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HERESY / AW21 ‘Beautiful Decay’

HERESY nears its tenth year as a project for the experimentation and examination of folklore through fashion. What started from moonlighting in bedroom studios and London railway arches, has grown into a multi disciplinary label, that produces clothing, publications, events and artworks. HERESY have collaborated with a large and diverse range of practitioners, from museums to record labels.

Our focus, British folklore, has for the majority of the brand’s life, been a subject that exists on the fringes of society. Over the last couple of years British folklore has seen a surge in public interest, and has been celebrated by other brands and publications. This has opened up the language we use to a wider audience and allowed for refreshing collaboration.

‘Beautiful Decay’ is the second collection produced under the strange and restrictive environment of 2020. With limited opportunities to conduct any field work or locational research that is, under normal circumstances, a common practice in HERESY’s design process, new opportunities instead presented themselves. Constraints are often the best framework under which to push creative practice.

It is doubtful that there is any larger body of folklore than that surrounding the idea of life and death. For ‘Beautiful Decay’ we have looked at this duality of decay and growth, Summer and Winter, good and evil, God and the Devil. We’ve tried to present these visually through pattern design and graphics, a mixture of original new work, and the work of old masters, dug up, borrowed, restored, or subverted. Stone and moss, skeletons and maidens, rot and nourishment represent beginnings and ends, and that there is equal value to be found in both. Gothic icons are used with with contemporary textures, techniques, and silhouettes, that platform fading tropes of the past in a modern, restorative light.