The last few months have been tough in a way I’ve not known in the industry, a fight that hasn’t compared with any time that came before. I had to fight to get known, I had to fight to not only have validity but have others agree that I had validity, I had to scrap my way to the place I found myself, but through it all there was a thread, I always had the will to write.

As these torpid months have rolled on it’s been hard to sit and write, I felt like Nero, playing my fiddle while Rome burned around me. What could I say at a time when not just fashion but the whole of society was plunged into isolation, despair and danger. How could a few paragraphs about fashion be important in that climate.

Some may have noticed my output gradually drying up like a stream, a metaphor that fitted with the demise of my art as the days grew longer and warmer perhaps? I saw friends lose jobs, businesses and more as the days passed, each day producing less words from me than the last.

I suffered my own moments of despair, my future on an island in the Pacific more distant now than it was in January when I decided enough was enough and selected a departure date of the week after September LFW. I still don’t know when I’ll get to leave or what that leaving will look like, each plan has been wiped away and replaced by new ones, each morning has been the checking of the news, the emptiness washing over me as I say to myself “each day done is another day closer” some days knowing that was true, others feeling it was a lie.

By July I promised myself a week off to find the words again, that became a fortnight, which became a month, and here we are 49 days later and the only thing I can write is how I can’t write. The irony isn’t lost on me.

But that I can find words and validity again at all is a shoot of hope, that I have spent the time on other things, tending to and nurturing a new business, supporting others, volunteering time and effort where I can add value has meant the days have had a different yet satisfying meaning, and in that there is not only hope, but peace.

Perhaps the lesson of a trial is not what it takes, but what it gives?

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