Designer Evan Clayton has made a name for himself by mixing art with fashion. For an idea of what we mean, look no further than the concept for his current autumn-winter 2017 collection, which he dubbed The Devil in Miss Jones after the 1973 erotic film.
In his line, he has melded looks from 17th-century costume with inspiration from Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s baroque sculpture The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. The idea plays out in everything from denim frock coats to a luxuriant velvet evening dress to flowy-sleeved white blouse-bodysuits—styles that toy with contradictions of purity and sensuality.
The results have been so striking, in fact, that he was invited into a four-season partnership with Vancouver Fashion Week, where he’ll show his spring 2018 line this week, on Thursday (September 21) at the Chinese Cultural Centre (50 East Pender Street). The show marks the 10th season for the Blanche Macdonald Centre grad, a chance to celebrate where he’s been and get a little freer with colours and influences.
“Really, the main thing for me was I just wanted to make cool clothes,” he tells the Straight over a brief break on the phone. “If I was inspired by something, I just went with it. I went through my archives and reinvented and reinterpreted.…I brought back my bombers; I like the way they look.
“Colours are the big, big story—lots of primary, with red, yellow, blue, black, and white,” adds the designer, who also does a lot of custom bridal work. (See some of his showstopping wedding dresses at Davie & Chiyo.)
As Clayton reflects on marking 10 seasons, we ask him for some of the fashion faves he’s found here over the years.
Best place to style-watch
4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
“It’s such a great mix of high and low fashion—a girl in a Moschino dress with a Forever 21 bag.”
Best vintage shop
Used House of Vintage
1008 Robson Street
“It’s got a really great leather collection, especially leather jackets.”
Best fashion ’hood
“Because it has a lot of really great vintage.”
Best dive bar
917 Main Street
“They have the best beer and it has a cool vibe and a lot of cool events.”
Best show in Vancouver
1138 Davie Street
“They’re the best drag queens in Vancouver and they put on the best show in Vancouver. Three of them are walking in my show!”
Best fabric store
Atex Designer Fabrics
330 West Hastings Street
Rokko Sarees & Fabrics
6201 Fraser Street
“I’ve been using Atex since I was at Blanche and now they have a new store that’s really nice. And Rokko has a great silk selection.”
Best fashion splurge
“A great leather jacket. If I had an extra 10 grand I would go and buy a Tom Ford one. But I don’t, so I buy vintage.”
Best new boutique
Space boutique in Nordstrom
799 Robson Street
“They just revamped it and it’s really cool. They carry very, very cool small indie designers, like Molly Goddard.”
Best local fashion blogger
“Her style is really great and her hair is great. And she’s such a nice person!”
“Aside from the fact it’s a nude beach, I get very inspired by nature and it’s the most beautiful beach in Vancouver.”
Best fashion bargain
“H&M T-shirts. They’re $5 and they make great layering basics.”
Best pop-up shop
“I do it with Alex Yu and Fara Armstrong and we change it around with different places. We’re now looking in the Gastown area and hope to do one in late fall.”More