29 May 2010

Hand-Crafted Menswear by Brian Clarke

Brian Clarke admits fashion is in his blood. As a teenager he loved to interpret street fashion and create his own style. The next obvious step was to take this creativity and learn how to make his own designs. So Brian registered at the London College of Fashion to study how to design light clothing and pattern cutting. After completing his studies, Brian worked at Berman’s & Nathan’s theatrical costumiers, honing his bespoke tailoring skills. Here he worked on costumes for Colditz, Superman and all the BBC series, but promises his own collections will not include wearing underpants over tights! However, it was when he worked as assistant designer/pattern cutter for Katherine Hamnett that a passion for fashion really got to him.

After several years of hands-on experience, Brian eventually decided to go it alone. His first independent forays found him styling and designing clothes for pop videos for numerous bands- Jackie Graham, David Grant, Imagination and Spandau ballet to name a few. He also set up a pattern cutting, sample making and small production service for emerging designer labels which included Stephen Linard, Duffer of St. George, John Giuliano, Joe Casely Hayford and Nigel Hall. But an eye for a strong commercial presence was to reveal bigger ambitions. Brian soon had his own flourishing line, stocking many of the capital’s trendier boutiques. It was then he decided to open his eponymous store in London’s Soho stocking his own name label.

The store was more than just a shop; it rapidly became a social institution for slick dressers from the worlds of film, music, art and the city of all whom were looking for the inimitable BC style. It was an instant winner and encouraged others to tap into Brian’s design talents. Deals from Japan notably Dep International - soon followed. This is when Brian had to make an agonising choice of keeping his store open or go to Japan and accept the deal to work for one of the leading young fashion companies there. Brian decided to take the offer in Japan where he could accrue more experience in fashion design. But he never gave up the idea of continuing with a London store and now he’s back after five years ready to open his new store in the West End early in the New Year. In some ways he’s come full circle, employing the artistry of the bespoke skills he learnt at the beginning in his stylish and subtle tailoring. It’s what he does best, and his return to fashion is not a moment too soon

For his spring/summer 2010 collection, Brian has used mainly crisp cotton and linen in cool blues, stone and white. For his dark dinner suit he has used a blend of wool and silk, and for the guys who don’t do plain – a broqueted jacket in black.

Brian has applied to show his new collection at next year’s London Fashion Week in February, so don’t forget to visit him there. Until his store opens, you can buy by contacting Brian via his website: www.brianclarkeclothing.com

Written by www.frumpytofunky.com

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