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Mixed Media

Helena Elston

As a mixed media designer, alchemist, material researcher and story-teller, Helena Elston is driven by the connection of textile, narrative, ecology and body. Her growth as a speculative designer motivates her to integrate techniques such as stitch, garment construction, photography, mark-making, natural growth/decay and poetry. She investigates circular design through a regenerative approach to fashion.

Helena was born in America where she grew up between New Jersey and New York City. She received a BFA in Apparel Design from Syracuse University. Currently based in London, she continues to explore her specialisation within sustainably grown materials for the body.



The Grand Design Challenge | 1st Place Concept Winning Team | Logitech x RCA (2020)

J Rusitzky Prize-Fund Outstanding Craftsmanship | Syracuse University (2018)

Helena Elston

RE-GENERATE : [formed or created again]

making, unmaking, remaking


Nature is a regenerative cycle, where growth and decay are equal measures.

Mycelium, the vegetative root of fungi, embodies ecology as an intelligent living system, a physical thread that sews life together. It is a process, not just one particular thing. It reestablishes the fundamental connection between body and nature.

As I collaborate with mycelium my experience of self changes. There is no ‘self’ in nature, only a bridge of two worlds, body and Earth. A transformation of what was before into something entirely new. Mycelium holds the body and reconnects our human belonging to nature through an acceptance of life cycles. Rebirth is continuous; alchemy.

Whilst I perform the material and immerse myself in the Earth, nature also performs a circularity of form; making, unmaking, remaking. Through a poetic symbiosis, the body and Earth exist as one.

Through a sustainable and regenerative cycle, mycelium collaborates with the garment to make, unmake and remake the body. Currently, the mycelium on the paneled garment is evolving the materials on a mannequin, which is encased in a homemade ‘green house’ so that it can flourish.


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