What was your initial inspiration for The Homogenized Human?
I was listening to a lecture by the co-founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, when I first heard the term “The Homogenized Human.” They were using the term to describe how information sharing on the internet can essentially create a global blending of ideas; a kind of border-less society.
This idea in itself is astounding. A melting pot of influences and cultures from across the globe, celebrating individual thought without prejudice and with a total disregard to physical isolation! This conjured up in me such a rich, colourful and dynamic tapestry of visual references. Yet it was this term “homogenized” that also evoked in me so much ambivalence. Obviously the initial association is with milk. A total white-out of society… no intricacies or details… a loss of individualism… all folds and wrinkles ironed out of a white sheet…
It was these two conflicting associations and visual references which inspired the collection. On one hand, the garments reflect traditional dress and detailing from across the globe. On the other hand it is cold, metallic and sterile.
Why do you think it’s important to have a theme for each collection?
Firstly, I want my work to be perceived and critiqued with intellectual integrity, as one might critique fine art. I believe that this kind of thorough critique is what pushes an industry to produce more compelling work. Fashion is an industry that you could say has fallen short of that kind of critique, enabling an over-saturation of more superficial ideals. The fashion industry is renowned for it’s preoccupation with beauty, wealth and sex. Although I do believe these areas are worthy of exploration, I also believe clothing design has the ability to communicate a more in-depth and thorough understanding of a social climate.
Secondly, I believe designing with an intellectual concept in mind will always produce more interesting work. Sometimes limiting yourself can force you to pursue a creative direction you would never normally have considered. This process works well for me.
How powerful do you think fashion is and why?
It’s not necessarily that I think fashion is powerful. It’s more that I think visual communication is powerful. Successful art and design has the ability to communicate to the masses, by-passing any cultural or intellectual boundaries. I choose to work with clothing because it is a medium that the entire population is conditioned to interpreting. Every single one of us must dress ourselves in the morning with an understanding of the social significance of the choices we make. Dress is the most immediate form of communication between one another, long before words are even spoken.
For me, the power of this medium is totally thrilling! Ultimately I believe fashion is just as powerful as the attire worn by a homeless man in the street. One can represent a social ideal, the other a social breakdown, both just as relevant as one another.
What are your future plans for Hermione Flynn the label?
Immediate plans: gaining stockists and recognition internationally. A plan is in the works, but is yet to be confirmed so I will have to announce that one at a later date. However, I can say that I’ll be departing on my first international sales trip to the USA in a couple of weeks.
Long-term plans: to continue producing commercial ranges supported by intellectual and artistic integrity, as well as live performance installation, video art, and creative collaborations. I hope to create a business model which can financially support both my own creative freedom and that of my employees and collaborators.
Discuss your favourite piece from The Homogenized Human.
Rather than a favourite piece, perhaps I could discuss my favourite image/moment. During the shoot we draped the elongated panel of the sheer shirt-dresses over both of the models hair. It was amazing how the same garment and styling can completely transform when worn in juxtaposition with other garments or, in this case, ethnicity. The fair model, Gracie, suddenly referenced a very angelic Mother Mary, and Emily, of a darker complexion, referenced a very demure Indian woman. It was a lovely, unintended discovery which also showed how the smallest details and elements can potentially produce such contrasting social realities. This is why I love clothing design.
And here is a collection of some of my favourite imagery produced by this talented collaborative at Always Sometimes Anytime