Odilon by Stacey Clarke

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In the fashion industry where success can be as short-lived as a momentary trend, it is a rarity to see a designer at the peak of their career step back and put everything on hold. Stacey Clark, owner and designer of Odilon in Los Angeles, however, did exactly that last spring. Clark, who was labelled by Women’s Wear Daily as one of twelve designers to watch around the globe in 2011, has a penchant for brutal honesty in how she envisions herself as a designer. Clark decided to leave the glitz and distractions of Los Angeles and move to Berlin – even if that meant risking what she had been dedicated to for the past four years. During a visit to Berlin this past May, Clark was struck by how grounded she felt in the presence of artists who valued their craft as more of a personal expression than as a means of capitalist gain. It was these attitudes towards expression and the various mediums of art that pushed Clark to revive Odilon.

Canadian-born, Clark studied Product Development at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising where she graduated in 2008 and began Odilon a brief three months later. Her debut collection, a simple black and white homage to her pure and minimal aesthetic, was handmade in a small apartment that had once been an old wine cellar. As Odilon began to generate buzz with her line (seen on stars like Kate Hudson and shown in pages of Vogue and Flare), she began to feel the pull from peripherals in the industry. Still a newcomer, she felt pressured to satisfy different people’s requests. From online reviewers, publicists, editors, stylists and more, her design took on a life that was a mirage of everyone else’s opinion. Over the next few years, though incredibly grateful for how she had been accepted by her peers, she realized that the Odilon brand had slowly begun to misrepresent what she originally wanted to accomplish.

Despite a presentation at New York Fashion Week and having her highest sales in 2011-2012, Clark accepted that she had veered away from what she set out to do – make classic, well-fitting clothes for an understated, confident girl. While there was a ripple of backlash for what seemed like a rash and immediate decision, putting Odilon on pause was a calculated decision made to ensure that she maintained artistic integrity. During her year hiatus she embarked on a design consultation endeavor, and recently designed bridesmaid dresses for Samantha Hutchinson, the woman behind couldIhavethat.com. Clark also helped open and run the private label retail store Modern Nature in Silverlake, California.

Her move to Berlin will mark the rebirth of Odilon. With books brimming full of avant-garde and street-style inspired sketches, she plans to show for Fall Winter 2014 in Berlin. We can expect diminutive, wearable, day to night clothing that will not be limited to a particular theme, but will reflect honest inspiration. With an ingrained steadfast work ethic and committed style that will likely evolve with the influence of Berlin’s dynamic and gentrified persona, the future and revamped debut of Odilon will be a highlight of the 2014 season.

For more information, visit www.odilonbystaceyclark.com

Text by Morgan K. Sterns
Photography by Ryan Koopmans

THE SPRING ISSUE


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