Compared to the predictable, a-political shows at London Fashion Week which tend to creep up and dominate each day, designers like Claire Barrow might as well be from another planet. This season hand-illustrated, screen-printed silks, over-sized leather jackets and brilliant 'to-do list' knitted scarves were concerned with the evolution of British subculture and an increasingly corporate future for young people.
Barrow was influenced by the day-to-day routine of city-workers and the black ballet pumps at the bottom of each outfit could have trudged off Fleet Street at 8:45am on any given workday. Individual fans in front of each model emphasised that early morning, pre-work dash by blowing hair and headpieces over into their faces and fluttering silks. Her illustrations remained ubiquitous and that consistent championing of the hand-drawn worked on both an aesthetic and political level, engaging with and critiquing ideas of mass-production and homogeny in fashion. This season Barrow’s drawings wove their way over a beautiful sun yellow off-the-shoulder dress, top-heavy coats, wide silk pyjama trousers and even tights. Leather, shearling and wool added heaviness and there was a richness of colour more present than in any previous collections. Her dialogue on the cultural landscape for creatives in London and continued dedication to craft cements Barrow as one of the most intelligent, important designers on schedule.