Comfort Dressing with Daniel Jenkins, founder of Daniel Jenkins Ltd & Purposeful Activity.
Daniel on lockdown, the meaning of life and the emotion clothing can evoke - 'things which make the day to day, feel richer and real'
To some my curse, personally my joy, has been spending most of the past 36 years (yup, I’m old), searching for what isn’t just new and next, but those items, experiences and frankly people who catch you like hot pokers through head and heart, things which make the day to day, feel richer and real, perhaps it’s metaphysical and to some eyes pseudo, but for me make the strings playing in my head swell, my heart change and move me.
I’m convinced that the meaning of life, is energy and emotion. Good and bad. The peaks and troughs of human existence; the unescapable passing of time, King Cnut/Canute we all are, the waves lap up and over our feet, before lolling back again. Pain & pleasure, it’s all part of the game we have no choice in playing. Love, doesn’t just get us through, it saves us.
Whilst I should have spent the past 12 months box-setting, the above has been playing on my mind, separated from those I love, the life I adore, and the work I can’t help but obsess about.
A year of waking dreams, static at home, doing my bit, feeling helpless, ironic dreams about the transference of energy, how that makes all this go round, from nature to us, machine to thing, thing from you to me, from us all to nature returned.
A wiser person than me, speaks of love liberating us. A noble and correct thought, it’s just sometimes it can be hard, to be separate, to be away. Knowing what we are doing is correct and for the greater good, doesn’t lessen the ache.
I’m a valley’s son. With that comes a marrow deep sense of Hiraeth. A supposedly unexplainable word, but it means as it sounds, a missing of there, that place over the hills, in the past, beyond our grasp.
It’s a word which season’s the art of my nation, our words, song and sport, are enacted with a sense of the before. We elevate and deify them, because we are nothing if not committed to the emotion, to the feelings which guide us energetically through life.
Ok, Ok, I know, at this point, you’re going to write in and say the other fellas, they just tell you the measurements, give a few outfit options and pose. It’s a fine idea, probably a much better one.
But my problem is that, well, that doesn’t do it for me.
Because we use clothing to project ourselves upon the world and to protect us from it.
Our favourite pieces become our statement of intent and armour rolled in one.
They remind us to engage joyfully, to be childlike in wonder, with open eyes and hearts.
They make us feel, this isn’t me suggesting that the meaning of life is clothing. But, that energy, that emotion I spoke of, those stories and dreams, they can be tied up in woven and knitted stuff.