​10 things you need to know about sadie clayton

The young London-based designer with a copper obsession and a bright future talks ethnic minorities, political fashion and the Mary Jane Girls.

by Bojana Kozarevic
14 August 2015, 12:48am

One of London's newest talents, Sadie Clayton's unique creations have garnered her attention from both the fashion and art worlds. With a startlingly new and delicately intricate view of femininity, simultaneously tough and gentle, Clayton creates extraordinary designs that mix copper with tulle and leather. It's not about playing safe, it's about playing hard. i-D met up with the designer who isn't afraid of some heavy metal.

1. Her Northern roots were a big influence…
"I'm Yorkshire born and bred, I grew up in a normal small village where everyone conformed. Being an ethnic minority for a start was different, let alone anything else. When I hit age 14 something clicked where I began to find my own identity (and of course my afro). This is when I stopped cringing at charity shops and purchased loads from them and the second hand markets, that's when I realised I wanted to go onto fashion school."

2. She has a strange obsession with copper…
"In my third year at Uni I wanted to produce something that would be a challenge for me, and something that hadn't necessarily been seen before. I wanted to work with metal, and copper was not a metal often used in clothing. So I made copper sculptures and a dress out of 2000 copper plumbing brackets. The process isn't so different from producing clothes except I use plaster of paris, card and toile as opposed to calico."

3. The interweaving of fashion and art in her work have led to an ongoing collaboration with the Tate…
"The Tate have been amazing, they initially wanted to film me and my working process to coincide with the Waplington/McQueen working process exhibition, so they came over and interviewed me. Then one evening I had an email asking if I would be up for demonstrating my practice in the Waplington/McQueen exhibition at the Tate for two hours. I just did another presentation at the Tate Modern, which was about showcasing a variety of creative activities and getting young people to engage in it, which was amazing."

4. She loves being a young designer today…
"I love the current state of fashion, what's coming in next, who is coming next, what collaborations are happening next it's exciting, however I feel there is too much conformity! Break the rules! Produce something that will turn heads! I say that then I fear that some buyers can't seen past my copper metal sculptures ha!"

5. Her top 5 inspirations are…
"Crystals, science, texture, copper and spiritual regimes."

6. Grace Jones is her ultimate idol…
"I look at her and I see power, identity, talent and femininity, what else does a woman want? I'm a true believer of diversity in fashion, which is why I work with AllWalks. When I first ever began working with copper, the one and only woman I imagined it on was the black beauty Grace Jones. The day she wears anything of mine I will shed a tear or a few!"

7. She wants to take a stance on diversity in the industry…
"I think anything can be turned into a political stance. I think it is important to be culturally and socially aware. I just wish that something would be done from all of this awareness, especially when fashion is so powerful. I think politics are beginning to lie next to fashion due to the amount of diversity we are now supporting within fashion."

8. She's got some great advice for current fashion students…
"Stick to your vision, your trip, your identity, don't give up and you will be heard."

9. The best thing about her future is…
"Literally not knowing what is going to happen, even though that can sound like a cliché, but actually everyday there's a new email in my inbox about another new adventure or opportunity. I love it. Also, seeing my brand grow with support from amazing people in the industry and collaborations."

10. She advises y'all to l listen to…
"Mary Jane Girls - All Night Long! Always - that is MY track. Oh and War is in the Dance by Frankie Paul." 


Text Bojana Kozarevic

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