Editor’s letter: FQ’s Happiness Issue

15 June 2021
By Nicole Saunders

Read FQ editor Nicole Saunder's thoughts on fashion & feelings, new beginnings, and what you'll find in the winter 2021 issue of Fashion Quarterly.

 If you’re anything like me—a confessed surf-and-sun seeker who’s fond of a floral print or two—the moment that first cold snap of winter arrives, the colourful garb gets flung into hibernation (aka the back of the wardrobe) until summer rolls around once again. However, this winter has been a little different for me, thanks to the bump I’m currently sporting.

Much to my delight, I’ve been able to extend the life of my warm weather wardrobe: it turns out growing a tiny human keeps you pretty toasty. And there’s been one particular purchase—an online impulse buy of a sunshine yellow dress—that’s made me reflect on the powerful impact that colour, and what we wear, can have on how we feel. I purchased the dress before finding out I was pregnant and was mere moments away from returning it. I love to wear colour, but I felt it was far too bright, even for me.

Fortunately, I decided to embrace the vibrant hue and thanks to its design, it has accommodated my growing bump just perfectly. Now, there’s not a day that I wear it that it doesn’t elicit a compliment or ear to-ear grin from a stranger. It’s been interesting to witness the uplifting effect colour can have on those around us, and this particular dress has become symbolic of this new chapter in my life—a journey I thought was impossible a little over a year ago.


Although fashion and beauty often get a reputation for being too frivolous, our wardrobes and the make-up we wear can symbolise many personal things on a much deeper level. For many of us, our sense of style and all of its accoutrements are an extension of our personality—a form of self-expression that can bring us a tremendous amount of joy and instil confidence when we need it the most.

As Danielle Clausen explores in Fashion & Feelings (on page 50), our wardrobes can evoke an entire spectrum of emotions. That’s why we’ve tried to pack this winter issue, which is so often dominated by a sombre colour palette, with a paintbox of colour and other things that make us smile (including some incredibly photogenic pooches on page 54). And thanks to our favourite local designers—Maggie Marilyn, Kate Sylvester, Ruby and Karen Walker, to name a few—it’s been an incredibly easy task (as you’ll see in our cover shoot on page 25).

The FQ team are big proponents of the mood-boosting power of fashion, but happiness—and the pursuit of it—is complicated, as Isabelle Truman explores on page 176. It’s not something money can buy—instead, Truman discovers happiness boils down to our genetics, thoughts, actions, and attitudes. With that in mind, this winter I’ve decided to find joy in the simple things—time spent at home with my growing family, crisp winter mornings spent outdoors, and a colourful dress here and there. We hope you snuggle down with The Happiness Issue and that it will spark some joy for you, even just for a moment.  

The Fashion Quarterly winter 2021 issue is on sale in all good supermarkets, bookstores, and online at magstore.co.nz

You can also subscribe or renew your subscription to Fashion Quarterly and go in the draw to win* one of ten Glasshouse Fragrances prize packs, worth $165 each.  


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