Vancouver Fashion Week FW19 - Interview With Fashion Designer Evan Clayton

Runway photography by Dale Rollings

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

I've always loved fashion, but it wasn't until later in life that the calling came to me for design. I was very undecided in my teens and I almost didn't go to school for fashion. If I didn't get into Blanche than I would have gone for marine biology. Luckily for me, I did get accepted and I began my travels down the road of design.

How did you learn your skills?

I studied fashion design at Blanche Macdonald and loved every moment that I got to spend there. I came to the school with a definitive art background and little to no sewing experience. I found the technical aspects really challenging at first, but one day it all clicked together and I managed to finish the program. I really thrived in Peggy Morrison's classes, things like Fashion Awareness and Fashion History really excite me.

Who you are as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand?

I have a very streamlined viewpoint. I like to think of myself as a maximal minimalist in that everything I do is very pared down, but still very extra. I create two seasonal collections a year and do a lot of custom work.

What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

I think that keeping true to my aesthetic comes very easily to me. I've worked very hard on building an identifiable, inimitable aesthetic, and that comes from a place of honesty in design. Everything I do is personal. I'd say the business aspect of having a brand definitely doesn't come as easily to me. I'm a Taurus, so I'm very stubborn, and I will be the first person to sacrifice financial stability to exercise my vision!

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is colour to your design process?

I'm not one of those designers that has to search for inspiration, which in itself is both a blessing and a curse. I usually know fairly quickly what I want a collection to look / feel like, and the collections often overlap. I'll be halfway finished with one and itching to get on to the next! The source inspiration always comes from my gut, and I feed that through various visual references to often find a theme that is coherent with what I'm trying to say. Colour holds no importance to me as a designer. If I see a colour and it feels right, I'll use it, but I'm often very happy with a clean colour palette.

Readers would love to know more about the current collection you showed at Vancouver Fashion Week.

A follow up to last season’s ode to narcissism, LIKE HELL is a journey through the events that popped Evan Clayton’s ego-centric bubble. Despair fills the void that EGO once occupied, and madness takes hold. With adrenaline pumping through his veins, a survival instinct kicks in. EVAN CLAYTON is prepared to fight!

A baseline of crimson hums throughout the collection, with infinite black smearing across the colour palette. Across the collection, the silhouette is one that exudes strength. References to medieval armour and combat gear are juxtaposed with the beauty of brocades and the softness of ostrich feathers. Pieces from past collections have been warped to an extreme, there’s a comfort in their familiar unfamiliarity.

As always, collaboration is at the heart of EVAN CLAYTON. This season features a hand painted floral motif by local artist Patris Rudari, as well as smithing by Johnny Reynolds and nails by Jo Durée.

Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

I don't know if I have a head to toe favourite look from this collection, but I definitely do have some favourite pieces! The armored glove with the sword nail comes to mind, as does the laser cut leather.

Where can readers purchase your designs?
On my website at

What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

Well that would be telling! You'll have to wait and see!

What advice do you have for young fashion artists just beginning their journey to become designers?

Educate yourself, and that doesn't mean just in school. If you don't live and breathe the history, then you're bound to repeat it and never do anything new.

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