September marks a few what-we’d-call-special-occasions for Claire Barrow. Firstly, it means it’s been exactly one year since she debuted her womenswear collection with Fashion East – alongside Ryan Lo (another first timer) and Maarten van der Horst – her first on schedule presentation during London Fashion Week.
When she presents her Spring Summer 14 collection at one o’clock next Tuesday (17th September), it will be the last collection she shows under the comforting umbrella of Fashion East (a brolly that by FE rules, must end after three seasons).
And lastly, September brings with it Barrow’s exclusive new collection for MATCHESFASHION.COM. Cue squeals of joy and flutters of excitement from leather jacket wearers the land over; Vogue fashion editor Fran Burns has already Instagrammed hers.
The six piece capsule range is made up of three bikers and three bags, each black in base colour and hand painted by Barrow. “The jackets are based on being part of a gang,” she says. “Each of the three designs shows a different gang of girls painted on the jackets.”
The girl gangs include The Embers, The Jewel Lake Ritual – “which I thought sounded like a really cool band name" – and the Earth Angels. The first are firey partygoers, the JLR’s swim to get rich, but are turned to jewels by the water instead, and the latter ladies represent angels and people in the city surrounding you. Like her own Fashion East gang of Lo and Ashley Williams, perhaps?
With each jacket there’s a clutch that bares the same gang, so for fans of Claire’s delicate depictions whose wardrobe channels a slightly different attitude, fear not, MATCHESFASHION.COM has it covered. The sentiment remains but the punk aesthetic is tidied somewhat.
The collaboration isn’t exactly Barrow’s first, but it is the most accessible (in literal terms), proving her unique skills are all too ready to be swallowed up by fans from further afield. As MATCHESFASHION.COM’s Head of Fashion, Natalie Kingham tells it, “she has these incredible ideas and her collections are so compelling we were delighted to work with her.”
To celebrate the collection's launch, Alex Sainsbury made a film (below) with Love Magazine featuring the band Skinny Girl Diet, covering Dusty Springfield's 'Spooky'; we're a bit in awe.
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