The Block

Interviews — 5 months ago

Claire Barrow’s Archive Revisited

Multidisciplinary visual artist and fashion designer Claire Barrow is rising fast.

 

Widely respected as a true revolutionary force in modern underground fashion, Claire’s style is hard to pin-down, drawing on punk, historical iconography and completely individual, whimsical illustration to arrive at an always unique, ever changing end-point. Not content with sticking to one format either, Claire effortlessly blurs the lines between fashion, illustration and art, an element of her work that is ever-present.

 

We caught up with Claire after the launch of her new campaign, Archive Revisited, to get some insight into the inner workings of one of the brightest minds currently in the game.

 

Shop the Claire Barrow Archive Revisited collection here, available for a limited time only. 10% of the proceeds will go towards East London charity NIA. NIA offers hands-on services to women and girls suffering any form of male abuse.

Words
Everpress Team
Photography
Hannah Moon and Alice Neale
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Claire Barrow by Hannah Moon

Let’s kick things off, can you tell our community a little about yourself?

I’m an artist from a village called Yarm, in North East England. I studied fashion at Cleveland College of Art in Middlesbrough then moved to London in 2008 to study Fashion at The University of Westminster. Since 2010 i’ve been fluttering between art and fashion projects. I tend not to use references, my ideas usually come a deep place within my soul which manifest as super childlike, yet considered, drawings, paintings and sculpture; often adorning fabric. Anyone can wear my stuff! My muses come in all different ages, sizes, genders and races. People from all over the world wear it thanks to the internet.

Claire Barrow Archive Revisited. Photography and design by Claire Barrow

How would you describe your style? What are the inspirations behind this style?

I was very into Ancient Egypt as a child and their art visually and sometimes spiritually (i was fascinated with mummies) so I think that had a huge influence, as well as punk sensibilities. Also, mistakes make up most of my process of discovering how I really want the final thing to look. Egyptian art, Punk, mistakes, self discovery and Moulin Rouge.

the deep complexities of my brain come out better via my artworks

What was the motivation for revisiting your archive?

Some people might have only got into my work in recent years through Instagram so i thought I’d bring back some of the old classic prints for people to enjoy again, or for the first time, in an affordable way. I’ve had so many requests to re-launch the Smoking Cloud print and also people really like the Cat Lovers. I think there is something about that one the sort of awkward face and penis hanging down that makes you laugh. It’s from the SS15 collection where I was drawing humans mutating into cats and dogs.

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The original ‘Sexy Lingerie’ and ‘Cat Lovers’ designs by Claire Barrow. Photography by Hannah Moon

The catalogue style layouts which act as the lookbook are directly copied from 90s Delias Catalogue but I wanted to biro all over them like my Mum used to when she’d be writing phone numbers or little notes to remember things on the closest magazine or catalogue she could find. Usually that was the Next catalogue but their layouts aren’t as interesting.

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Claire Barrow Archive Revisited. Photography and design by Claire Barrow

What is it that draws you to fashion as a canvas for your illustrations and artwork?

I started drawing on jeans and clothes at school, even making them for my friends for 5 quid. I like dressing up and expressing my thoughts and humour on my outer body because i’m not always able to say what I need to say with my spoken words. I think the deep complexities of my brain come out better via my artworks, even if they appear instant at times.

08 Claire Barrow February 2015 Autumn Winter 15 Somerset House styling Alice Goddard photography Hanna Moon hair Raphael Salley make up MAC Cosmetics NEWGEN
Original Claire Barrow ‘Smoking Cloud’ print from AW15 campaign. Photography by Alice Goddard

What’s next for Claire Barrow?

I have a new collection of clothing coming out in a couple of weeks ‘XTreme Sports: Adrenaline’ which is the second installment of my sporty line ‘XTreme Sports’.

The title is supposed to be reminiscent of the second or third film in a film franchise. This time it features printed cropped hoodies, jogging bottoms, bikini’s, jewellery (and more) but in a different way to usual. I think it’s going to be cool, that’s just finishing being designed.

Then I’ve also been working with Brooke Candy and Pornhub, art directing and producing a sensual adult film featuring beautiful artworks and visuals which will hopefully be groundbreaking on such a huge platform as Pornhub. That comes out on their homepage August 29th 2018.

Claire Barrow’s Everpress campaign is available for a limited time only, grab your hoodie, tee or long-sleeve here, while you still can.