Collections by local designer Evan Clayton hit the catwalk at Vancouver Fashion Week
By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Sep. 18 to 24, 2017 Vancouver-based fashion designer Evan Clayton is only 25, but he already has a wealth of experience under his—presumably very chic—belt. His show-stopping collections have ruled the runways at Vancouver Fashion Week for eight seasons, been featured on British Vogue online, and graced the catwalk in Vienna, Austria.
It’s no surprise then that fashion was one of the designer’s first loves. “I was always picking out my mom’s clothes for her,” he says. What is surprising is that Clayton never set out to create his own line. Instead, “it kind of organically happened.”
Early in his career, the Blanche Macdonald Centre graduate found himself at Vancouver Fashion Week working with Smashbox cosmetics. “I really threw myself into it,” he recalls. His hard work didn’t go unnoticed, and the budding designer was offered a four-season sponsorship based on the strength of his portfolio. After that, he “never looked back.”
This season, he debuts his 10th collection. Over the seasons his work has ranged from theatrical to soft and feminine, with inspiration that includes martyr Joan of Arc, humpback whale migrations, and the classical sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. “It’s very easy for me to get inspired,” he says. For his latest show, those disparate elements will be melded into one collection. “Part of me still really loves shock value, but lately I’ve been loving exploring the romantic in me.”
Although Clayton has gained some international attention, Vancouver is still his home: “I love the city so much. I’m very inspired by the Pacific Northwest.” And when he’s not busy working on his next collection? “I love going to the Aquarium. I get super inspired there.” Wreck Beach also ranks among his go-to destinations. “Just being near the ocean is my favourite thing about Vancouver.”
When it comes to curating his own closet, Clayton does “a lot of vintage and thrifting” at places like Used House of Vintage. “They just have the coolest stuff.” When it comes to basics like t-shirts, he heads to spots such as H&M.
He explains that his own personal style has changed a lot since he started working in fashion. “It is way more relaxed,” says Clayton. That becomes clear as he describes his signature style: “In the summer, it’s always short-shorts, a band t-shirt and a leather jacket. In the winter, it’s always ripped-up jeans, a band t-shirt and a leather jacket.”
Although his own style is laid-back, he doesn’t downplay the influence of clothing: “Sometimes I think fashion is the most authentic form of self-expression. That’s your first impression to the world. So why not give ’em something to look at?”
See Evan Clayton’s latest collection on Sep. 22 at Vancouver Fashion Week, or shop his designs online at www.evanclayton.ca