I have a steaming cup of tea on the table next to me, I’m wearing my most comfy socks, a look out of the window confirms that it’s definitely nicer inside today, and I’m enjoying the order, the tranquility and the scent of the candle I only light when I’m secure in the feeling that I have everything more or less under control. It’s Saturday. It was a quiet. Yes, it was a good week.
In fact, the whole month was a really good one.
In the more tranquil periods of my life I’m sometimes tempted to think I don’t get ahead, that nothing’s happening. For that reason alone, writing this monthly review is a valuable exercise for me. It helps me to take stock of all the things that happened.
Apart from all the developments on the surface, I find myself pondering deeper questions more and more frequently these days. What is my role in life, and what’s the purpose of living?
Am I still the same Masha Sedgwick you got to know, back in the day?
This mood is probably related to the fact that I’m approaching my 30th birthday. Quarter-life-crisis, I guess it’s called. I’d prefer to call it an identity crisis. I’m questioning all aspects of my life… but shouldn’t I already have found myself? I’ll be 30 soon. That sounds so grown-up. Am I, though?
Am I ready to be 30?
The truth is, I am aware of an internal process of redefinition. I notice how I’m just not that interested in many things anymore that used to really excite me. Trends, for one. I feel I found my style, which means I don’t need to collect as many clothes as I used to. I tend to focus on a few select items, these days. I also appreciate good articles and books so much more than I used to. I have an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and find that I enjoy a trip to the museum much more than Ido most parties. Maybe I am already much more of a grown-up than I realize
But still, the question looms: shouldn’t a 30 year old person know who they are and where they’re headed in life? If so, why do I still keep discovering new facets of myself? Why do I have no idea where I want to be in 10 years time? And why do I still love underwear with funny prints? I’m almost 30, for god’s sake.
There’s a simple rule in market economy: supply creates demand. And oftentimes, the reverse is even more readily apparent: demand creates supply. When consumers express demand for a certain trend or product, suppliers try to meet this demand by launching the according products. With this theory in mind, I asked myself what would happen if I actively create demand. So I headed out, all dressed up, went from one high end store in Milan to another, and asked for vegan products. I explained the terms of my demand, told the staff that I’d love to keep buying designer brands, but that I’m looking for vegan alternatives to leather. Some vendors were outright shocked when I asked them whether they had any vegan alternatives to their leather products in stock. Of course, they explained, all the leather they sold was genuine. Eventually they understood my point. I was then presented with long faces, and a sad selection of individual items made wholly of textiles. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile experiment, as it showed me first hand how looked-down-upon leather alternatives are in the high end segment. It also strengthened my previous feeling how important it is to actively ask for what you want. I’m not expecting labels to change their entire lines, but I do believe that small adjustments in the product palette would be a step in the right direction, and not too much to ask.
My agenda was filled with a long string of events, but one of the most memorable ones was the Campari party in Milan. You may have heard that I’m part of the Campari campaign, and as the German representative of sorts I had the chance to meet Ana d’Armas and Matteo Garrone on set. It was the first time for me to see such a huge film-set close up, and also to see the final result a few months later, having witnessed the process. The campaign celebrates the 100th birthday of the legendary Negroni cocktails. Having seen the short film, I’m convinced it will convey the message in impressive fashion. Campari once again proves with this year’s installment of its annual short movie that advertising can be elevated to a form of art. The clip really transports the Italian style and lifestyle. Who else is up for a Campari, now?
After our last episode, in which we discussed §219a, and our personal experiences with abortion, we have a new episode for you, in which food and special diets take center stage. The subject was a timely one, as I was on a detox, and you may have heard it in my voice: I was pretty hangry. We received a lot of comments and questions related to dietary issues, with lots of readers and listeners asking me whether I’m still vegetarian. You hear the answer in our latest episode, along with a bunch of amazing podcast recommendations. Give our lovingly made Matchalatte a listen :)
Food for though:
It must be related to my current phase of introspection, and to the fact that my 30th birthday is approaching. I have no other explanation for my new-found fascination with personality tests. Example? I’m usually not big on astrology, to be honest, but I must say that I noticed that I get on particularly well with Saggitarius and Pisces. I was sufficiently intrigued by this observation to find out my own ascendent: I am Virgo! My ascendant contrasts with my zodiac Aries, which would apparently explain why I often find myself conforming to the role of Aries (especially in social situations), while also having a very quiet, introverted side. I put the pedal to the metal, with the hand-break drawn. When I read this astrological analysis, I knew it fit too well to ignore. Any knowledgable astrologers reading this? Do you have any recommendations for me where I can read more?
In other news, I took the 16 Personalities Test test for the first time. To be honest, I completely missed the hype. So, yeah, I did it, and there were a bunch of correlations, but overall I found it to be relatively superficial. In the end you’re presented with, like, 100 pages of reading material, but I, for one, didn’t really feel understood. How about you? According to the test, my personality type is “The Campaigner” (ENFP-A).
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace”, part of the American Crime Story series on Netflix. The show deals with the murder of Versace, but also with the life of serial killer Andrew Cuanan, who also killed three other people. It’s incredibly well produced, only the many timeline shifts are a bit confusing, at times it’s not really clear where you are in the story. The subject matter is certainly fascinating. The murder of Gianni Versace was a rift in the fashion industry, and it reflected the norm of a time in which homosexuality was not really tolerated. Gianni was a real pioneer with his lifestyle, an innovator not only in fashion, but also in society.
Karl Lagerfeld’s death made me really sad. The man was a legend, he left his imprint on fashion like very few others. As long as there’s fashion, Karl Lagerfeld will live. He saw more in fashion than just garments, he imbued the entire industry with a certain sense of purpose. He knew how to treat fashion as a canvas, on which he reflected society. Lagerfeld turned fashion into an art form. I was in the same room with him twice, and both times it was immensely impressive how this man filled the entire space with his aura. A week later it still feels surreal that he’s no longer among us. But he was a legend, and his oeuvre survives him. Thank you, Karl!
A liquid diet, 5 days in a row. I subsisted on juices and soups for five days to give my body a break. After the preceding event-marathon this was a drastic, but necessary measure. I really needed to cleanse my organism, inside out. It worked a treat, and I’m inspired to make lasting changes to my dietary habits, like swapping the sweets I used to nibble on for healthier alternatives. I feel more conscious than before, fitter, somehow, and I notice that I am much more sensitive to scents and flavors. But boy, am I ready for a fresh, crispy salad now!
New Label to watch:
There are way too few sustainable labels out there which offer genuinely stylish fashion. Philomena is one of the precious few exceptions, with fashion that’s always stylish first, and sustainable as a major bonus. The designer shows how to wear a cutting edge yet timeless business look. It won’t surprise you when I tell you that I’m in love with almost every item in their line. Philomena Zanetti is among my favorite labels in Germany.