The past can indeed be a seductive place, but twee nostalgia does not seem to be an option for Claire Barrow: “I really try to see the future, but without using any digital technologies, then it becomes very much about putting forward a vision.” In this case, her vision seemed to be her now easily-recognisable: illustrations on everything. While the illustrations themselves were topical and specific — statues, fair maidens, medieval knights and bra-burning silhouettes among other things, her distinct style can cannibalise both the content of the prints and the fashion below: it is easy to read her work as an ‘other Claire Barrow printed piece’ and to ignore the nuances of what she offers.
This is, however, far from a weakness. Even if Claire Barrow’s illustrations can look similar, they are inherently seductive, and manage a handmade feel even when applied to printed sweaters. She explains, “it is very much about cleaning the prints perfectly.” She is also as honest about her goals: “I wanna make money, because right now I work constantly, I live where I work.” She sighs, and adds “but I also want to stay independent and do my own thing.”