The Grayson Perry project started in 2004, when Grayson bumped into Fashion Print tutor Natalie Gibson on the bus. Natalie thought it would be a great idea for the second-year Print students to design and make him a dress (the prospect of adding to your wardrobe? Who’d refuse…?). Since that chance encounter, each year, Grayson awards three trophies called ‘Claires’ (like the Oscars), to his top-picks, although that’s not to say that the project as a whole doesn’t titillate Perry- “The students definitely have a huge effect on how I dress up and design for myself. They have freed me completely from typical tranny habits.” he said. Here are this year’s winners – and happy anniversary, Grayson Perry!

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Han Kim – 1st place

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Describe your look in your own words.

First of all, I would like to tell you that this look is not only a garment itself. I wanted my story to merge into Grayson Perry. The silhouette of the garment was inspired by a paper doll, so it’s made as the most simple pattern. Every element of the design is described on the flat pattern; exactly the same pattern on the front and back side, and it’s made in a way that he could wear both sides.

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As for embellishments, there are some… humorous points of interest:

Penis as a tie (front) and curves on the bottom (back). As a whole, the embellishments are shown as a funny face on the front. 54 stands for his age, and his favourite number of this year. Lastly, I made Alan’s [ed. note: Grayson’s teddybear] ears as a hair band, so finally, Grayson is Alan.

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How did you come up with the idea?

I got very interested in an article about a blind person; he had an amazing and unexpected experience in a museum. When he was in the museum, he walked around artworks and he accidentally touched one of the artworks. Obviously, the alarm rang, and all the guards came to him. As most people could have expected, he said, “I am sorry, I am blind”, and a miracle happened. When the guards realised that he was blind, they said, “we apologise to you as we haven’t taken care of you when we had to. So this is our fault”. They allowed him to touch all the artworks, and he looked at the artworks with his hands.

With this story in mind, I got the question: why don’t we make the garment like Braille for the blind? This is why all my embellishments are made of dots expressed by the French knot skill.

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What was the most memorable moment with Grayson?

Honestly, it was really the moment when he wore my garment and walked out from fitting room. At this moment, I had a flashback of the whole experience of making the garment. I have to say that if I hadn’t had all my good friends to help me, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the garment. This is the 10th anniversary of making garments for Grayson Perry, and I am very happy to be a part of our group with him in this special time.

Carmen Chan – 2nd place

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Describe your look in your own words. 

Spotty and sporty!
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How did you come up with the idea?
Grayson mentioned that he cycles, and so do I, so I thought it could be a more personal and fun angle to approach the project- something we both have in common! The whole look was based on the Tour de France spotted jersey, which identifies the best climber or ‘King of the Mountains’. I just adapted that spotted jersey and made it a bit louder, a bit more ‘Claire’, and a whole lot more MAMIL, which stands for Middle Aged Men in Lycra. Yeah, it’s actually a thing- and Grayson’s one of them. Ironically, of course.
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What was the most memorable moment with Grayson?
Seeing him in his underwear. The closest I’ll ever get to Turner Prize winning balls.
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Lauren Krischer – 3rd place

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Describe your look in your own words. 

Ghostbusters for Grayson Perry.

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How did you come up with the idea?

I was recently watching ‘Ghostbusters’, and we were in the beginning stages of the project- developing our ideas. I just decided to latch onto that; it’s a classic movie, so how could you go wrong?

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What was the most memorable moment with Grayson?
Perhaps during the first tutorial when we were all presenting our ideas, and he kind of laughed at mine. I wasn’t sure if it was a “this is funny, I like it” laugh, or “this is ridiculous, what the hell is this?” 

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Have a look at the video for Garage Magazine that Fine Art students made during the crit.

Photography by Jorinde Croese

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