claire barrow is getting more xtreme

Her second sportswear instalment has just launched. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s Claire Barrow!

by Clementine de Pressigny
13 September 2018, 4:10pm

Claire Barrow

We’ve been waiting since March for fresh goods from multidisciplinary artist Claire Barrow, and we’re pleased to say new stuff has arrived. XTreme Sports: Adrenaline is the follow up to Claire’s first ‘extreme sports merchandise’ collection, released early this year. She wasn’t done exploring the topic. "I had more to achieve with the theme of Xtreme Sports, because it's quite a broad subject matter," she tells i-D. "It's almost comical in its explanation. It's fun and easy and sometimes brave to wear (with the sexual references and all). The price points aren't huge and it’s available direct to buy from my website.” She’s not lying either, you can buy it off her website right this very moment.

Claire’s playing on the ever-popular luxury athletic wear trend. “It's very much my version of sportswear — that's why it's got this title, yet actually it's not even that sporty in a technical sense. It's fun and humorous and instant, whilst still taking itself seriously,” she says. From thongs to dresses to swimsuits, the designs feature drawings of mermaids, Lamborghinis, motorbikes and the occasional pair of animals doing dirty deeds, all in Claire’s signature scribbly style. There are broken bones earrings too, and white stockings that have been drawn all over, reminiscent of when your leg gets put in a cast and all your mates write messages on it. But you don’t just get to wear XTreme Sports, you can decorate your home with it too -- there’s a clock, a soap dispenser, even a jigsaw puzzle to limber up your fingers and get you feeling mentally athletic.

“My world is changing in that I now feel, getting older, I should be taking up a sportier lifestyle. Splitting my time last year between LA and London,” Claire continues, “this is something I've now become bothered by. I do exercise now, you know, I go to yoga classes and have been thinking about self-care a lot more."

The lookbook was photographed by Frank Lebon at his studio and on the wild rides at Surrey’s Thorpe Park, which the whole team enjoyed having a go on. The imagery also includes pictures of some poor souls who’ve sustained gruesome injuries from unusual sporting activities. Claire gave Frank creative freedom with the imagery. “He got it straight away and created the ideas, which then did end up being executed. And it was the dream I'd had in mind really -- he'd hit the nail on the head. It was what I was thinking without even knowing it yet.”

Since her LFW debut back in 2012, Claire has been pushing the boundaries of what fashion can be by blurring it into art and working outside of the industry framework. “There’s still challenges. The challenge is usually time. When I’m working on something I tend to really put my heart into it, so I can’t do too many different projects at once. But I think I’m growing and taking myself more seriously than I used to and that’s leading to me to feel comfortable to switch between wearable and unwearable art objects.”

Claire’s next project will be unveiled for Halloween — an art show at Piccadilly Circus tube station. “It probably won’t feature clothing but it will have drawings, paintings and sculpture — something I haven’t had the time to do in a long while!”

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Claire Barrow
Frank Lebon