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From dying fabrics for costumes and hangings for nine touring companies of the musical Hair in 1970, to producing an atelier collection of hand-dyed garments and accessories under her own label from 1981-2005, Marian Clayden’s unique and luxurious designs are virtuoso Bohemian chic.

This vibrant and diverse exhibition showcased examples of Clayden’s work with influences from Grand Opera, Iran, Kabuki and ethnic dance. Clayden’s trail-blazing textiles and garments blurred the boundaries between art, textiles and fashion.

Born and raised in Preston, Marian Clayden studied painting at Nottingham School of Art and prepared for a career as a primary school teacher. Her passion for painting developed into an interest in textiles-as-art while living in Australia with her young family. Their move to California in 1967 led to collaborations with stage/television designer Bob Mackie in Los Angeles and the New York fashion designers, Georgio di Sant’Angelo and Mary McFadden.

Under her own label, Clayden Inc, she forged a high-profile list of clients for her evening wear, including Lisa Marie Presley, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and Catherine Zeta-Jones.