If you’re not familiar with the concept of Saturn return, let me tell you about it in simple terms. Saturn is the slowest planet of the solar system, it takes almost 30 years to revolve around the sun. That means you are around 30 years old when Saturn goes back to the same position it was at when you were born: that’s your first Saturn return. For example I was born with Saturn in Scorpio, and on the 5th of October 2012 the planet moved back in Scorpio: my Saturn return began, and continued for two and a half years, which is the time Saturn spends in each sign.
A Saturn return is supposed to be a strong moment of change, growth, new responsibilities, but to get there you have to endure obstacles, waits, even losses – hence Saturn’s bad reputation.
In psychology it’s called the 30-years crisis: a moment of deep personal growth that often brings drastic changes to lifestyle, family status, career and personal view of the world.
If you trust neither astrology nor psychology, just call it growing up.
I knew nothing about all this, until it hit me. I was feeling frustrated and tired, I couldn’t understand why things were so complicated, slow and hard to achieve, I felt out of place, lost.
Then I read about Saturn return and it sounded exactly how I felt. Small consolation, but I think it helped me going through it consciously and patiently.
During the process, I ditched some of my old habits and discovered yoga, astrology, spirituality and holistic medicine. I found myself a lot more empathic about social and humanitarian issues, I even became a vegetarian for a few weeks. But the biggest life-changing step I took during that time was to become a mother. And when my boy came, oh boy!, another 360 degrees revolution happened: stronger than any planet, he took my life to a higher and deeper level, and forced me to question everything with a whole new seriousness.
When I started this blog, my dream job was being a writer in a top fashion magazine: living and breathing fashion shows, writing about clothes and accessories, working with luxury brands, getting to know new hip designers.
But all of a sudden something in my dream sounded out of tune.
I started putting everything under the microscope. Everything I was so sure about until then, I wasn’t anymore.
There are many aspects of the fashion industry I started to feel uncomfortable with.
Buying expensive garments and accessories every season, for example, is what the traditional fashion industry wants people to do. But I believe people have to make wise decisions with their money, and there are lots of things I can think of that can make you happier than a $2000 pair of shoes.
On the opposite side of the industry there’s cheap fast fashion, which allows you to accumulate large amounts of stuff you will eventually have to throw away, together with a waste of resources used to manufacture something meant to last so little. Absolute disaster. That behavior has already proven to be killing our planet, which is the only one we have so far to live on, and I can’t stand behind this and ignore the consequences.
I also blame Saturn for depriving me of the pleasure I used to feel flipping through the glossy pages of fashion editorials and gorgeous photo shoots. High-maintenance beauty that is only possible if you have the best professionals around you, from hair and makeup specialists, to a great photographer and photo editor. Women and young girls chase that fake perfection through cosmetic surgery, unbalanced diets, high-maintenance beauty routines. And most fashion brands continue to prefer unhealthy-looking bodies to showcase their creations.
I could not go to sleep peacefully with myself at night anymore if I contributed to this on my blog. It’s easy for me to preach that beauty comes from the inside, given that I’m blessed with a healthy, toned and naturally slim but curvy body (thank you mother nature), but I’d rather want my daughter to have an open heart, a curious look, a thirst of knowledge and take good care of her soul, rather than seeing her competing against other girls to get a job as a model.
Not to mention the cost of fashion shows: why throwing away half a million Dollars for a show, when that money could dress hundreds of people, save lives, rescue thousands of dogs, feed a whole village for a month, start many small businesses in remote areas and change the life of many?
But despite my new believes, I still have a passion for beautiful fabric, for well-sewn and perfectly fitting garments, and unique handcrafted pieces. This I know for sure.
How can I reconcile these two natures: the yoga-pants, chakra-balancing-meditation me, and the high-heels, eclectic-outfit, fashion-obsessed me?
One of my new favorite magazines is called Living Now. I could get it for free at the health shop near my house, and I loved its inspiring stories. It’s on there that I read an article about your two natures: heaven and earth, yin and yang. Even his Holiness the Dalai Lama loves his collection of Rolex watches even though he is beyond question a spiritual lighthouse on the planet.
This article explained how normal it is to have two different natures inside us: a mundane one, and a more noble, spiritual one. They may seem in contrast with each other, but they can live harmoniously in us, if we find the way.
After a completely black-or-white approach, I decided I should try to make peace with myself, and find a balance. And that’s when I consciously rewrote my fashion blog pillars.
I believe in careful buying: be wise with money, buy the best quality you can afford, stick to what suits your style and body shape, and only buy what makes you feel beautiful.
Borrow clothes and accessories from friends and family, and share yours with them: this way you will be able to vary your look without overspending, and be ready for a special occasion without buying something you’ll only wear once.
When something has served its purpose, or doesn’t fit anymore, or it’s been sitting in your wardrobe for too long, consider re-using it for a different purpose or donating it to a charity.
And as for fashion brands I write about, I will favour companies that have a sustainable conscience. I can focus on the good, I can give space to who is doing well and trying to change the business, and in that way I’ll be doing it myself too.
I have also decided to include in my blog home styling and kids decor, with bits of my everyday life. This is more in line with my new sense of style and ethics.
Although there’s still a lot of work, in my opinion, to make fashion sustainable, I believe I can give my unique contribution to the world in this area.
And similarly to the famous Elsie De Wolfe quote, this is my new motto: I aim to spread beauty and style to make our lives even better while being respectful towards people, animals and nature.