Designer launches first collection at Vancouver Fashion Week

Former Trail resident, Evan Clayton, is a fashion designer and will be unveiling his new collection at Vancouver Fashion Week.

“As long as one person is paying attention, I’m satisfied.”

These are the words of Evan Clayton, a young Trail man with a wild determination and passion that won’t be subdued.

It looks as if Clayton’s wish has been granted, for today all eyes will be on him, or more so his creations.

Clayton isn’t a hockey player, an actor, nor a musician, instead his success comes from his incredible ability to design clothing that speaks to the audience and delivers a message.

He is a fashion designer and today he will be unveiling his new collection at Vancouver Fashion Week.

In his first large show since graduating from Vancouver’s Blanche MacDonald Centre in 2011, Clayton will be showcasing his collection, titled, “The Fall of Joan.”

“It’s all about the decay of the modern superstar,” Clayton explained, “how we build them up then love to watch them die.”

The Fall of Joan refers to Joan of Arc, a young woman during the time of the Hundred Years’ War who, after claiming divine guidance, led the French forces to victory in several key battles. She was later captured and eventually executed at the age of 19.

Clayton describes Joan’s stardom as being great and her downfall even greater and for that he finds her to be very referential and influential. Through his collection he hopes to portray her final days and how she was feeling before the end.

“It’s going to be very theatrical,” Clayton said.

Of course the up-and-coming fashion star didn’t come into the world with fabric in hand knowing he would be a designer when he grew up. He had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was Trail.

Clayton was originally born in the Silver City and lived here for several years before moving multiple times between Cranbrook, Kitimat, and Kelowna before returning to Trail in 2007.

Evan’s mother, Jan Clayton, clearly recalled the moment her son turned to fashion.

“Evan was in Grade 10 and had stayed home because he was sick, and was watching an Alexander McQueen fashion show on TV. He saw that show and something just clicked.”

Jan went on to say that her and Evan’s father had no idea Evan was into fashion and they originally thought it to be a “passing thing,” a phase more or less.

But as time went on and Evan continued to show increasing interest in the world of fashion and its inner workings it became apparent fashion was what he wanted in life.

“Around the age of 14 I was delving into the works of Alexander McQueen, and by 16 I knew that I couldn’t do anything else,” Evan recalled.

“He’s always been very artistic and had much creativity so really, it makes sense that he would do fashion,” Jan added, “and from a parent’s standpoint, to see him doing these incredible things, is awe inspiring.”

While living in Trail, Evan found great support in his community and close friends.

“He had such a great group of friends,” Jan said, “always encouraging him and helping him whenever he would need advice, or trying his clothes on.”

“I remember one time hearing from someone who knew Evan from school, saying he had a great sense of fashion and was the second-best dressed in the entire school. I have no idea who the best dressed would have been,” Jan said.

While Evan and his mother agree that Trail is a great place to grow up, for his career to really take flight he would have to move somewhere bigger, Vancouver being his prime choice.

“I really enjoyed living in Trail. It is hard being away from home,” Evan said, “and I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve been back to visit, but it’s also difficult to juggle life and work and a relationship. I don’t have a lot of free time.”

Evan will have much more on his plate as he prepares for his show today at 6:15 p.m. as part of the emerging designers show. The entire show can be viewed at vancouverfashionweeklive.com.

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