“I am surprised at myself” by Karla Gruszecka
An interview with Karla Gruszecka, a stylist and expert in the field of fashion, about gratitude, love for fashion and returning to oneself.
In conversation: Bożena Kowalkowska
Photos: Jakub Stanek
We meet at a rather unusual moment in your life, when you started working as a freelancer after fifteen years. For the last four years you have been working at Vogue Polska, where you were the fashion department director. How do you feel?
It’s probably hard to believe, but I have the feeling that I’m the best version of myself right now (laughs). I am breathing deeply and I feel at ease for the first time in a long while. I took all the changes on the chin. Moving to freelance, changing the terms of cooperation, post-pandemic experiences and my last stay in L.A. made me feel as if I had finally longingly come back to myself and started a completely new life.
Sounds revolutionary. What exactly has changed?
At last I have time for me, to delve into myself and think about who I am, what I need, what I want. And funnily enough, most of the people I meet now provide me with an answer to that question. I know how it all sounds. I have never believed in such a transformation that someone quits a corporation, starts to do handicraft, and suddenly becomes a completely new person until it happened to me (laughs).
Tell me something more.
I have always tried to care for relationships, but to be honest, I had no time for others to give them myself the way I like the most. Anyway, there was nothing to give from myself because I was completely devoted to work. And even when I found an hour or so for my friends, my thoughts were elsewhere, and I was myself overexcited and tired. I was far from being a good companion, and the thing is, I can be great at it because I’m outgoing and I like people.
With the enormous amount of duties, the approval and recognition of others was crucial for me, and the pursuit of this kind of attention additionally deprived me of my energy, time and tranquillity. I had to understand that not everyone has to like me, understand me and want to spend time with me.
Now I can buy a ticket overnight and fly to Paris for a session and stay there as long as I want because I am the owner of my own time. I felt total independence. I meet my friends spontaneously, for dinner, drinking wine or parties in the middle of the week or just like that – for a delicious lunch during the day. I also finally have time to enjoy different things and try new ones. I am excited about a new couch, a walk in the park, some previously unknown workout equipment, or the taste of a new tea. In the end, I also read or watch what I consciously choose, and not what accidentally falls into my hands or catches my eye. There is less randomness in my life now. After all, I have time for myself. I feel richer and calmer.