Hands On with Claire Barrow

The British fashion designer has a flair for personal touches.

Claire Barrow

While Claire Barrow was studying fashion at the University of Westminster, she was doodling on the side— first for her own amusement, then for friends who began commissioning her to hand-paint scratchy, punk-inspired illustrations on the backs of their leather jackets. By the time she made her London Fashion Week debut for spring 2013, her bespoke leather pieces, adorned with everything from tribal prints to elements from Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting Guernica, had been embraced by fashion insiders—not to mention Rihanna. Since then, Barrow, 25, has broadened her range, working with silk and cotton; and her images, including the household pets that appear on skirts, jackets, and flared trousers in her spring collection, are now silk-screened. “I’m not doing fashion for fashion’s sake,” says the designer. “I like the idea of people wanting my clothes—and being able to wear them.”

A look from Barrow's spring 2015 collection. Courtesy of the designer.