY
As children we just play and we believe games to be just that. We take them at face value and act freely. As we age, however, that trust and openness is jaded and we become more serious – we believe we (should) know better. Play the game better. But there is a difference between play and game. Games have a purpose, a victory that needs to be achieved.
Somewhere along the way the responsibilities of living this life, of choosing to be this fully thinking, acting, functioning being have gotten the better of us and we feel overwhelmed by the need to achieve, the pressure of having to go in a certain direction, namely FORWARD. Suddenly when things don’t work out and we are left disappointed, we forget that that’s part of playing too. We can’t always see that – all cliches aside – losing and having the guts to try again will only prepare us better for the next attempt.
In many ways, the creative process of drawing up something from scratch parallels these sentiments. To play, to truly allow yourself to give it a try, to create, to face the unknown, is to understand that there’s more, and that things will and can work out even when you aren’t sure how.
Let it be open. Tomorrow just see what comes. It’s difficult, we know. We constantly get drawn back to how we presume things to be, what society asks from us and obsessing on how we are perceived. And yet every moment we let go. Just do, let things comes we create and we flow. These are the moments that ADORN makes sense, that what we do feels so natural and rich.
For us every piece of ADORN is a manifestation of this sentiment, something started without knowing the final outcome. And in the end, the outcome doesn’t even really matter. It’s about participating, about seeing the value in doing something without it presenting an immediate reward or without knowing people will understand. It’s vulnerability.
And so we play. For the sake of just being. Play because you can. Play even when you don’t know the rules, or see the goal of the game. Perhaps there isn’t one. Go with your gut, allow yourself to want to win, learn how to lose. Repeat. Repeat.
It’s so very simple, because actually it’s always there. Leave everything for what it is and just be. Playful.
Because we love plants. A fun little zine about your plant and you: https://www.peopleiveloved.com/products/plants-as-therapists?omnisendAttributionID=email_campaign_5d1101ba8653ed561f089956&omnisendContactID=5cc35c7436d95f541c0b54fe&omnisendScopeID=5cc3407a8653ed5a50b11a1f_2_22430561&utm_campaign=campaign%3A+Booster+of%3A+Plants+%26+Gardening++Retail+%285d1101ba8653ed561f089956%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=omnisend
However people may question, this men knew play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEXIUiXw8iE
Wedding season is upon us. Some thoughts on the concept of marriage: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/07/case-against-marriage/591973/
Tiny Desk Concert, highlighting bright musical talent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXrlhebkpIQ
We love this invisible hula-hooping grandma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcD_YXCxxZM
THIS MONTH // TIES
Ties. Everything that keeps us together, everything that keeps us in this world. We begin our lives from the start connected to people, to places, to material goods we don’t even know the significance of. And yet, as we grow and become the individuals we decide to be, so many of these things take on a different meaning. Do we still feel linked to our past? To the things once assigned to us? In many cases we feel the urge to shake these off, to shed the old skin of a former identity.
And yet there are certain aspects we cling to for dear life, the things we believe most define us and our story. These we hold tightly as we step into our future. Again, drawn by something, pulled by a string towards certain decisions and simultaneously away from others. And whilst sometimes we feel a deep aloneness in this life, for the most part we are awestruck by the infinite number of lines that connect us to all things.
ADORN is a story with many chapters – a story where the beginning isn’t necessarily where we thought it to be, and where unexpected twists have met us at every corner. Every new detail, every new character is a brightly coloured thread that intertwines itself into the foundations of our growing narrative. With this month bringing with it both a trip back to Bali and a celebration of our first year around the sun, we take a moment to reflect. What does it all mean? The significance of Bali? The importance of the people that support us? Of the values we hold dear? Or the certainty we have in our gut that the direction we’re going is the right one? Together all these ties make ADORN real – the simple fact of their existence is proof that we exist too. And we are so curious as to what the future brings.
We open ourselves to new opportunities, new friends and new places. We want to learn of other cultures and traditions, to be inspired by everything that lies outside of our comfort zone, and to grow with the knowledge that no matter how fast or in whatever direction, there’ll always be a steadfast web of support holding us up along the way. We test these ties, pulling away at the edges to see just how far we can go. We dare to step one step further, we challenge with the belief that this discourse will lead to something better, something stronger. With it we arise. To a new level of understanding, with more ambition than we had before. Our ties are our everything. We salute you.
A selection of things we've stumbled upon in the last month that have made us think. Follow the links to see where our head's at.
ADORN STYLE PROFILE / CHARLOTTE CORSTANJE
Dutch. 31. Fashion Anthropologist. Part-time Philosopher.
In this business we have the pleasure of meeting people from all across the grid, out there doing incredible things. However, there is one person in particular where the melding of real life and work life is undeniably prominent. Charlotte Corstanje is a fashion anthropologist whose form of communication and self-expression is all she adorns her body with on a daily basis. Spurred on by her passion for clothing, its history and the significance it has in today’s world, she’s building an impressive portfolio towards the ultimate goal of becoming a full-fledged clothing consultant – essentially, someone who’ll teach you how to feel comfortable in the clothes you actually want to wear, but aren’t quite sure how. The best part? Charlotte is as much bark as she is bite, inspiring and educating others one eccentric outfit at a time.
On what occasion do you lie?
When I am feeling vulnerable. Sometimes I’ll be at work or other times with friends, and I’ll catch myself telling a twisted version of the truth because I don’t want to be confronted with something at that particular moment. In the end though, I know that this is just a manner of postponing what will eventually come out. The truth always prevails, and so it’s best to be honest and listen to your feelings, no matter how hard this might be
What is your current state of mind?
Confusion. Who am I? Who would I like to be? I am educated as a fashion anthropologist (one degree in fashion and another in social and cultural anthropology), and have always embraced the combination. The deeper I dive into the subject, the more I realise how much I want to be a part of the larger discussion. How do we choose the clothing we wear? And what do we communicate with that choice? How does this affect our identity? Individually, culturally, locally, globally? I have always followed my curiosity. But lately, due to questions of inclusiveness, I have come to question my own (privileged) position in this world. Who am I? Who would I like to be? What am I willing to give up? Identity, identity, identity.
When and where were you happiest? What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The best place in the world no matter when or where is the beach, especially when it’s drizzling so lightly that you feel refreshed without truly getting wet. In this moment, when it’s quiet and there are so few people around, you suddenly become aware of your surroundings in a way that you might not have if it was a sunny day when you’re so relaxed you forget where you are. It’s everything: the water, the breeze, the sand. The patterns and endless repetition of the rolling waves makes me happy. Like being hypnotized by watching a flame, except at the beach it’s total immersion.
Finding herself in a period of discovery, Charlotte’s research is taking her to new levels of awareness. The big question: identity, with a capital “i”. To what extent can her role in the fashion world tackle subjects such as diversity, and what exactly do these choices mean for her as a woman, especially one in this industry? This renewed energy and shift in perspective is the kind that stirs big change in a person and we can’t wait to see how this will manifest in her closet too. In the meantime, we’ll be waiting for the next almost-not-quite rainy day to experience an immersive session at the beach, à la Charlotte Corstanje.
Dive into Charlotte's world here.
Header image © Justine Leenarts, for Elle magazine
Body images © Charlotte Corstanje
ADORN STYLE PROFILE / JEANNETTE HUISMAN
Dutch. 36. Entrepreneur. Boundless explorer.
Tall, lean, with a sense of style that effortlessly merges femininity with a playful boyishness, Jeannette Huisman is a vibrant energy, always on the move and always seeking out the next adventure. It’s a love for surprises and allowing things to come on your path that drive her to see her travels as true moments of exploration, opting for discovering by doing rather than researching everything online. Part of the game is jumping in the deep end not knowing whether you’ll be able to swim, and it is exactly in this way that Jeannette’s begun some of the biggest projects of her life. Whether it was making the change from law to photography, setting up the two photo studios she has in Amsterdam or starting a family of her very own, Jeannette’s desire for adventure and new experiences breathes life into all that she touches.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being healthy and having a relaxed mind open to new ideas, much of which is nurtured by my being able to explore and opening myself up to random encounters. With the studios, photography, friends and family, it can sometimes be difficult to get into the mindset. I sometimes struggle to set boundaries for myself and then when I do, I’m the first one to cross them. This is why my travels are so important to me. When I’m away for work, temporarily removed from my life in Amsterdam and all the roles I play here (mother, daughter, lover, photographer and studio owner) then I have more freedom for myself, to explore and live on my time.
Where would you most like to live?
I love where I live now, in the middle of the city in an old house with big windows, high ceilings and all the weird cracks and sounds that go with it. But I have this recurring dream of walking around in a wooden house with floor-to-ceiling glass, overlooking a lake with nothing else other than water and pine trees in the horizon. I think this back-and-forth attitude between the chaos of a city and the calm of the country will always be something I seek out – both inspire me in different ways.
When and where were you happiest?
Travelling around the world for more than two years with my greatest love, Yves. Exploring new places, feeling free, getting to know each other, finding out more about life, how we would like to live it, making memories together and starting a family. Essentially, that was the reason for our return to the Netherlands after exploring so much of Australia, New Zealand and Asia; I found out I was pregnant with our son. We now have two children, and with each pregnancy came a photo studio with it. If I look back now, maybe I would have done things differently, but that’s the whole point of not overthinking things and being open to new ideas: you just go out and do it, and it doesn’t even matter if things don’t work out because in the end all of it is a learning experience. With all the support from Yves and my family, I know that no matter what I set out to do, it will all be worth it.
Like her attitude towards photography and travelling, when it comes to fashion Jeannette exudes a palpable self-confidence. From some of the more eccentric outfits she remembers wearing in her youth (read: bright orange velvet leggings, and a fabulous purple crop-top and flared jeans set), to the sophisticated combination of silhouettes in her closet as a grown woman, there is a clear deliberateness to her choices. As is the case with jewelry: when she finds a piece, it is forever.
To discover more about Jeannette's photography and the studios, click on the following links:
All images © Jeannette Huisman