For Claire Barrow’s SS14 show last month, a gang of street cast models sloped down the catwalk, barefoot and wearing the distinct Barrow illustrative scrawl across transparent coats and covetable leather jackets. Describing the collection as a “modern take on eveningwear”, Claire says it was an “experimental experience in surface design” based on her own thoughts, rather than literal references. Although the show had punk undertones, on inspection the pieces were elegant – such as silk wrap dresses and wide leg trousers.
The deliberate casting of distinct personalities set an anarchist tone and fizzy show atmosphere. Here, in an exclusive preview of the Claire Barrow SS14 look book, these personalities are frozen in portraiture by Eloise Parry. “A person with style is something that translates through an image,” says Claire of the casting. “And you can feel it in Eloise’s photographs.”
Traditional in setting, the plush scarlet backdrops and satin draped seats mimic stiff Edwardian portraiture. Yet the androgyny of the sitters and frantic strokes of print in the clothing create a contemporary depth, and unnerving fission of energy. For Eloise, the look book is a reflection of Claire’s ethos of “championing the individual and doing-it-yourself.” “When photographing the models, I approached it in the same way I would shoot a portrait,” says Eloise. “Everyone we used has their charm, so they wore Claire’s collection in their own way – which is what her work is all about.”