Claire Barrow: “OH, how it is to be mundane” collection A/W 13
If you’re one to customise old tired clothes then look no further for fabulous inspiration than the London-based illustrator Claire Barrow.
Joseph joined forces with Barrow for Autumn/Winter 2012, which saw her customise vintage leathers by handpainting directly onto the material with the use of acrylic paints, a technique that has become her signature style. Barrow’s work has brought back the true essence of London’s mods and punks through the use of classic leather staple items. It certainly created a storm within the fashion world and now Barrow’s one-off designs are sought after by many celebrities.
Her second collection, OH, how it is to be mundane Autumn/Winter ’13 uses expressive brush stokes and an array of designs in monochrome from dolls head handbags and pin-ups to select phrases of text. Her collection stays true to her heart and expresses her passion for punk sub cultures and rebellious attitude.
Barrow was discovered by Fashion East, an enterprise founded by The Old Truman Brewery in 2000. The enterprise/company helps young designers through their early career and helps them to establish themselves within the fashion industry. With so much competition for aspiring designers in London it can be hard for them to gain any recognition. Fashion East is a non-profit company sponsored by the likes of Topshop. Each season Lulu Kennedy, the founder, and her team hand-pick three womenswear and three menswear designers to showcase their collection to international press and buyers at London Fashion Week. Barrow was lucky enough to be selected and presented her début collection.
While working on project Flora at Showstudios last year, she demonstrated her love, yet unusual relationship with flowers: “I’m interested in what flowers mean to humans. They symbolise love, sex and death. It’s the human cycle of life”.
Honouring and modelling her work with great praise was Faris Badwan, the front man and vocalist of the British rock band The Horrors, who Barrow designed a hand-painted leather biker jacket for. Barrow custom designs each of her jackets to suit and express the owner’s identity. Both Claire Barrow and Faris Badwan share a mutual love for the post punk culture and Badwan’s image works in perfect harmony with the jacket designed and created for him.
Faris Badwan is not the first celebrity to have one of Barrow’s jackets made for them. Rihanna asked her to design and create two jackets that she wore while on her Loud tour. Barrow’s distinguishing and inventive style has been noticed by many London designers and she is sure to go far within the fashion world.
Through all her collections Barrow has inspired thousands and shows that plain, mundane items can be electric through the art of reinvention.
Photo: Courtesy of Claire Barrow