Clare Bare Designer Profile

by Dana Givens

They say you can find the most interesting and fascinating people in Brooklyn and I was lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a young woman name Clare whose passion was creating vivid pieces of glamorous lingerie reminiscent of Old Hollywood. Her line, Clare Bare, was born in 2010 from her hobby and love of design and lingerie. The designer who started out as an artist developed a passion for vintage textiles and fabrics and incorporated that into her own intimates line. However Clare’s love does not only stop at fashion – what was unique about Clare’s line was that it was a friend to the environment. When she’s not holding public art shows or spreading awareness about eco-friendly alternative to create an eco-friendly world, she translates her message of her love of the environment through fashion. Every piece of Clare’s collection is made from eco-friendly fabrics creating a combination of both sexiness, glamour, and being conscious of the world around her.

So what’s a Brooklyn-based artist turned lingerie designer with a love of the environment like? Well I was very fortunate to get a chance to sit down with Clare and get to know as both an artist and a designer.

(Editor’s Note: Clare Bare will be exhibiting at the Upcoming Lingerie Designer Showcase. Make an appointment HERE)

Clare The Artist

Designer Clare Herron at her Brooklyn Studio

I read that you came from a background of an artist and you specialized in mosaic art. How did that influence you when you moved to fashion design?
I’m a very tactile person. I’ve always been working with my hands- I really enjoy the physical labor of creating something, and I pay special attention to the way materials feel in my hand and on my skin. I find inspiration in unexpected textures and colors that you would find in a mosaic. In the same way that I would mix glass with ceramic, I mix silk with jersey, or maybe two unusual prints together. I like to think that I clash well.

As an artist, what inspires you? Would you say like more renaissance or contemporary art?
I’m mostly inspired by contemporary art. I like to see things I’ve never seen before- new ways of interpreting an idea that’s been done before, or new mediums of expression. I like art to be an interactive experience. One of my favorite pieces I ever saw was a room full of water, lights, and mirrors. A doorman let one person in at a time, and you would walk out onto a plank and stand there for a few minutes. The infinite reflections of the mirrored walls and ceilings made me feel as if I was floating in space.

Did you always think you were going to be a fashion designer or did you art lead you there?
I remember always knowing that I wanted to be an artist, so I’d say my art led me to fashion. I’m just very passionate about fabrics and textiles, and was making a lot of collages and paintings with vintage fabrics while I was in school. Then when I discovered printmaking, I started making my own fabrics and needed an outlet for them- then came the concept of Clare Bare. I would really love to find some time to paint again someday though!

Clare The Designer

Clare Herron Sewing at her Studio

Describe your current collection in three words.
Mystical, bold, unusual.

What made you want to design lingerie?
This is straightforward question with a loaded answer! On the surface, I’ve always been attracted to lingerie from a young age. I used to flip through the pages of Victoria’s Secret catalogs obsessively for hours, and I’m still not exactly sure why- maybe it’s the Scorpio in me identifying with images of sexuality before I knew how to present it through myself (or maybe it’s because they send out new catalogs every three days…) On more of a psychological note, it was also an act of rebellion against my upbringing. I didn’t have strict parents- I was a well behaved girl, and I was allowed to do pretty much what I wanted and follow whatever dreams and passions that I had growing up, but I was left in the dark when it came to sex and anything related to it. I was left to my own resources to buy my first bra- a black satin miracle bra at that! I completely skipped the training bra and Hanes her way phase haha. Ever since I’ve been hooked.

What’s your favorite piece of lingerie?
My Veda Totem Garter Tank is definitely my new favorite- it’s getting a lot of attention, and features one of my original silkscreens. It’s a successful combination of my two main passions.

Clare Bare Lingerie Alchemy Collection

One thing I noticed right away when I was on your site was that your lingerie is eco-friendly. Why made you want to create an eco-friendly line?
As far back as I can remember I’ve always been recycling old into new, whether I was creating sculpture/mosaic/clothing/lingerie. It was when I first moved to New York and attended Parsons School of Design that I really started taking sustainability seriously, since it was emphasized in most of the classes that we took. I feel that now more than ever it’s a necessity to think sustainably in any design process, and I’m also surprised that it isn’t more of an abundant design philosophy in the lingerie market.

Besides art and lingerie, what other passions do you have? How do they affect you as a fashion designer?
I’m very much into the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking in general. My assistant and I listed to a few days a week while we work- it’s very inspiring to listen to words of encouragement and others’ personal accounts of success. I believe that there is no such thing as coincidence, and I’m constantly working on harnessing my own magic and intent to create my own reality. I really enjoy teaching what I learn to other people as I go along. As a designer, I sometimes find myself in over my head and completely overwhelmed, but all of these things help keep me grounded and focused. In my Spring 2013 collection, you will see some imagery drawn directly from a deck of cards, and maybe some other magical elements.

Her Inspiration

Clare Herron Designing in her studio
When I see your collection, it’s almost like I’m looking at an old Hollywood movie. What is it about that old school vintage feel that inspires you when you’re designing?
Old Hollywood is so classic, it will never go out of style. I try to make pieces that are tastefully naughty as opposed to trashy. I do feel that my pieces are very fashion forward and modern as far as prints, colors, and materials are concerned, but I like to package all of that nicely in a vintage silhouette to keep it classy.

Is there one old Hollywood starlet that inspires you when you’re designing your collection?
Clara Bow is always in the back of my mind, but in general I love looking at images of silent film stars- they are always so striking and dramatic! I love contrast, and I always play with dark and light in my work to create shapes and high impact pieces

Now I know you’re a Brooklyn-based artist and designer, have you ever drawn inspiration from your neighborhood or any particular places in Brooklyn?
I subconsciously take things in every day, whether I’m aware of it or not. There is so much street art around me, it constantly keeps me motivated and inspired. My neighborhood is the people watching capital of the world! I love sitting in the park and watching girls go by- it’s interesting to see how they put themselves together.

Describe your latest collection. What inspired you for these latest designs?
My latest collection, Alchemy, was mostly inspired by my foray into the organic dye process. I had a lot of fun experimenting with mixing Brazilian Logwood, Lac, and Caribbean Plant dyes with naturally occurring metal mordants, taking raw materials and transforming them into something more magical and beautiful, hence the name Alchemy. I also created my own silkscreens for this collection- drawing inspiration from anatomy, symmetry, and mysticism.

Accomplishments and the Future

A little birdie told me your work is going to be feature on the HBO show True Blood this season! How did that make you feel?
I’ve had the good fortune of several amazing opportunities knocking on my door. I received an email out of the blue from one of the stylists who said he came across my work on the Lingerie Journal website, and asked if I could send samples. I felt so honored that he chose my piece to feature, especially since I was up against some amazing competition. The most rewarding part was reading the email that he sent after the fitting, thanking me for making the girls feel sexy and confident! That’s how I would love everyone to feel when they slip on one of my pieces.

Do you think now we’ll see any vampire inspired designs from you in future?
There are a few pieces from my upcoming holiday collection that may be subconsciously vampire inspired- several shades of red mixed together, hand dyed from natural pigments.

Where do you see your collection going in the next five years?
I like to go with the flow with a general direction in mind- things change and I adapt well. I few things I know for sure though: I want to develop a swimwear collection. I started out making bikinis and selling them on the beach when I was in high school, then it evolved into lingerie. Ideally I’d love to live in a house and have a storefront/studio on the first floor, and always have a great community of people working with and around me. I’d like to stay true to myself and not let life get in the way of my dreams.

What can we expect to see from your Fall 2013 collection?
I can only really speak for Spring 2013 at the moment. My theme is Chance, Fate, and Fortune, and I’m using imagery from a deck of cards. I like the idea of life as a game- you can let the cards play you, or you can take them into your own hands and master them. I’m also planning on using 70’s inspired chevron stripes to accentuate the female shape, with a touch of psychadaelic flair. I will also have several of my top sellers from my classic collection in solid black to counterbalance the more funky pieces.

Clare Bare floral bra

My experience with Clare was just as whimsical as her collection and her bubbly and fun personality can be seen in her gorgeous designs. Her collection represents a fashion forward and char mastic woman with an alluring nostalgia that makes her designs memorable. When I asked Clare how she hoped people would view her line, she said she saw her generation as a modern version of the roaring 20s and she wanted to convey that era of glamour and greatness to her line and when I saw her designs for the first time I envisioned just that. Her designs are vintage masterpieces and a wonderful addition to every woman’s closet.

(Editor’s Note: Clare Bare will be exhibiting at the Upcoming Lingerie Designer Showcase. Make an appointment HERE)

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One Comment on “Clare Bare Designer Profile

  1. […] magical and beautiful, hence the name Alchemy,” explained Clare to Dana Givens in a recent TLJ profile. “I also created my own silkscreens for this collection- drawing inspiration from anatomy, […]

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