My name is Clio, I currently live in Brooklyn, New York and have been designing clothes for a little over a year now.  It’s been a pretty non-linear progression to being where I’m at right now, starting from studying architecture in high school, to pursuing it as my major at Columbia University, followed by working as a professional model maker in an architecture firm and over the course of my time there beginning my personal line of work. Since I now work full time in a shop a lot of my spare time is dedicated to making my clothes, but if there’s nothing pressing coming up I have a great group of people here that are always down to hang out and help me burn some stress. So if I’m lucky a typical day has me at work from 9 to 6, then working on my own things for a couple hours, followed by drinking and dancing for the rest of the night.


UR:  What is this collection’s name?  What inspired the name?  Does this collection have any special meaning for you?  If so, what is it? 

CS:  What I showed at Vancouver Fashion Week was two collections which I’ve been calling Tessellations and Tessellations(X). The names are pretty clearly inspired from the fact that I’m using two repetitive shapes to make textiles that become my clothes: triangles and Xs. These mini collections put together made enough pieces to be able to do my first two runway shows so they will always be special as they are the starting point of hopefully many to follow.



UR:  What are the colors used to create the collection?  What importance do these colors play in presenting the vision of the collection? 

CS:  I’m a big fan of non-colors and neutrals so most of the pieces are either white, black, or brown because that’s pretty much all I wear. What I think really pulled everything together and kept it interesting was the inclusion of collaborative work with abstract expressionist painter, Addis Goldman, who I asked to create work that he was happy with rather than telling him exactly what to do and in what colors. His color theory experiments are much better than any color pursuits I could have tried so it was really great to have them featured in the show. Those two pieces that have that unexpected pop within the collection give a nice little taste of the potential of collaborative work I’m hoping to pursue further when starting the next collection.


UR:  What fabrics are used to create the collection?  How simple are these fabrics to care for?  How easy are these fabrics work into a busy lifestyle? 

CS:  The materials I’ve been primarily using are aircraft plywood, plexi glass, vinyl, cork, and a little bit of leather. I especially like using the hard materials because it’s exciting to turn them into wearable textiles and they are reflective of my model-making background. As nothing I make is really out of “fabric”, caring for these items means cleaning them like an object rather than a piece of clothing. The softer materials are more conducive to becoming ready-to-wear, but my pieces are really meant for special events and photo shoots rather than being worn as everyday clothing.

UR:  What message do you want to convey through this collection?  How do you want this collection to speak to the public? 

CS:  I haven’t really fleshed out a larger message through my work yet, as of right now these first pieces were primarily experimental and meant to see what would be possible when it comes to making the seemingly unwearable, wearable. What I’m hoping to do following these is keep collaborating with artists and fabricators across all fields to show the benefits of sharing talents and making the best possible product by sharing visions rather than succumbing to this obsession with the designer as a singular celebrity figure. There are so many talented people who can do things I’m not able to do or much better than I can, so why not put our strengths together to create something amazing? Every successful fashion line has assistance in one form or another, usually in general fabrication and tailoring, I just want to keep the help I get public rather than acting as though I am the only creative behind the success of the clothing.


UR:  Where is your brand sold?

CS:  As of right now just on my website, cliosage.com. But right now my focus is getting my work in the public eye through photoshoot pulls and special events, so selling hasn’t been something I’ve put much time into.
UR:  How do the particular hair and makeup styles work into your global runway presentation? 

CS:  With my first show in Brooklyn I used the styling of hair and makeup to enforce a more wearable street style vibe since most of my models were friends of mine doing the show as a favor and wearing their own black jeans. So for that one I went with complicated braids and darker makeup to give a sense of activeness and attitude. With this show, I tried to simplify the style since I had fabricated enough new pieces for 8 complete looks and wanted the focus to be on the immense amount of work that went into each individual item rather than a personal energy in each model. I really love how well the slicked back wet look worked with the plexi pieces and that I could still include the structural braids from my previous shows but only as small details. The makeup also was reduced down to black eyeliner in a triangular form to reiterate the individual geometries within the pieces.


UR:  Who is your client?  What does your client demand in terms of style and functionality?  

CS:  Right now my primary clients are magazine stylists looking to pull pieces for editorial spreads. They usually reach out because they want a never-been-seen-before piece that can take the shoot to a more futuristic, unconventional, unusual energy. As for selling, I see my client similarly in the sense that they want a piece to wear for the occasional event where they really want to make a impression of strength in fusion with delicacy. These pieces demand attention and take a confident wearer to pull them off, someone who won’t shy away from the questions that inevitably come with wearing the pieces. They embrace the unusual and want what’s available in terms of futuristic fashion rather than updates and reinventions of current and previous trends.


UR:  What types of products do you create?

CS:  Solely clothing but there’s always room to expand into other mediums!


UR:  What types of garments make up the collection?  

CS:  As of right now shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses, and shorts. Looking to take some serious time to expand into one-of-a-kind long coats with the approaching colder months.
UR:  How is this collection unique from other collections you have created?  

CS:  This is my first collection so it’s entirely different from all my previous architectural and sculptural work. Again, this one was entirely experimental so each piece was meant to push a new idea whether it was a silhouette, material, individual unit shape, or a combination of those focuses. Now that I have a good sense of how to pattern my garments and what materials are best suited for what I’m trying to achieve, I feel like I can move forward and develop these basics into more rigorously designed and executed garments.

End Interview


Have a beautiful and successful week!


SOURCE:  Images-ED NG Photography from Vancouver Fashion Week.  ULTIMATE REPORT-Interview with Clio Sage, final quote artwork.


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