My name is Claire Fong and I’m a jewelry and fashion designer from Northern California. I currently live in the verdant valley, but lived for many years in San Francisco.
While in the bay area, I studied fashion design at the California College of the Arts. Fashion, clothing and the art of adornment have always been important to me. I use these mediums as an escape from the day to day and a way to ease my anxiety. Whenever I’m having a rough day, my first self-soothing technique is to change my outfit. What a person is wearing can change their whole identity. I originally began my design career making clothes and costumes, but transitioned my focus to jewelry because of it’s versatility. There’s no sizing or need to be a certain body type to fit a particular piece. The process of making jewelry is also much quicker than making a garment. I tend to be pretty impatient, so having a final jewelry product done in an hour or two, as opposed to days or weeks with a sewing project, is much more doable for me.
When it comes to my creative process, I often feel like I’m not really in control. Sometimes, I’ll get a “creative download” and the work just flows. Ideas come rapidly, colors and shapes fit together perfectly, and my concentration is unshakable. After those periods, I’ll look back at what I’ve made and feel a certain disconnect, like I was just a conduit for the art to come through.
But most of the time, my process is far less glamorous. I have to sit down and do research and sketches and make a million awkward pieces or jewelry before I get it right. Finding authentic inspiration is the key. I’ve definitely looked at fashion blogs and tried to recreate things that are trending, but that never feels right. I really try to stay true to myself and my intuition. Currently, I’ve been drawing inspiration from space, solar activity, Freddie Mercury and sci-fi movies from the 80s like Krull and Conan the Barbarian.
One of my favorite things that I’ve made recently is a necklace that is definitely fit for a Sci-fi princess. It’s a giant chunk of amethyst wrapped in gold chain and gold wire hanging from a vintage piece of heavy gold chain. It feels very powerful. (This piece is pictured in the first image at the top of the page.)
I also draw a lot of inspiration from the people around me. My partner, Scott Barwick, is a musician and one of the most driven and creative people I know. I’ve learned a lot about dedication and follow-through from him. Also, my dear friend Amber Bass, who runs the label Mermaid Soup, is someone I can always turn to for artistic advice. Having a nurturing community is so crucial for success. I am so fortunate that I’ve been able to receive so much positive encouragement and support for my creative abilities. The owners of Three Sixty have always been so supportive and they are a vital part of the amazing artistic community. I have so much gratitude for them and their dedication to make local, custom-made & couture micro label fashion accessible to the public.
Photography by Briana Morrison
We are gaga over these new colors from Claire Fong… Come see all the new pretty pastels at our shop!
Storey chose outfit #6 for the final Hot Mess show. Which was comprised of a handmade top by local designer, Mindful, a vintage studded mini, and Claire Fong Earrings!
Here are some pics from the show!
When we heard that Chico’s Hot Mess was doing their last show at Duffy this Saturday night, we asked Storey if she’d let us dress her for the epic occasion. She said yes! So we had her come in and try on some rockin’ outfits and see which one struck her fancy. We had lot of fun and we are going to miss the band as they move onward and upward to Nashville, Tenessee. Be sure to be there to see her in action tomorrow night at Duffy’s. So which outfit do you think she chose?
We also got her to spill about her style and the big move:
Q: What was your music inspiration growing up?
A: I was raised on 60′s and 70′s rock, (The Beatles, The Mamas and The Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens…), and MUSICALS. I was Roger’s and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Weber fluent by the age of 6. My world turned upside down when I heard Queen for the first time. They had brilliantly combined the theatrics of musical theater and the hardness of rock and roll and I was instantly in love. Freddie Mercury is my forever hero.
Q: What is the thing/place you’ll miss the most about Chico?
A: I will miss my family and friends most. If I had to name a place, though, it would be Downtown Chico – there’s nothing like it. Especially Duffy’s! That’s where I met my husband, and where Hot Mess pretty much got it’s start… so Duff’s will always have a special place in my heart.
Q: Why Nashville?
A: It just feels right. We’re not Portland or LA people. The community in Nashville actually reminds me of Chico… I love that.
Q: What era of fashion do you prefer?
A: I am definitely attracted to the 40′s. I feel like there was so much attention paid to detail, shape, and movement. I also appreciate that more was left to the imagination, back then. I woman could be covered from head to do and still be incredibly sexy.
Q: Do you feel like your stage style is the same as your off stage style?
A: Not at all. I pay much more attention to what I wear on stage than in my day to day life. My day to day wardrobe has become increasingly more boring, whereas my “stage look” becomes more gaudy, risky, and/or glamorous with each show. Three Sixty Ecotique definitely helped me “step up my look” for this Saturday’s show.