Naked Without Us Designer Spotlight – Clare Bare

Clare Bare is a Brooklyn based artist and designer specializing in eco-friendly lingerie made from bamboo jersey and vintage fabric. All of her pieces are made by hand in limited edition runs, and are structured to flatter your body in a natural way without the use of constrictive hardware. During her years at Parsons, Clare collected and drew inspiration from vintage textiles that eventually piled so high that there was no more space to work. Soon after, "Clare Bare" was conceived out of the need to give her piles of fabric a purpose, and to make good use out of a clever name. Today it is an ever growing business fueled by passion and created for passionate consumers

If you have not been to Clare's etsy store you may want to skip this interview and go straight to shopping.  Her designs are feminine without being too girly, edgy without being well too edgy, and look like they make you feel super sexy without feeling slutty.  Here is what she said when I asked her some questions.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for your collections?

My inspiration in the beginning came from my own desire to wear undergarments that provide light support without hardware that could be worn under skimpy tank tops and not look trashy. I always had trouble finding anything like that and found myself wearing bikini tops as bras all the time, so I figured if no one else was going to make them the way I wanted I was going to have to do it myself. Also, I feel like push up bras are false advertisement for who you really are (haha) and a lot of girls (and guys) I know don't like them. As far as seasonal inspiration goes, I pretty much start out with a blank canvas and go vintage fabric hunting. As I start pulling things I'll look in the cart and the theme starts to appear by itself. I always subconsciously pick up things in a color scheme, even when I'm shopping for clothing. For example, I'll pick things off a rack and realize everything I'm holding is either coral or beige. It also helps to live in the fashion capital of the world- I can go to the garment district and have a day of sensory overload, take everything in, and digest it. Specifically living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (people watching capital of the world) is amazing for inspiration. Right now I'm sitting on a roofdeck overlooking Bedford Ave. on a beautiful sunny day watching hundreds of well dressed and horribly dressed people walk by!

Who or what is your muse or inspiration for your Naked Without Us collection?  Will you give us a sneak peek at the collection?

I always design things based on nostalgia. My muse is whatever person I imagine previously owning the curtains or whatever fabric I'm using to create the pieces, because I feel like the ghost of that person is somewhere inside of it- not to freak anyone out or anything! I just have a romantic vision in my head of a woman on a widow's walk waiting for her sailor or someone who was swallowed by the sea, and if you go there at midnight you can still see her ghost floating around up there longing for him. I picture this in blacks and pastels. I'm also always inspired by textures. I'm also a mosaic artist- I'm really into any kind of tactile art, and I see a connection between both of the things that I do through the textures of the materials that I'm using whether it's glass, ceramic, lace, or bamboo. I have a memory of a photograph that I loved of a model wearing lots of clashing textures (and probably colors) but it was taken in black and white so everything matched. So a lot of what I'm doing right now is black, white, and pastel textured.

Yazoo's Hefeweizen label is the inspiration for one piece in your collection.  Can you tell what direction you're taking with this piece?

I'm using vintage slip material for this piece in a gold/beige color, and lots of vintage daisy appliques!

Who are your three favorite designers and why?

My favorite lingerie designers are The Lake and Stars. You can wear their stuff like it's an accessory, and I like all the little details- little charms that they add and the unusual hook and eye closures. I have a pair of boyshorts by them that have gold fish charms dangling from them! I love Betsey Johnson- I feel like she transfers her good energy to her pieces! And I LOVE Rosa Cha bikinis because they are always avant garde and in their own world when it comes to what's trendy. I used to have one by them but I lost it somewhere!

What is your favorite color to wear and how does it make you feel?

Haha I love wearing grey! One of my friends said once that everyone looks good in heather grey, and I think she's right! I really love wearing red nail polish (Clambake by Essie) even though my hands are always getting so dirty, and I LOVE wearing light pink matte lipstick. Neutral colors with little splashes of red and light pink make me happy- I like little surprises that you have to look for.


Buy Online  

Clare Bare is one of the featured designers on the Ready to Wear Show, Friday, April 23 at Mercy Lounge.  All Access Passes for the Naked Without Us Fashion & Music Festival are on sale now at Grimey's for $30.