Former Batley School of Art pupil wins praise at Graduate Fashion Week

EYE CATCHING A design by Sadie Clayton, a former Batley School of Art student and Graduate Fashion Week runner-up.
EYE CATCHING A design by Sadie Clayton, a former Batley School of Art student and Graduate Fashion Week runner-up.
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Fashion designer Sadie Clayton’s contemporary take on vintage style won acclaim at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.

Her unique womenswear collection featured intricately detailed dresses, a towering faux fur wing-shaped coat and voluminous metal sculptures.

Three designs were even hand crafted from sheets of mirrored copper, including a dress made from 2,000 plumbing copper brackets.

The curved design she opted for meant all the edges had to be sanded and smoothed to avoid the material scratching the model who wore it.

“I worked for two nights straight to get all the pieces perfected for these looks which included two sculptures and a cape,” she said.

But the effort paid off when Graduate Fashion Week judges named her runner-up in the showcase’s innovation award.

Sadie, 22, pictured below, said: “It’s just amazing to be recognised for your work. I am so pleased to have been one of the very few designers shortlisted amongst all of the professional work I saw at the shows and exhibits.”

Sadie, who grew up in Mirfield, went to Castle Hall Academy before studying fashion and ceramics at Batley School of Art in Dewsbury.

A graduate of Kingston University, she is creative fashion producer for The Mark magazine and works at Rellik Vintage in London.

Sadie’s experiences at Rellik provided much of the inspiration for her collection.

“Working in a vintage shop, I get to immerse myself in all the decades of fashion gone by that have influenced collections today,” she said.

“From shoulder pads to platforms, I just love playing with shape and scale in my own style too.”

A self-confessed fan of the 1980s, Sadie stepped out at the event in a vintage green metallic suit from the era.

But it was research into the shapes of furniture, not vintage fashions, that prompted the monochrome print and cut out shapes featured in her fashion week designs.

Sadie, of Berwick Avenue, Gomersal, said: “I manipulated the image of a chair and developed it in to a print which I transferred on to thin canvas.

“The cut outs in the underwear, trousers and jumpsuit were all an interpretation of a piece of furniture from the 1970s, while the faux fur wings idea came from a table I saw at the V&A in London.”

Meanwhile, the inspiration for her sculptures stems from the shapes of lovers’ bodies in Japanese art.

“I added tabs and slits to the pieces so that when I pinned them all together they would intertwine like limbs and allow me to sculpt the look I wanted,” she said.

The catwalk looks were completed by five sweeping avante-garde head pieces developed in collaboration with London-based milliner Niamh Flanagan.

Sadie said: “I showed her my research and sketches and I was so excited when she said she felt, with her contemporary take on vintage style, we could work together to create something to match my unusual choice of materials.”