More about the garment and the designer
Hylonome is made from cattle leather, a bridle butt and shoulder, rawhide, sheep nappa, belt leather, 200 metres of leather lace, horsehair, linen waxed thread, steel corset bone, nickel fittings and one lucky iron pony shoe.
To make the piece, which is entirely hand-crafted in a labour of pure love, Mary Wing To sourced much of the heavy-duty, traditional bridle leather from UK tanneries. The nearly life-sized head took her 15 hours of non-stop moulding work to perfect; she made it by hand-moulding vegetable-tanned leather that had been soaked overnight in warm water, dried a little, and then moulded over a plaster cast of a horse head she had previously carved. She then carefully dyed it and finished it with a real horsehair mane.
‘The bond between horses and man has always fascinated me. When you’re riding it’s not like you’re driving a car – you’re working with an animal that has its own personality and its own thoughts. There are elements where you don’t really know what the horse is going to do. In that sense you really have to understand each other. It’s this relationship and bond that makes the magic happen. Horses have been with humans for thousands of years; they’re quite heroic animals. They’re trusting the rider to lead them as the rider is trusting the horse to keep them safe. I think it’s a special bond.’
In 2018 Mary Wing To was invited to be the international guest judge on the panel for the Competition.
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