US Abroad: Lily in Italia
Photographer Lily Cummings sees the world through her camera lens. This month she took US on a journey to Italy.
Photography by Lily Cummings
DESCRIBE ITALY IN 5 WORDS: Spiritual, Indulgent, Classical, Volcanic, Sensual
BEST THING YOU SAW WHILE YOU WERE THERE:
There's something about Italy that gives a person permission to enjoy the moments when we have what we really want in life; a culture that doesn't attach guilt to happiness. Unfortunately, I feel that in New York City and the U.S. to a degree, we attach shame to getting what we want. Before we experience joy, we start to ask ourselves, “Do we deserve it? Did we work hard enough for it? Is there someone else who doesn't have it and should? When will it be gone?”
I had a moment where I was sitting inside a beautiful room, sitting on a shabby rose-colored couch, reading a book, listening to classical music, there was a thunderstorm outside, and the wind was pushing the smell of jasmine through every window. Dramatic as hell but also oddly quiet, just how I like it. And I was alone, and I allowed myself to feel how happy all those things really made me, and how much I would try to allow for those moments of awareness to exist when I returned and not push them away.
IF ITALY WERE A TASTE: Savory and earthy - at times add lemon. Or wine.
IF ITALY WERE A SMELL: Perfume + Stone + Sea Salt.
IF ITALY WERE A SOUND: Canzone Napoletana
WHAT DOES YOUR IDEA OF FASHION FREEDOM FEEL LIKE?:
Fashion Freedom feels like integrity. When I present myself to the world, I want my clothes to represent how I see myself in that moment. There's such a lack of emotional comfort with fashion when you're over a size 14 and you can't find clothing that expresses your personality. For years, because I was wearing clothes I could find that fit, but I didn't like, I created an image of myself that was untruthful. And you almost start to believe it - I'm only worth this version of myself that doesn't feel honest.