November Issue 18 – The Immortal Issue
We may think ourself permanent, but we are not. We may think ourselves settled; we are not. We may anticipate things to last forever…good, bad and the ugly…well, even they will not.
So, what remains when all else is gone?
In life, we invariably and naturally equate genuine relationships with life-long relationships. The human psyche cannot fathom impermanence of any kind. We expect things to last, yet do not revere them when they do.
A classic example of the concept of permanence is embodied in the Ise Shrine, one of the architectural wonders of the world. Situated around 270 miles west of Tokyo, the shrine is over 1500 years old and has been systematically reconstructed in an elaborate ritual every 20 years since the seventh century. It is the style and not the actual structures embodying it that the Japanese sought to preserve. Anything with a physical concrete form is believed to be doomed to decay; only style is indestructible.
Fashion designers spend months, even years putting together a collection for fashion seasons. Attention to detail is adhered to, emphasis is given on quality with the desire for the wearer to keep and cherish the design for years to come. Trends come and trends go. But styles remain immortal. How often have we come across iconic garments inextricably linked to the star that made it famous? Audrey Hepburn and the little black dress, Grace Kelly in a twinset…Madonna laced into a corset.