Claire Barrow is a young British fashion designer and artist, renowned for her luxury hand-painted leather and unique illustrated aesthetic.
Barrow’s design ethos of ‘do-it-yourself’ is both culturally and politically engaging, acting as a visual reflection of the evolution of British subculture. Her brand is steeped in the iconography of youth culture, making its positioning as a fixture on the London Fashion Week schedule relevant and exciting. Born in a small market town in North East England, Claire Barrow moved to London in 2008 to study Fashion at the University of Westminster. She made her London Fashion Week debut with Fashion East for Spring/Summer 2013 and is now exhibiting with NEWGEN, an acclaimed support scheme set up by TOPSHOP and the British Fashion Council.
In her latest collection named ‘The Retro-Spective’ Claire has thought about the sentimental trends of nostalgia and our yearning for comfort from the past, the antidote to the digital age.
So for this season, the garments each take direct inspiration from various decades, creating a racket of contrasting ideas, shapes and identities of the people she wants to dress. Claire has collaborated with luxury British knitwear brand John Smedley creating intricate and surreal printed jacquard and embroidered knit designs together. Alongside these knits, Claire has made individual artworks poking humour at our concepts of the repeated by printing them onto tights, cottons, silks and hand painted canvas garments. To exaggerate this ever present concept of the safety of nostalgia, the show existed within a theoretical museum at the ICA. A form of blatant narcissism where Barrow’s work became historic in its own terms for the period of the presentation.