Lizzie Gore-Grimes introduces the September issue of IMAGE Magazine, out now.
Failure is empowering. It’s extraordinary how this message has naturally weaved its way through so many of the features in this issue and has risen up through the pages to blossom into something really rousing. Lisa Tierney-Keogh, the Irish playwright responsible for bringing the #WakingTheFeminists movement to America, and to the attention of Meryl Streep, talks about the bitter heartbreak of feeling shunned by her own industry at home on page 65. But she explains how the multiple rejections were in fact crucial to her current success story. “It was, ironically, when I felt I had the least amount of power that I realised how powerful I was. Unencumbered by fear of rejection… I began to find my true voice and sense of self.”
While Grace O’Rourke, modest by nature, might be mortified to know how many times she has come into my head over these past weeks. This extraordinary young woman that I had the pleasure of interviewing (on page 110) triumphed on RTE?’s Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week and in doing so became the only female in the history of the State to pass this phenomenally challenging level of military assessment. Yet she did not succeed, three times, to get into the Irish military. “Failing to get into the military felt like the defining disappointment of my life at the time,” confided Grace. “But knowing that I got through it and was in reality in no way defined by that defeat gave me the belligerent self-belief to keep going when pushed to mental and physical extremes I never thought possible.” Meanwhile, our scythe-sharp regular IMAGE voice, Sophie White, wittily rails against life’s knock-backs on page 160, but reminds us all to “feel buoyed that behind every person with some modicum of success are innumerable failures.” Perfectly put, as always Sophie.
And it is with this emboldened sense of self that we look forward to the “real new year” that September heralds. We love the summer, of course we do, but sometimes there is only so much freewheeling we can take before the head begins to feel out-of-whack and we’re quite glad to step back on the solid ground of more structured days. On page 121, acting digital editor Leonie Corcoran has superb advice on how to weed out unrealised (and unrealistic) aspirations and instead set new, kinder, work/life balance intentions.
On the cover and throughout the issue, fashion director Marie Kelly delights in the energy of autumn’s new textures and tones, where loose tailoring and bold hues set the new season mood (page 22). And junior beauty editor Holly O’Neill complements Marie’s sartorial steer by extracting the runway’s most exciting, and replicable, make-up looks (page 85).
So, our new season pledge? Simply to take strength from what’s on the inside, have fun with what’s on the outside, and enjoy the pep in your step that comes with the promise of a new start.
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The September issue of IMAGE Magazine is out now.