Clayton Evans: Adored Complexities
Late this past spring, I had the honor of interviewing wunderkind of the basic white t-shirt, Clayton Evans. Mastermind behind complexgeometries and easily my favourite up and coming designer to date. I had originally stumbled upon complexgeometries in the winter of 2008, when I had fallen in lust with a bat wing black sweater which could be manipulated in to a variety of shapes. Since then I have worn my little number ragged and own a few of Evan’s fun high-fashion, yet functional pieces.
This young label has already been receiving incredible amounts of international attention and is currently stocked in cities as far away as Tokyo. Evan’s recent A/W collection boasts bigger collars, multi-layered draping, and the softest of silk jersey. All twisted, cut, shredded and reshaped to create a mathematical equation for those who covet style over trends and want item that is truly their own.
- Could you tell me how you started and why you got in to design?
I started designing when I was at art school. I began making clothes more and more often to complete my assignments, and in the process, I realized I preferred the challenges of design to the freedom of art.
- Describe your Complex Geometries man and woman?
I can’t really. One of our main objectives is to design clothes that fit as many different personalities as they do body shapes.
- Can you describe what “Between Good and Evil” is about and the inspiration behind the collection?
“Between Good and Evil” is an examination of the vague and disputed area between good and bad. The ways we interpreted it were sometimes quite literal (using a lot of grey) while other ideas were explored a bit more cerebrally (the ideas of good and bad taste)
- What’s your favorite part about conceptualizing a design?
The moment it goes from “that’s ridiculous” to “that’s really cool”…and back again.
- What was the thought process in having the collection translated in to film?
The idea to use film and video to present the collection originated as a practical choice. We were trying to find ways to present the clothing to buyers that would show the garments more thoroughly than the usual photos or linesheets, since there was often confusion. After the first collaboration (aw08 directed by Olivier Groulx), it was clear that it still wasn’t going to make things any more clear for buyers but it was an exciting and enjoyable way to present the line.
- What are your greatest design challenges?
Everything is a challenge in fashion design. From finding the right fabric and figuring out how to construct it to putting a price on it and trying to sell it. Ideas come easily, but everything from there out is a hurdle.
- With this collection you continue to push the boundaries of unisex wear. Where would you like to go next?
A few journalists have pointed out that what is unusual about complexgeometries’ unisex styles is that they aren’t necessarily androgynous. This wasn’t the initial intention, nor was creating unisex style, but I am interested in the idea of creating genderless clothes that don’t make the wearer androgynous and would really like to push that.
- Are there any designers you would love to collaborate with?
I’m usually pretty excited to collaborate with anyone. There is always some tension in collaboration, generally positive, and the most creative ideas spring from negotiating that tension.
- Why did you choose to start your career in Montreal?
Montreal is cheap and that affordability attracts a lot of creative people who can sustain themselves on very little while they try to build their careers. It makes for an interesting community of creative people.
- What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Oh God, probably a dress for my sister’s Barbie; a tube with fringe on it. Not much has changed, I guess.