Claire Barrow presents her Autumn/Winter 2015-16 collection ‘High Flyers’, her third sponsored by NEWGEN.
This season sees the designer take elementary influences from her relationship with life in London, and the conflicts that come from it.
The spirit of the collection derives from Barrow’s reflection on the cultural and political landscape of London, which has so rapidly changed within the last few years. London, once a mousetrap for young, inspired people, is now compromised. It has left her to speculate what, and where, the place is for the youth of today.
In contrast, Claire has also taken influence from the daily life of city workers and power women within the corporate workplace. With responsibility comes a yearning for freedom and youth, which is insinuated through her presentation: each model is blown by a fan. Barrow’s intention for the space was to create a hybrid between the indoor workplace and a free, outdoor environment.
Barrow’s Autumn/Winter 2015-16 colour palette, in addition to her signature monochromatic tone, consists of magenta, red, ochre, dark greens and light sky blue. Meanwhile, the collection showcases all-natural fabrics, including silk, cotton, leather and wool, with accents of fur and knitwear. She has remained loyal to her core aesthetic, with a prominent emphasis on print, which, for this season mostly silk screen-printed.
Top heavy silhouettes form the basis of the collection; these are accessorized with large hats, scarves and ballet flat office shoes. The eye is drawn to oversized coats in leather and wool, leather trousers, sheepskin jackets, finished with the likes of wide sleeves and elasticated and laced-up details.
The designer has also created trompe l’oeil earrings from transparent perspex in collaboration with jewellery band, Tatty Devine to illustrate the effect of a silk scarf blowing in the wind.
Her design ethos of ‘do-it-yourself’ is both culturally and politically engaging, acting as a visual reflection of the evolution of British subculture.
Barrow made her London Fashion Week debut with Fashion East for Spring/Summer 2013, and after completing three seasons, was then picked to showcase her work with NEWGEN. Autumn/Winter 2015-16 is her first presentation with NEWGEN, after two seasons of showcasing her collections in the exhibition space at Somerset House.