Wonderland catch up with menswear designer Clara Martin ahead of her SS15 L:CM showcase this month
Menswear designer and recent Middlesex University graduate, Clara Martin stems from a creative background following in the footsteps of both her mother and grandmother with her self-named label. Promoting a playful aesthetic with childhood nostalgia at its roots, Clara experiments with innovative fabric constructions and bold 2d and 3d shapes.
We catch up with Clara to take a closer look her AW14 collection inspired by primary-coloured Lego bricks, foam blocks and childlike train sets. We can only anticipate more of the same at her SS15 L:CM showcase this June.
How has coming from a creative background influenced you as a designer?
I think it has taught me to look at things differently. My mother and grandmother are so passionate when they speak of their past in fashion, and that has taught me to always keep things exciting. It’s important that I love the ideas behind my work, and have that transcend when others experience it firsthand. It is a method of creating positive long-lasting memories.
Why did you choose to create menswear?
I feel as though there isn’t enough playfulness in menswear and want to help break that stereotype, I’m obsessed with making men feel liberated when they dress and I think it brings about a new form of confidence that is different to what a conventional suit can bring.
Is nostalgia always going to be a reoccurring theme in your work?
I often look to my childhood as a source of initial inspiration. It’s always surprising to come across things I may have forgotten about, and it interests me to see how they link with menswear. For example, I was obsessed with Elmo from Sesame Street as a child, and he’s become my muse for SS15!
What fabrics were used for the aw14 collection?
For AW14, I used a lot of neoprene, which I made myself with Lycra and much thicker foam you’d usually see, along with wool, brightly coloured yarn and digitally printed cotton. These fabric choices came about from sampling many different knitting techniques, printing, laser cutting, construction and panelling techniques.
What about the techniques?
Fixated on the process of translating an idea from a thought to 2D into 3D and sometimes 4D with my pop out elements. I always want to grow the idea structurally to make more of a visual statement and to bring home the view on the new mindset of menswear.
What direction do you see yourself moving in the future?
I love menswear, and I really enjoy discovering new techniques to suit my concepts. I can see myself moving into accessories and more sculptural pieces, but for now I’m looking forward to showing my SS15 collection at London Collections: Men!