Sarah Murray on the little things in life that help us feel optimistic

13 June 2022
By Sarah Murray

Read Sarah Murray's editor's letter from the Optimism issue of Fashion Quarterly.

Sarah Murray.

I like to think of myself as a positive person. If something’s wrong, I look to find a solution. If something’s out of my control, I try(!) to let it go and move on. But lately, well, lately it’s been hard. A never-ending pandemic, climate change concerns, rising living costs/interest rates have added extra pressure to all our lives. On a personal level, sometimes just getting three tantrum-prone kids fed and dressed and off to daycare/school with my temper (and outfit) intact is enough to tip me into a negative mood.  

And I’m not the only one. As writer Isabelle Truman says in her article The Age of Optimism on page 162, “Even those known for their unwavering positivity — you know, the people who manage to somehow genuinely look happy during a Monday-morning meeting in the office — have found their foundations affected by the intensity of the past few years.” 

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I couldn’t agree more. But there are two things that never fail to make me feel optimistic or happier on the hard days — my children, and our country’s thriving fashion scene. Seeing young designers start their own labels out of their garden shed like one of the four we profiled in this issue (page 58) fills me with a sense of hope. Connecting with photographers, stylists, and make-up artists to take a mood board from inception to completion always sends excitement humming through my veins. Sometimes it’s an eye-catching item itself that does it — a little black dress positively brimming with ruffles (like on page 87), or the exquisite pearl drop earrings (shown above) that look like they’ve been fished out from the depths of the ocean. Because,  somehow, sometimes it’s the simple appreciation of  beautiful little creations that can help make you feel optimistic about what lies ahead. 

Watch the below video to discover what’s inside the Fashion Quarterly Optimism issue, on sale now from all good supermarkets, newsagents, and online at magstore.co.nz

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