By Joshua Langston
It’s been a while since I have covered an event in Vancouver. After NYFW this season, I had to prepare for a move that forced me to wipe my event calendar completely clean. However, there was one spot on my calendar that I could not possibly erase, no matter how busy I was. That spot was reserved for Evan Clayton’s show.
Evan Clayton is a young new designer from Vancouver, BC. He graduated from the prestigious Blanche Macdonald Center. Blanche Macdonald has launched careers in nearly every facet of the fashion industry and carries Alumni of some of Vancouver’s most influential fashion figures. When I heard that Evan was showing at Vancouver Fashion Week this season, I knew I had to be there. He has designed dresses for Lady Gaga and Sharon Needles, both of whom are his major influences and inspirations.
The inspiration for this collection spawned from Lady Gaga’s song Princess Die, a song that she sang on her most recent tour. Um and PS: Evan’s BF was able to meet Lady Gaga after the show and gave her a gown that Evan created for her. Upon opening the gift she said, “It reminds me of Versaceeee!” If Lady Gaga said that about something I designed, I would probably start doing cartwheels and back flips…GAG!
“The song explored the decay of the modern superstar as seen through Princess Diana. The song evoked such powerful imagery in my head that it spawned a whole collection from me. However, I was less inspiring by Diana and more by Joan, who I believe to be one of the most famous martyrs (after Jesus of course) in documented history.” – Evan Clayton on his inspiration for The Fall of Joan
While fleshing out the inspiration into a collection, Evan took the time to research Joan. The collection became a moving portrait of her journey as one of the most powerful and influential protagonists of her time.
Anna, Viranlly and I made our way into the venue and were quickly and efficiently escorted to our front row seats by Vedika of Sheek PR. The lights dimmed and a short video directed by Evan himself was presented before the collection hit the runway. The video was produced by One1One Magazine, a new fashion, music and culture publication that recently launched in Vancouver. (Pssssssst, you should pay attention to One1One as you might be seeing a TSL feature in an upcoming issue. Just sayin…)
The video was shot in and around Evan’s apartment and was edited to look like a Rorschach image created by the fluidity of movement in the model and the designs themselves. Rorschach is a style of inkblot used in psychology to understand personality characteristics and how a person interprets feelings. Evan used the technique to create the print in several applications in this collection. Not only was it aesthetically beautiful, but it was also very well thought out.
The progression and intensity in this collection was brilliantly executed. The hounds tooth suiting was meticulously tailored and showed the strength of Joan through her trials. The collection had a very smart and sophisticated vibe, which seemed to parallel Joan’s demeanor in the days leading up to her death.
“This was meant to symbolize her journey from collected, to acceptance of her death and finally to a primal will to prevent her martyrdom from destroying her legacy.” Evan Clayton on the progression of mood in the collection
The red plastic dress with a clear plastic pulled across the body was hauntingly beautiful. The use of such unconventional material risks making a garment look “cheap”, but the tailoring and styling made the look feel prestigious. Evan showed off one of his signatures: a molded leather dress with Rorschach inspired branding in blood dripping down the front. I’m pretty sure at this point Anna, Viranlly and I were all “catching flies” because our mouths were all wide open.
The last 4 looks brought the whole concept together and Evan really displayed “The Fall of Joan”. The two black and red printed chiffon looks near the end were stand out. Both looks had molded leather busts with graphic red and black printed chiffon. One of the looks included a black leather mask that covered almost the entire face and the second look was maxi length dress with a long veil in the printed chiffon and a leather headpiece on top. For the finale all the models stood in two lines down the runway, giving us a Funeral finish. Absolutely fabulous.
With such a strong showing for his first larger scale fashion show, there’s no telling what Evan will do next. One thing is for certain, we definitely saw Evan’s own personal rise, and I don’t see a fall in his new future.