In this so-called Digital Age, there are residual side effects much maligned by anyone left with a shred of sanity. That of narcissism, of crippling bouts of inferiority, of fake news and Facetune and the extreme solipsism of digital navel-gazing. Online, beauty becomes distorted. Online, our days appear before us increasingly fragmented, if not jarring (hello, Instagram blackhole scroll). The pressure to log on and keep up can lead one to clock 13 hour days all in the name of getting ahead.
But getting ahead for what?
For Lucy Folk, a designer who has fleshed out her self-titled business over the past decade, “busy” and “keep up” are terms she knows too well. In fact, it took moving 10,532 miles from home just to appreciate what it really means to slow down and master that ever-elusive dance between work and play.
As she sits down to chat with THE FILE it’s almost midnight in Paris and immediately she begins speaking of the city’s rich history, its architecture and her 17th Century apartment in the Marais once home to a very famous architect. She motions to the pieces she’s filled it with – her favourite being an immense Carlo Scarpa dining table carved from marble, sourced by her longtime friend and collaborator Tasmin Johnson (who also happened to design Folk’s Barragán-pink concept store in Bondi).
From talking to her, one gleans that her designs are not driven by the vagaries of fast fashion. They are an extension of the designer herself. A woman with a playful eye and nomadic sensibilities. A woman also shaped by travel, design, the outdoors, one-of-a-kind fashion finds in flea markets, late evenings spent in art galleries and pokey, modish restaurants with lighting so dim you need a phone light just to read the menu.
Back to Bondi, each morning at 5.30am, you’ll find a beach heaving with half-naked bodies gleaming in the blue light of dawn, looking to squeeze in an hour of exercise before heading to an office to spend the next eight before the blue light of a computer screen.
For Folk, Paris represents the antithesis to that grind: the ideal meeting point between village and metropolis, between new world and old, a place that ultimately gives way to an existence she calls “more civilised”.
“The pace of life is different here. You go to bed a lot later and sleep in a little. Not many people are up at the crack of dawn exercising. People want to live and enjoy their lives and not focus solely on work, which is something I am trying to get better at!”
In a world where we are encouraged to turn each waking minute into a beacon of productivity, perhaps we would do well to consider this last point: to invest as much into the joy of living as one does into the art of work.
Words, Rose Howard. Images, Rudy Zverina.