A popular and rather cliché motivational saying that I have heard tossed around quite a bit lately is to “never look back”. But what would happen if we really never looked back? We would never look back to our experiences, to our successes and failures, to our memories, or to our feelings of nostalgia. It is a matter of opinion, but I think reverting one’s thoughts to the past is a very important part of what forms us as a world, a nation, and individuals.
Take the power fashion house Dolce and Gabbana for example. Dolce and Gabbana have built an entire aesthetic around ancient Sicily which becomes increasingly more apparent and brilliant with every successive season. For the Winter 2015 collection, their ingenious rendering of themes from the Romantic Era (the late 18th Century to the early 19th Century) would be nonexistent if it were not for the rich cultural history that has been recorded for us to look back upon and study today.
Romanticism was about creating personal relationships with nature and emphasizing individual artists’ emotional and dispositional experiences contrived from a new world emerging out of traditional religious rigidity. The era possessed a certain enchantment that brought forth and exemplified the exploration of the human soul which is clearly epitomized with one glimpse at the Dolce and Gabbana Winter 2015 collection. Fairies who grant wishes, keys to a secret magical garden, animals who could talk to you if they so choose, whimsical elves who dance and sing in everyone’s dreams. I do not know if it was the Tchaikovsky music, the grand theatrics, or the graceful movement of the entire show, but it reminded me of a ballet: pure beauty.
Look back in order to move forward
And there it is! Looking back on the past becomes a powerful chain reaction. I had strong feelings of nostalgia when I watched the D&G show from the thirteen years that I was a ballerina who danced to Tchaikovsky every year in The Nutcracker. There were Sugar Plum Fairies, a prince who brought Clara on a journey to a magical land, and gingersnaps and candy canes who danced in Clara’s magnificently colorful dreams. Both shows actually seem quite similar to me, in the aspect of enchantment at least. The point is that I could not prevent myself from possessing such feelings of nostalgia and remembering my past.
I learned important lessons from being a ballerina, and the whole world learned important lessons from ancient Sicily. If we did not look back upon what we did or what happened in the past, we might forget and might never be able to move forward. There would be no learning curve to stop the cyclical motions that our lives would become. The past is to be learned from and admired. Maybe the saying should be altered: Always look back, but never stop moving forward.
Brielle Edborg, FIT student.