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the considered ensemble

I had an email a couple of weeks ago, inviting me to be part of an online collection called ‘The Considered Ensemble’.

Without fail, every time I get an email from a friend, stranger, magazine or other inquiring about any aspect of my work I find myself all giddy with excitement, feeling like a seven year old little girl whose dad has just patted her on the head and wordlessly nodded his approval.

dancing cossacks

Moving out of the city and into the country has not come without it’s challenges, the most evident of which has been a sense of displacement, isolation and reorientation. I’ve not yet mastered the cardinal coordinates, often pointing south, when the sun is due north, wondering why we still create wordly categories of the West and the East. Despite having an up-to-date street guide in my car, my heart-beat races each time I’m off to a new location, exhaling into the high probability of getting lost and having to find myself. Again.

Moving to the country has been like that. Getting lost and finding the grace to accept where I’m not and who I am. In French this word and sentiment is so eloquently captured by the notion of ‘les retrouvailles’. The closest English translation that wordreference.com gives me for this is ‘reunion’, going on to say ‘l’action de se retrouver’ – which directly translates to mean ‘the action of re-finding one’s self.’

Nomadic by nature, this has been a recursive theme in my life as I’ve moved interstates and across seas; living in ten different houses within the first four years of leaving home. And at quick count another 17 in half the number of years. What can I say? I love rearranging rooms – it’s one of my favourite pastimes and mental health saving-graces. In my mid-twenties a friend countered a day of dialogue and internal questioning by asking ‘isn’t existentialism what architects do when they add rooms to a house?’.

But now I’m possibly losing you and am actually writing about being found.

Motherhood + country move + recent purchase of first own home (!) has meant that it’s time for me to stop. To stand still and see what comes through. I ran into an old friend/employer the other day who has made similar life changes and we found instant accord in the Land of Bump. Bump, comes the baby. Bump, comes the value change. Bump, comes the job change. Bump, comes the life/sea/tree change. Bumpity-bumpity, bump.

I think that all rocky roads should be paved in chocolate, with lacings of ginger and mint.

But back to being found.

The Considered Ensemble is an ‘about-less’ page, offering a minimalist, textual offering of how and why people wear what they wear. You cannot read about who started the idea, there are no links to other people’s sites, and it is simply categorises into posts by ‘label’ and ‘colour’. You have to be invited to contribute a sartorial offering to the page, or can submit your considered words for approval:

Dear Kim,

The Considered Ensemble (http://theconsideredensemble.com/) is a platform showcasing meticulous outfit choices from individuals around the world.

We invite you to be part of the collection.

This purely text based archive offers a new kind of appreciation for clothing and individual style. Detailed descriptions give insight into the creativity, coordination and thought behind each unique ensemble.

Please reply with the following.
Your full name:
What you do and where:
What you are wearing – as descriptive as possible. Points could include: color, brand, season, title, and any other fact that is important about the article of clothing, accessory or perfume:
The time/date and location you are wearing this:

We look forward to your contribution.

Sincerely,
The Considered Ensemble team

As ever, I felt the itch of a seven-year old gaining approval, considered my ensemble and submitted some words.

Today, I was informed:

Dear Kim,

Thank you for your contribution, it is now live on the website.

Warm Regards,
The Considered Ensemble

The finding of which I write is two-fold. Being found online and in print carries for me such a pure, naive glee. Yet truly incredible is finding joyful acceptance in the Country of Me.

This is what I wrote:

the considered ensemble - kim kneipp

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