claire barrow, ashley williams and ryan lo are the fashion easties you need to know
Each year, Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East initiative enables six lucky young London designers - from Gareth Pugh to Meadham Kirchhoff, Christopher Shannon and J.W. Anderson - to fund and show their first collections out of college. It’s sharpened the...
Claire Barrow at her studio. Photography Piczo. Styling Mischa Notcutt.
The gorgeous gothic princess from Stockton-on-Tees, Claire Barrow, makes fashion and art, and, occasionally, riot grrrl music videos (for Spooky by Skinny Girl Diet). Conjuring up darkly seductive paintings such as The Jewel Lake Ritual - which features naked teens ceremonially re-birthing themselves in milky, moonlit waters, while encouraging us to not be afraid - and sending veiled corpse brides and salmon-shaped clutches down the catwalk, her vision is dark and very beautiful.
What's the last text message you sent?
To my mum. I text her five times a day, everyday.
How did you use to dress when you were a little girl?
Like a boy.
Full football kit, socks and boots.
Why did you dress like that?
Middlesbrough Football Club.
How do you remember your mum dressing when you were younger?
My mum's always had the same hair. It's been big and blonde with a fringe, and she dresses my dad as well, which is really funny to mention. He's not allowed to dress himself. She dresses him everyday.
Who first introduced you to punk?
There was a record shop in Middlesbrough. I used to go there on my own and buy records. I wouldn't really know what they were.
Were your friends listening to the same sort of stuff?
No. It was terrible! I was drawn to the artwork.
What's your favourite tattoo that you have?
Morrissey's lyrics on my back.
What does it say? "Does the body rule the mind / Or does the mind rule the body?"
What's the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you?
A proposal in a fish and chip shop with an elastic band. I said no.
What do you and Ryan and Ashley do when you all go out together?
We eat Chinese usually.
Tell us something about Ryan no one else knows. We both cried at Star Trek 2.
Two crushes in order of hotness... Serge Gainsbourg. John Cale.
Three people on her most-called list... Mum. Seamstress. Eloise Parry.
Three favourite Disney characters... The Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Jasmine from Aladdin. Mickey.
Five movies for fashion inspiration... The Flame of New Orleans. The Holy Mountain. Scorpio Rising. Barbarella. Cleopatra.
After cheering her friends Claire and Ryan as they unveiled their fun-filled fantasies for autumn/winter 13, Happy Ashley completed the triptych of treats, and made her Fashion East debut by pulling us deeper into her world of Americana. Having whisked us around a trashy tour of Texas for her headline-grabbing graduate collection, she opened a forgotten teen-zine of Elvis, and reignited the flames of fan girl crushes. Seen through her smiling eyes, the stars, stripes and slogans of the States are seductive once more. Echo the King and be girl happy.
What's your favourite colour?
What was the last track you listened to on your iPod?
WOP by J Dash.
If you could dress a cartoon character, who would it be and how would you dress them?
Sandy from SpongeBob, and I'd put her in something glamorous and Texan as she's a Texan squirrel in an astronaut outfit.
Who's your best friend, what do they do, and why do you love them?
My best friend is called Pixie. She's a songwriter, and I love her because she's funny!
What's your karaoke song?
Celine Dion, It's All Coming Back To Me Now. It's about seven minutes long.
And how has working with Fashion East changed things for you?
Everything, without them I couldn't do anything.
What's Lulu like? Lovely, she's really nice. I really like her, she's really sweet and helpful. She's just nice in general, besides helping us out.
Where do you go to dance from sunrise to sunset? My room or Ibiza.
What's on your fashion wish list right now?
Everything from Miu Miu and Alaïa!
Five movies for fashion inspiration... Slaves of New York. Troop Beverly Hills. True Romance. Anchors Aweigh. Hairspray (the original).
Three people on her most-called list... My friend Cat. Lev, my boyfriend. The local taxi company.
Three instagrams... FUNKYOFFISH. Tomcomboy. Jeanieus.
Originally from Hong Kong, these days you'll most likely find Ryan Lo striding grumpily out of Hackney Road takeaways, hidden under a thick mane of hair in ever changing colours - like a skinny fashion grunge lion - or else in his studio, howling with laughter at Project Runway whilst printing out pictures of glazed, braided breads for inspiration. The boy is a beautiful genius! No one else out there is making fashion so youthful, so pink and so full of love.
What's your favourite colour?
What's your biggest design inspiration?
Cakes, candy, cream pies.
Where do you go to dance from sunrise to sunset?
Metropolis Strip Club, where Natalie Portman was in Closer.
What kind of woman do you design for?
Girls and women who crave LOVE! Where's the love?
What's your karaoke song?
All by Myself by Celine Dion.
What's the perfect date outfit?
Signature Ryan Lo bunny fur suit!
What happened in your first meeting with Lulu Kennedy?
I was scared and shy! I hadn't sleep the night before, working on the clothes; I tripped and fell on the long tiny stairs.
What's been your favourite collection to date?
My spring/summer 14 collection. I want a complete set of Sylvanian Families!
How do you hope your life will change after the Fashion East show? I will be happier and a lot skinnier.
What's your favourite i-D cover of all time? Chen Man for The Whatever The Weather Issue. The pink one!
If you were to grace the cover of i-D, who would you choose to style you, and what would you wear? I WANT Charlotte Stockdale! I will wear CK IN2U perfume and nothing else!
What's on your fashion wish list right now? Topshop sponsorship. Haha!
Three people on his most-called list... My mum. My PR Adam. Fortuna Chinese takeaway on Hackney Road.
Three movies for fashion inspiration... Marie Antoinette. Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton.
Five favourite models right now... Ondria Hardin! Select's new faces Mila Miletic and Eleanor Hayes. Tommy Marr and Tyler Maher.
Five secret crushes right now... Secret! Secret! Secret! Secret! Secret!
Seven designers... Miu Miu. Sonia Rykiel. Tao Kurihara. Comme des Garçons. Céline. Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière. Marc Jacobs.
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Text Steve Salter & Dean Kissick
Styling Mischa Notcutt