Clio Peppiatt started her own label in 2014 and she’s built up a reputation for her kitsch designs, fast. So fast that she was chosen to speak on a panel discussing careers in fashion by ASOS last October. Clio’s pieces have been featured in Vice, Elle, Grazia and i-D magazine and worn by Lena Dunham, Paris Hilton and Kylie Jenner. I interviewed Clio at London Fashion Week showrooms last September and here is our discussion on feminist fashion, duvet days and clutch bag phone chargers.
At the launch of Clio’s SS15 collection at London Fashion Week showrooms, Clio described her muse as a “modern day digital girl”, inspired from watching a lot of documentaries about the world of video gaming: “I was disappointed by the females portrayed in them. In Grand Theft Auto many of the predominant female characters are prostitutes who you can have sex with, and then kill to get your money back. The fact that this is so widely accepted is really disappointing, especially as there are lots of girls who love gaming (so for them especially it’s really bad). The collection is for this new tribe of digital women. A bit like warrior women.”
Other inspiration comes from LOVE and Garage magazine. Clio has also worked closely with feminist magazine, Polyester. A recent venture between Polyester Editor, Ione Gamble, and Clio, was an exhibition “Female Matters” to raise funds for a charity in the UK which supports women affected by FGM. Clio’s whirlwind success as a womenswear designer is not her only commendable achievement. Her designs work so well because they’re made to make women feel empowered; they’re “positive clothes that make women feel bold, happy and fearless”.
At the ASOS careers panel she explains the character of her designs “it is such an extension of myself, my brand is such an extension of me. When I’m designing clothes, I’m thinking about what I want to wear.” Clio, at 24 years old, really understands our generation of women. We love fashion, fun fashion, but we want to be taken seriously too; “it is ok to be a feminist but still like fashion.” Clio Peppiatt is made for girls who want playful and feminine clothes that also convey integrity and courage.
It is ok to be a feminist but still like fashion.
Clio studied womenswear and textiles at Ravensbourne Design School. A real priority is that the pieces are high quality, “colourful and fun… but also well made and sophisticated.” The pieces combine appliqué, tailoring, faux fur and beading, which makes the best party concoction; Marina and the Diamonds recently wore a custom faux fur stole to the Brit Awards and Charli XCX regularly wears her designs on stage. But Clio Peppiatt designs are not to be hidden away at the back of your wardrobe, only to be dusted off for a big night out. As I interview her, Clio is wearing a matching pastel pink two piece suit. The jacket and skirt have symmetrical mouse and spaceship appliqués.
The collection, as a whole, has consistent symmetrical patterns and everything is perfectly balanced to highlight the quality of the design and cut. “Although it is eye-catching all together, you can wear one piece at a time. It can work in a girl’s everyday life… You can wear a jacket with a T-shirt and jeans. I have definitely have days where I don’t want people to look at what I’m wearing. You just want to blend into the background, you want throw something easy on and know it works with something simple.” For everyday practicality, Clio Peppiatt handbags have inbuilt phone chargers. Digital warrior women need insta stories access at all times.