UK Design Competition Apparel Winner 2022 : Oriol Clavell


UK Design Competition Apparel Winner 2022 : Oriol Clavell

Oriol Clavell is a Catalan designer based in London, whose project Epentismo has won this year’s Apparel Category for the UK Student Design Competition. His work focuses on self-identity discovery – exploring cultural heritage as well as notions of gender, sexuality and identity. After starting his studies in architecture at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, he decided to move to London to pursue his dream career in fashion. While studying a BA in Fashion Design Technology: Menswear at London College of Fashion, Clavell focused on creating garments that combine craftmanship techniques with new technologies such as 3D printing.



Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:

The coat is inspired by the word “Epentismo”, a word used by a group of Spanish writers in 1930 to refer to their homosexuality without anyone knowing about it as, due to the times they were living in, they had to hide their sexual orientation. This word, that meant an escape from the world for them to express themselves, is reflected on the project with the Spanish surrealist paintings of the time, in particular the artwork of Salvador Dalí and Remedios Varo, creating an imaginary safe space for them. It’s not a coincidence that the project mixes literature and paintings, as Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca, members of the group of the writers, had been rumored to have an impossible love story.

The project uses this impossible love story as a narrative and, through that, has a direct connection with the notion of sexuality and, in an indirect way, with gender as the project aims to have a genderless approach. On the other hand, thanks to Dalí’s perspective, the project has a political approach by being Catalanist and embracing Catalan culture, allowing me to further explore my culture.


What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?

One of the aims of my collection was to do an exploration of shape, and the use of leather has been perfect to do it. Thanks to its thickness, it has allowed me to create the shapes I had in mind. Also, it has allowed me to learn the technical aspects of it and how to work with it.


What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?

I think that leather is here to stay in terms of sustainability. It is one of the longest lasting materials there is, which means that it can stop the massive production of fast fashion. It’s also on its way to adapting more to the industry by taking the initiative of reducing its environmental impact.


How has this competition influenced your view of working with leather in the future? 

This competition has encouraged me to keep working with leather on future projects, as it allowed me to learn about the benefits of it, and I will now be able to apply that knowledge in the future to make sure that I use leather in the most sustainable way.

Instagram: @oriolclavell_

LinkedIn: Oriol Clavell Sansalvador 



Click here to view all the shortlisted entries from this year’s UK Competition.

Click here to learn more about leather and sustainability.