Art Textiles: Marian Clayden

Celebrating the artist who transformed psychedelic tie-dyed fabrics into a million-dollar fashion business.

Marian Clayden, Joyful Noise, 1971

Marian Clayden, Joyful Noise, 1971

Born in Preston in 1937 Marian Clayden started out as a teacher, but her real passion was art. She began making paintings in her spare time, earning displays at national galleries.

At 25 Clayden emigrated to Australia where she was introduced to textile dyeing, which became the focus of her work. By the time she moved to Los Angeles five years later she had decided to make textiles her fulltime profession, and she took a job designing costumes for the musical Hair.

After being awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Award in 1971, Clayden set up a dyeing workshop where she produced incredible pieces in psychedelic print. Her work won international acclaim and was featured in exhibitions in Japan, India, the Americas and Europe.

After a decade of success as an artist, she made the unusual move 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.

This show charts Clayden's diverse career, celebrating her unique and innovative approach. Featured are examples of her textile art and furnishings as well as over 30 garments from her 1981–2004 clothing lines.

Don't miss

Among her more unusual designs are silk wall hangings, donkey straps and ropes.


Venue details

Fashion and Textile Museum 83 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3XF 020 7407 8664 www.ftmlondon.org

Entry details

£4.50 with National Art Pass (standard entry £9)

Tue – Sat, 11am – 6pm (until 8pm Thu)
Sun, 11am – 5pm

Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan