WOOL CREPE, RIB KNIT, KNIFE PLEATES ….. PRESENTING EVAN CLAYTON ON HIS LATEST INTRIGUING COLLECTION “LILLITH”
Hello There Evan, This is Hana we are very honoured to have you here with us at Metro Living Zine after showcasing yet another spectacular and evocatively beautiful collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week to begin with…..
1 – You’re collection titled “LILLITH” has a very strong theme and historical context, however what is your definition of the term regarding you’re latest collection?
I got the name from watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, and after seeing so many references to Western culture I decided to do a bit of research to find out the deeper symbolism in context with the show. The creator of the show said that it literally has nothing to do with the core plot; he just found the names and symbols aesthetically pleasing. In the show, LILLITH is regarded as the mother of all humanity; I found it interesting that so much power and symbolism was given to something taken so out of context. In a way, in relation to the collection, LILLITH simultaneously means everything, but also nothing.
2 – The demeanour of the women in your shows is so intriguing, leaving an audience in awe and admiration. What kind of women are you portraying? And what would be you’re ideal clientele?
The actual woman herself changes season to season, but the EVAN CLAYTON client is a boundary pusher, an innovator, and a creator. When I do fittings with clients, usually they ask me how far they think they can push a look, not whether or not they look decent. She ranges in age as well, I’ve had 18 year old clients, and I’ve had 60 year old clients, the thing they share is a brash spirit.
3 – Another element of your shows and work is androgyny, do you see yourself exploring a men’s androgynous line?
I don’t see traditional menswear in my future anytime soon. However, the key to androgyny is a unisex option. I haven’t fully explored that in my work just yet, there are definitely pieces that blur the lines of gender, and there are androgynous elements, but it’s something that I would like to explore a bit more.
4 – What message or hidden meaning were you trying to engage audiences with the collection “LILLITH”.?
Gender is often a point in my work, however, this season I wanted to focus more on the environment. In the show, the girls were all covered in goo and oil. I wanted each girl to embody the presence of the Earth as a mother. She may be covered in oil, but she still has strength and grace, and can overcome and evolve. Conservation International did these amazing videos with people voicing and personifying various elements of the planet. Julia Roberts was cast as Earth, and her defiant tone and aloof manner were what I wanted my cast to embody. “Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.”, is what closes out each of those segments, and that sentiment of Earth being prepared to evolve without humanity is what drove this show forward.
5 – Wool crepe, knife pleats, rib knit, nylon mesh The entire aesthetic and tailoring of your collection has a profound sense of signature style and skill, how have you grown since last season and what materials would you like to work with next?
I feel like this is my most technically accomplished collection yet, but there’s always room for improvement. I moved into a studio this season, and I think having a separation of home and work really helped clear my vision for this collection. It also meant that when i was at the studio, I was there to work. I already know what I’m doing next season, and I think you can expect the same spirit of growth in that collection as well.
6 – When coming up with a narrative for your shows, you also have a strong cinematographic visual as a backdrop and foreshadow, do you enjoy storytelling and how do you think it relates to design?
Teniel Messado has shot every single one of my backdrop videos; she always brings a strong eye and spontaneous creation to my shoots. I think fashion shows are an essential part of my brand. Storytelling is one of my core values, not just as a brand, but as a person. How can I convey my meaning through metaphor? Why does this story need to be told? I design the show before I design the clothes. Usually I’ll see a few key pieces in my head, but the spirit and energy of the show are what is most important to me. After I’m happy with it, that’s when I flesh out the actual clothing.
7 – If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive, who would be your choice?
My immediate reaction is to say McQueen, but I feel like I wouldn’t collaborate with him so much as sit back and learn from watching him work. I would love to have worked with Gian Lorenzo Bernini, perhaps on a venue for a show. He’s my favorite classical artist.
8 – Do you have a muse? And what are your thoughts on the concept of a muse in design?
When I first began EVAN CLAYTON, I somewhat dismissed the idea of a muse. However, as the collections have gone by, I find myself gravitating more and more to Jane Smoker. Every time she wears my clothes, I see them in a new light, she breathes life into them. The muses of big fashion houses of the 30’s and 40’s would actually live in the fashion house, and the designer would dress her and have tea with her, get her thoughts and feelings on the pieces she was wearing. As much as I would love to do that, I think I’m a bit too raw of an artist. I think if it were me we’d be stranded on a deserted island trying to figure out a way back to civilization. A muse is an inspiration, but to me she’s also the solution to a problem.
9 – What would you like audiences as well as customers to take away from you’re work?
10 – If you weren’t a fashion designer what would you’re second dream job be?
11 – If you could design an entire wardrobe for anyone who would you choose?
Lady Gaga, but during her campaign for Born This Way.
12 – As Metro living Zine is a life style magazine, what are some final words you would like to share with readers on the collection “LILLITH”?
I’ve been told many times that wearing my clothing is like wearing armour. Suit up.
13 – Last but not least what’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
Thank you so much Evan for taking the time to join us today here at Metro Living Zine , we are all looking forward to another collection of Evan Clayton Designs on the Runway !
Photography By Simon Armstrong
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