The shimmering dress was one of six looks created by 22 year old Sadie Clayton from Mirfield in West Yorkshire. Her voluminous metal sculptures, intricately detailed dresses and towering faux fur wing-shaped coat caught the attention of judges at Graduate Fashion Week and saw her named a runner-up in the London showcase’s award for innovation.
Sadie, who works at Rellik Vintage in Portobello Road and is the creative fashion producer for The Mark Magazine, said the judges’ praise for her portfolio and presentation was still ringing in her ears.
“It’s just amazing to be recognised for your work and I am so pleased to have been one of the very few designers shortlisted amongst all of the professional work I saw at the Graduate Fashion Week’s shows and exhibits,” she said.
Sadie’s sculptured metal creations feature three looks hand crafted from sheets of mirrored copper. The curved design she opted for meant all the edges had to be sanded and smoothed to avoid the material scratching the model who wore it. “I worked for two nights straight to get all the pieces perfected for these looks which included two sculptures and a cape,” she said.
The Grace Jones-style silhouettes were topped with five sweeping avante-garde head pieces developed in collaboration with London-based milliner Niamh Flanagan. “I showed her my research and sketches and I was so excited when she said she felt, with her contemporary take on vintage style, we could work together to create something to match my unusual choice of materials.”
The monochrome print and cut out shapes were prompted by Sadie’s research in to the shapes of furniture. “I manipulated the image of a chair and developed it in to a print which I transferred on to thin canvas,” Sadie explained.
“The cut outs in the underwear, trousers and jumpsuit were all an interpretation of a piece of furniture from the 1970s, while the faux fur wings idea came from a table I saw at the V&A in London.”
The inspiration for her sculptures stems from the shapes of lovers’ bodies in Japanese art. “I added tabs and slits to the pieces so that when I pinned them all together they would intertwine like limbs and allow me to sculpt the look I wanted.”
A self-confessed fan of the 1980s, Sadie stepped out at Graduate Fashion Week in a vintage green metallic suit from the era famed for its fashion statements. “Working in a vintage shop, I get to immerse myself in all the decades of fashion gone by that have influenced collections today,” she said. “From shoulder pads to platforms, I just love playing with shape and scale in my own style too.”
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