new label hades wants you to wear your emotions, from anxiety to unrequited love
Designer Cassie Holland has taken post-internet angst and turned it into wearable art.
Hades is the brand encouraging us to wear our hearts on our sleeves, or rather our chests. Its Inner Privacy collection, featuring fine-gauze merino sweaters with the words "anxiety," "melancholy," and "jealousy," are a refreshingly modern take on the current trend for slogan-led clothing. "The idea behind the collection came from the book Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf," says Hades designer Cassie Holland, its 29-year-old founder. "To some, the inner self is a lonely and incomprehensible place and to others, a source of joy and celebration. Our collection recognizes the dichotomy of the beauty and hardship of inner privacy."
After her debut collection, Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (an ode to some of her favorite punk bands of the 70s), sold out in minutes, Cassie knew she was onto something and made these sweaters her signature, quickly making another round following their immediate success. Inner Privacy makes an interesting social commentary, tapping perfectly into our post-internet world and just how isolating it all can be. To accompany each sweater, Cassie has produced a collection of small stories by authors she admires, fashioned like diary entries. It's "an idea that all people live as much in their heads as they do in the world." Our interests piqued, we sat down with Cassie to find out more.
Did you study design?
No I didn't. My first collection was inspired by the DIY punk of bands such as The Slits and X-Ray Spex. I felt that the concept and attitude were the most important factors for creating something beautiful.
When and how did you start Hades?
Hades was established in 2015 and was the outcome of a creative project that I undertook. I actually began making jumpers for myself and friends, I wanted to make something that celebrated my favorite bands (which were the reference point of the first collection). I shared these online and the reaction was positive which encouraged me to keep designing.
Where did the inspiration for the Inner Privacy collection come from?
At its core, the concept came about after reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and an article online about the book. It was about her sense of inner privacy and the fact that we all live at least as much in our heads as we do in the world. The inner life is just as important as the outer life and is accessible only to us — I felt that this idea would make for an interesting second collection. The phrases on the jumpers are all nods to the interior life. I wanted the collection to be poetic and rueful. Currently we have "anxiety," "jealousy," "unrequited love," "melancholy," "inner self," "true self" and "la douleur exquise."
Does this mean you are big believer in wearing your feelings on your chest?
Yes. The collection celebrates feelings and thoughts that all human beings experience. I think there's something very powerful and charming about wearing how you feel inside on the outside. I enjoy the idea of illustrating daily joys, malaise, and inner truths on your sweater. They are inescapable emotions, feelings, and inner truths which we should acknowledge.
Where did the idea to also package the sweaters with a collection of short stories come from?
Throughout Inner Privacy, there are influences from writers such as Woolf and Leo Tolstoy, so it felt apt to create a booklet of writing to complement the collection. I commissioned writers with the brief to write a short piece exploring the theme. Both Kaylyssa and Stevie used to write online diaries which I read when I was younger. I had expected to like the pieces (Five Theories of Solitude by Kaylyssa Hughes and I Want To Know You're There But I Want To Be Alone by Stevie-Mackenzie Smith) but I had not expected to love them as much as I do — I think both are wonderful and I can't wait to hear what people think of them. Also included is an essay on solipsism called Wow, You Too? by Joe Dennett which a friend of mine contributed and, finally, I included the Woolf extract from Mrs. Dalloway since she was the radix of the collection.
Who are some of the designers you admire and look to for inspiration.?
I love the work of Elsa Schiaparelli, Supreme, Miuccia Prada, and Rejina Pyo. Outside of fashion I admire Daniel Clowes, Alison Bechdel, and Shadi Ghadirian.
What are you working on next?
At the moment my time is very occupied with the current collection! The majority of the styles sold out within two weeks which we weren't prepared for so I have been trying hard to get new jumpers made. Our winter collection will be made in Scotland and will not be exclusively jumpers!
Text Lynette Nylander