For VOGUE, written by the uber talented Evianna Hartman...
Even holdouts who refuse to “Om” will acknowledge that New York Fashion Week—and the fortnight-plus marathon of European shows that follow—tends to sap the body, mind, and spirit. (Civilians, too, are presently experiencing what might be described as back-to-school syndrome—that post–Labor Day freak-out, amplified with each new iPhone release, in which work and school and social commitments roar back alongside their twin shadow, anxiety.)
What’s to be done? Don’t call it a trend yet, but a plurality of fashion types in recent years have not only discovered their spiritual side, but had it certified, too. Whether foraging for herbs among the redwoods of Marin County to brew tinctures for private clients (as does onetime Marc Jacobs designer Kelsey Barrett of Heavy Nettle) or ducking out after Soho showroom appointments to conduct energy-healing sessions like Nouveau PR founder Corinna Springer, a growing number of women are either balancing both careers or tending to tortured souls full-time.
Who better, then, to ask for quick tips for getting centered during the most manic time of the year—shaking off those who-are-you-wearing death stares with the clasp of a crystal or two, restoring nutrients lost to late-night after-parties, turning an Uber ride into a chance to re-engage the parasympathetic nervous system? Here, five professional healers with fashion-industry résumés share their advice—which applies to anyone feeling overextended this fall—for getting serenity now!
1. “You can do this while sitting in a car, waiting for a show to start, or in the morning before you leave the house. Sit with your back straight, feet touching the ground. Eyes are semi-closed or closed; use sunglasses if you want no one to notice, if you’re at a show. Then visualize a tube of white or golden light going through you from way above through the top of your head and your spine and then further down in the center of the earth. Breathe in normally, with every breath seeing the tube of light getting stronger, and forming a sphere at your heart chakra. With every breath the sphere at the heart becomes bigger and brighter, filling you with peace and a sense of purpose.
“Then put your hand on your heart and use an affirmation. Very appropriate for Fashion Week is: I’m always at the right place at the right time. Or in general, you might use: I am peaceful. I am grateful. I am enjoying life. What happens in this exercise is that you are grounding yourself through your breath, centering yourself in the heart, and amplifying your affirmation, giving it more power than just mentally reciting it.”
2. “Smelling salts aren’t only for reviving Victorian women from fainting couches. They can unlock the benefits of aromatherapy during an elevator ride up to a big party, or while stressed-out waiting for a show to start. Add five drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of mineral sea salt (coarse sea salt is best) inside a small jar or vial, and tuck it away in your tote or jacket pocket. I like to use juniper essential oil for banishing ill health and shielding from the evil eye. Think of it as the European white sage. Take a smell every time you need to return to yourself as whole, healthy, and happy—amid the witches’ brew of Fashion Week, or otherwise.”
—Kelsey Barrett, herbalist, Heavy Nettle
3. “Try a crystal survival kit for Fashion Week—a modern girl’s medicine bag. Black obsidian, onyx, or black tourmaline helps keep you grounded and protected. Rose quartz is for self-love and love of others. (The combination also helps ward off catty vibes at shows.) Amazonite has a soothing and calming effect for the wearer. Aventurine brings about opportunity and attracts prosperity. Citrine is good for mental focus, promotes optimism, and is known as the merchant’s stone, as it attracts monetary abundance and maintains that flow of income. Smoky quartz is good for endurance, and amethyst protects the wearer from negative energy.
“Another suggestion: At the beginning of each week, write down everything that you would like to achieve, on a piece of paper—whether it’s landing a capsule collection at Barneys, making it to the shows on time, or trying to get eight hours of sleep every night. Fold the piece of paper and put iron pyrite on top of the paper and let it marinate. At the end of each day, take a moment to gut-check and see how you’re doing. At the end of the week, burn the paper.”
—Colleen McCann, shaman and stylist, Style Rituals
4. “The number one plant that helps me through crazy times like Fashion Week is rose. In my makeup kit and purse, you will always find a rose face toner spray and perfume essential oil. The spray calms my skin and refreshes my makeup, and it works great to create a spa moment at your desk or in a cab. I mist it around my face and take in some really deep breaths. Rose helps to keep your heart open and creative and loving, while having appropriate emotional boundaries—and who doesn’t need that?
“Plus, having rose tea (or iced tea in this heat!) is perfect for all of the running around and partying. It is high in vitamin C, which is a great boost for your immune system, and it helps with stress and digestion.”
—Jessa Blades, makeup artist, herbalist, and owner, Blades Natural Beauty
5. “Sandalwood has been used since ancient times and is said to have highly protective and grounding qualities and to calm the nervous system. Try a drop of the oil on each of the temples and the back of the neck. It feels lovely and smells woody and sweet. You could also burn a beautiful sandalwood candle before bedtime. Or if you can spare 90 minutes, immerse yourself in a flow tank. Lift Floats is a good one in Brooklyn, with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. This is one of my favorite things to do. A float is the equivalent of eight hours of sleep and three days of detox. The saltwater is purifying and the whole experience is incredibly grounding!”
—Morgan Yakus, hypnotherapist and past-life regression specialist