Meet The Maker: Clio Peppiatt
We love collaborating with artists and treating our guests to bespoke designs. Clio Peppiatt is a London based sustainable fashion designer who creates highly individual clothes that last.
With her handcrafted and forward thinking approach, we thought Clio would be perfect to collaborate with to make a headboard, bed cushions and sofa cushions inspired by the local Soho music scene for the new Terrace Suite at The Soho Hotel.
Clio has a completely unique style that we have always admired. Her skilful and intricate beadwork, combined with electric, rough silks and frills, tell us a story and brings the fun back to fashion.
Without relying on traditional feminine and masculine stereotypes, Clio creates clothes that focus on female empowerment. Before starting her own business, she worked with Alexander McQueen.
When we met at the design studio, Clio was wearing a vintage Vivienne Westwood corset under a wonderful own brand snakeskin effect PVC ankle length jacket with a violet blue faux fur collar and cuffs. Obviously it was love at first sight!
What sparks your imagination and inspires a collection?
Originally, I come from a fine art background and that still has a strong influence in what inspires my designs. Recently I’ve been looking at Victorian fairy paintings which are just so enchanting and reminded me of the William Blake exhibition last year which I loved. My imagination is always sparked by that type of esoteric, magical story-telling.
I’m a lover of traditional craftsmanship and that’s the other predominant influence on my work. My great-grandmother was a lace maker specialising in women’s gloves and I was taught to embroider by my grandma, so craft has always been very close to my heart. Preserving those skills is really important to me, but I try to do it in an original way that makes sense in our modern world, usually with a sense of playfulness and touch of the surreal.
Do you have a colour palette you always go back to or is it constantly evolving and changing?
In the past, I’ve often returned to pinks, reds and lilacs as I see them as colours associated with a traditional femininity which then can be contrasted with a tailored silhouette or a motif that subverts that idea. I often work with raw silk taffetas, made from the leftover pulp from spinning fine silks. They have a gorgeous luminosity that works really well with rich, indulgent colours.
You are an advocate for sustainability in fashion. Is it challenging to find brightly coloured textiles which are ethically made, sustainable and durable?
It’s very difficult! Last year I started to work with an expert sustainable weaver and dyer in India and couldn’t believe the range of possibilities compared to when I started five years ago. I feel hopeful that as the world has become so much more aware of this issue that there will be even more developments in the near future on this front.
You have heavily embroidered couture for the red carpet alongside street style looks. Can you show us your favourite day and night combinations?
For a day-time look, I’d pair the Chicklette jacket with some tailored trousers or a black skirt. The embroidered snakes are made from hammered beadwork and coil round to the back of the jacket, it’s a playful take on women’s tailoring. I’ve also been wearing the Connie Blouse from our new collection which is made from an unusual copper / kingfisher blue raw silk which I love.
Moving on to the evening, for a really special event, our Louis dress, originally inspired by the Apocalypse tapestries commissioned by Louis I, is one of our most popular pieces and I think a real staple of the label.
The Terrace Suite is the perfect location to showcase Clio’s impressive handiwork. It’s so light and just absolutely glorious. The headboard is like an artwork in itself, so lyrical and beautifully made…Clio brought her magic to The Soho Hotel.