Hayley Cherkas

  • Photography  Tom Johnson
  • Styling  Patricia Villirillo
  • Clothes  Hayley Cherkas
  • Words  Abi Buller

Hayley Cherkas takes inspiration from aroma and light to inform her collection. She captures these mediums as ephemeral qualities of the atmosphere through the use of fine, translucent fabrics. To solidify the essence of pervasive scent and subtle sunlight, Cherkas utilises the softness of fabric by creating draped garments that delicately play against the body. This is offset by structural forms that provide a foundation to Cherkas’ looks and act as a visual metaphor for the diffusion of fragrance, representing the proclivity of scent to fade into a lighter entity.

The colour palette is informed by the changing state of the sun’s rise and fall, and the effect this has on the sensorial environment of a room throughout a day. Sunset hues of a deeper intensity are applied in moderation, and placed alongside the faded warmth of a half-light sky. The application of a spectrum of hues represents the transient nature of warmth and light. By capturing this ephemeral sense of light through garment construction, Cherkas creates tangible forms influenced by the impermanence of atmospheric change.

Cherkas achieves a collection inclusive of contrasts, demonstrating the varying intensity of scent, alongside the effect of the ubiquitous presence of a sunrise in comparison to the cooling calmness of a sunset. Similarly, the unique associations of scent to each individual can relate to the emotional impact associated with a lack of smell. Whilst Cherkas identifies with the nostalgic sensory qualities of a summer’s day, she is aware of the altered experience for those who miss elements of these sensations.

Some pieces feature embroidered components, with inspiration drawn from the monograms found on handkerchiefs. Taken as a direct link to the conception of the collection, the presence of handkerchiefs is inspired by their functionality. Their durability is also representative of the barrier faced by those with a lost sense of smell, compared with those who are able to freely connect with the aromatic landscape.

See more at hayleycherkas.com, tom-johnson.co.uk, patriciavillirillo.tumblr.com