Form Follows Function
Spawned from the question “What if”. What if, instead of perceiving our deepest sources of pain as impetus for shame or unworthiness, we regarded them as the most beautiful aspects of our being? What if we could exonerate our most guarded imperfections from judgement and transform the wounds of self-loathing into jewels of self-celebration? What if we could shift the resultant perspective of trauma from broken, fractured and depleted to vital, strong, and resplendent?
Due to the latent and residual effects of past/present trauma and transgression, too often we are left inhabiting positions of the ‘anti’ — relinquished feeling unworthy, ruptured and disconnected. But while we are deep in ‘it’, what we cannot begin to realize, is that the upheaval of viscera, of vulnerability, will leave in its wake an exquisite richness of texture that is wholly unique to our individual experience.
These considerations, which bear no bounds of gender, race, circumstance, or orientation, are the founding meditations of the HTL talismanic armour practice.
The architecture of each bespoke armour piece is faring an orchestration of energy exchange and transference, storytelling, deep sea diving, a release of oxygen and release on both sides of the fence. In this space of learning and shared trust, I truly came to understand what it means to arm oneself and simultaneously be totally stripped of one’s armour.
One of a Kind
The armour atelier of HTL was first established in 2007 as a response to a demand for personal amulets of protection and talismans of restorative healing and empowerment for individuals who had suffered at the hand of various forms of abuse, transgression or self harm. Each piece is made to order, constructed lovingly by hand and built to fit each wearer's specific needs.
Here, an interpretation of personal therapy became a venue to use built form as a means of giving tangible identity, direction and voice to fragments of stress and trauma that, for various reasons, couldn’t be confronted head-on.
To translate and amplify this sense of voice, the armour is constructed out of materials that mirror and evoke (for the wearer) aspects reminiscent of prior or present experiences through weight, texture, scent, sound or aesthetic for the purpose of reclamation. Materials and cultural artifacts have been sourced and sought over many years and many travels — some precious, some not so "precious" — and are woven into the construction due to their energetic connection for the wearer.
During fitting and construction capturing a raft of senses in the experience of wearing the piece (ROUGHNESS, TIMBRE, HEAT CONDUCTION, WEIGHT etc) aid in imprinting specific feelings and memories with each material addition to the base skeleton.
Often, as part of the therapeutic process, the experience or perceived source of the wearer's pain/joy is incorporated in some manner — regarding textural sensation, specific fit, material or weight — to transform the concept of a past transgression or memory into an emblem of beauty that can be held, reclaimed and owned with power, grace and intention.
Since its humble beginnings, HTL as a conceptual work has been featured in exhibitions and publications internationally — evolving into additional veins of expression, but nonetheless each piece stays the course of helping those who wear and participate in the creation of the armour to focus and visualize their beauty inward before solely trying to radiate it outward.
The work of Honour Thy Lovers has been exhibited internationally; featured in institutions and on publications such as the Museum at FIT, NYC Jewelry Week, LG Fashion Week, WedLuxe, Flare, Elle and Fashion.