Here’s the thing: there are no rules anymore. The last days of of summer feel endless, like the longest Sunday, the breeze a half-hearted sigh, the blue sky a wide yawn, the murky heat circling relentlessly. In many ways, it feels like we’ve lost the thread, our sense of what it means to be human in this world continually slipping through our fingers like water, summersaulting farther and farther out of our control. But here’s the other thing: there is still joy.
There is still color. There is still playful strangeness that sneaks up and surprises you, reminding you that you haven’t seen it all just yet. There is still the crisp scent of chlorine and the acidic bite of lemon. There is still the brief flash of euphoria that accompanies a swipe of bold eyeshadow. There are silhouettes that make you do a double take, fabrics that make you want to reach out and touch, outfits that swoon against bare skin. There are dresses that fit like they’ve been waiting whole decades for you to find them. There are days where you let your clothes do the talking; days when you dress like the world is double dog daring you; days you grab handfuls of joy wherever you can find it.
When I first saw this editorial, the latest from photographer Emily Knecht and stylist Neelo Noory, I felt more inspired than I had in a long time. There is something about it that fizzes like champagne, that isn’t afraid to get weird, that refuses to take one thing off before leaving the house. There is something lush and tactile about all the blurring blues and greens, something that reminds me of the way the staticky swelter of sunshine makes us all a little campy and crazy.
There is something about it that feels like the first few moments after a summer thunderstorm has passed through, the heat extinguished, the air electric, no one sure exactly what to do. Model Lera Pentelute perfectly embodies the moony malaise of late summer, that aimless existentialism that feels particularly jarring as we move towards an uncertain future.
Here’s the thing: these dreamy, drifting days won’t last forever, although it always feels like they will. Run headfirst towards what brings you joy, towards what pulls at you or ignites you or shakes you awake. There are no rules anymore, except find whatever makes you feel alive and hold on for dear life.
Keep up with Emily’s work here.