Notes on Water Lily
In envisioning our year ahead, Monica and I had a shared desire to tell a story that is partly about us and partly about what sustainability has come to mean to us. Fundamental to Denuo is the commitment to explore our notions of self and belonging, and we have been very lucky to find that our values in this regard are almost, if not perfectly, aligned. We often laugh at how uncanny it is that our paths crossed – we had no mutual friends, moved in very different circles, shared no institutional ties. It was a mutual love for sustainable fashion that brought us together two years ago, and since then, it was clear that we found a special kinship in one another.
In essence, this story that we want to tell is one of friendship, and of womanhood.
I myself have never been a very good storyteller; narratives never come out coherently, and on the few occasions I have tried, they felt contrived and ingenuine. On particularly bad days, I would even feel apologetic for taking up your time with my story, so I would end up stumbling over its parts and details as I hurry its completion. Form and structure aside, there is also the difficulty with simply being vulnerable — as much as I like to say I am an open book, I often find myself shying away from any sort of gaze. In writing, I like to obscure my revelations with metaphors; to confess in circles.
But Monica has inspired me to be brave, so I write to you now.
There is a story to be told here – allow us to do so through our collections this year, beginning with Water Lily.
We begin, after months of convalescence, with a dream of a delicate step into the pond.
At dawn, the water shimmers like silken glass. On its surface sits an abundance of water lilies, the pink flowers, like blushing little suns, vibrant against the deep green of their leaves.
What swims beneath the water is elusive; thrill and terror circle each other in this uncertainty, dancing between our legs like tiny fish.
In full bloom, the water lilies meditate above this mystery with a divine calm — like they hold a simple truth in the geometry of their petals.
So we wade in.
From this reverie we awoke transformed; renewed.
Having gone through what has been a surreal year, 2021 began, for us, in introspection. We reminded ourselves of the purpose of Denuo, which, above all, is to nurture belonging. It was vital — always has been — that we continue this journey with you only with honest, clear intentions. To cultivate such values through vintage is a blessing we do not take for granted. This practice – which Monica has been mastering for years that I am only beginning to learn the shape of now – is one we have come to know as both material and spiritual. More than anything else, the freedom to dress up is simply an empowering thing. It has allowed me, personally, to discover myself one garment at a time, with each change allowing me to evolve ever closer to myself.
Whether or not you hold the same relationship with fashion as we do, know that we hold every piece we present to you with the highest regard for its value – its long history, often unknown to us but tangible as memory pressed into the fabric; its unquestionable present, felt in the integrity of its seams and; its infinite possible futures. It is out of respect for the lives behind every garment in mind that we, in our capacities, give it another life at Denuo.
The water lily’s tender resilience shone like a vision for us, one that reminded us of the strength in softness, the magnificence of rebirth. We thus thought it apt to begin the year with a collection suffused with the calm and clarity inspired by the water lily, in the hopes that it will pave for us a year of heightened growth and beauty.
A palette quite new to us emerged, almost serendipitously, in the process of our curation — sweet, muted magentas, a spectrum of greens, hints of peach. It painted what we perceived as one of many manifestations of femininity that we cherish; quiet, yet confident; young, yet wise; carefree, yet profound. Through this collection, we came to know more about such a woman — one we may have been once, or one who we may still become.
We take this dream of water lilies and humbly offer them to you through this deeply personal collection.