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25 May 2018

First Scottish show for influential 70s designer

Clayden’s tie-dye creations are known as ‘wearable art’
Clayden’s tie-dye creations are known as ‘wearable art’
Drum Castle’s latest exhibition is Scotland’s first for far-out fashion designer Marian Clayden.

The National Trust for Scotland’s Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire is continuing its reputation for bringing fresh, new exhibitions to the North East’s art scene, with the opening of its latest show, Marian Clayden: Dressing up Drum.

Featuring the far-out fashion creations of acclaimed designer Marian Clayden (1937–2015), this is the first time that her work has been displayed in Scotland.

It’s also the first fashion-themed exhibition in the popular Drum Castle Gallery since its opening in 2014. Previous shows have included contemporary multi-media, sculpture, paintings and a photography exhibition by Scottish photographer Harry Benson.

Dressing up Drum celebrates Marian Clayden, an artist who transformed psychedelic tie-dyed fabrics into a million-dollar fashion business. The Preston-born teacher explored her passion for art and textiles, gaining her fabric-dyeing skills after emigrating to Australia. She moved to California in the 1960s and designed the fabrics for the sets and costumes for the musical Hair, cementing her connection to the hippy aesthetic.

At the pinnacle of her career as a textile artist, she then made the switch into fashion. Her hand-made limited edition garments were touted as ‘wearable art’, winning her clients such as Cher, Oprah Winfrey, Whitney Houston, Meryl Streep and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Vikki Duncan, the Trust’s curator for the North, is a huge fan of Clayden’s work. She said:

‘We are so pleased to have brought Marian Clayden to Scotland for the first time. She was such a talented woman who still influences design today. You only have to take a peek at John Lewis’s latest catalogue to see that many of her Eastern-inspired fabrics are bang on trend. Clayden’s work looks fantastic displayed within our exhibition space and adds an exciting new dimension to the whole Drum Castle experience. Visitors might expect to see antique furniture and textiles but not necessarily a more modern collection.’

Dressing up Drum charts Clayden’s diverse career and celebrates her unique and innovative approach. The exhibition features examples of her textile art and more than 30 garments from her bespoke pieces in her international fashion label Clayden Inc. 

The exhibition runs from Friday 30 March–Sunday 18 November 2018. 

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