Origins: Part One – Secrets of Design

Since La Mort Clothing started, back in 2011, we have met many of you in person and had the opportunity to discuss our designs and the meanings behind them all. With this is mind, we have decided to write a series of articles which cover the various stages of our working, the techniques involved and the background work that goes into creating one of our drawings. In part one, we will be taking a look at the secrets of our designs and what has influenced the way we draw.

Since meeting at art school, Faye and I have both shared a fascination with the iconography of death, as many of you will know. It is a very potent subject to approach in graphic terms, and our work often produces a profound reaction in people that happen upon it. It seems to divide opinion, causing both disgust and delight! For us, it is everything we do.

Skulls, scrolls, arrows, hearts, daggers and blood. What does it all mean and where does it come from? A visual library of iconography is like any other language, in that it is developed to communicate an idea. It can hide lust, be openly seductive or erotic, or even be used to intentionally provoke or offend. Our carefully curated collection of motifs is no different. Our drawings are produced to suggest tragedy and to restore Death to the position he held during the Renaissance. We are often asked if there are hidden messages or secret meanings within our work and, though it may appear that way, the opposite is actually true. For us, the importance of design is the power of communication within the instant. Rather than literal illustrations or allegories, we relish in creating art that explodes like a rock poster. We find the human skull the most hypnotic and important graphic symbol that is available to us. It is timeless, and, though it can be seen on any high street around the world, its true meaning is virtually beyond comprehension. It is the chilling face of absolute extinction of life. The various icons and visual tricks within each drawing hold no power of their own and must be seen as small pieces of an ongoing puzzle. Even we don't know where this is leading. All we know is that we can't stop.      


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