"I'm dedicated to my love of creativity, and have faith in my detailed process. When I'm in... I'm all in, and with style, because I can't allow my soul to be diluted with half-heartedness. My inspirations are pricesless to me, as they give me the freedom to express. Those creative expressions and hope, lead me to believe that I can create with my style. Being persistent in my courage to create with passion, feeds my desire to live a life that's filled with meanings, love and laughter, and of course, plenty of coffee and cakes.
Nothing replaces my integrity, not luck or glitter, not champagne or sunsets. I have a relentless desire to express my creativity, to live in the moments that are stylish, not only with creativity but a way of being. From the way I convey my kindness through my actions of offering my time, to when I gift unconditionally. Those moments may pass, and I may not see someone I've helped ever again, but my kindness create lasting impressions of positivity in my own life. I live with my authenticity without the need for validation, as that's where I find my strenth to remain humble and true to myself.
I've mastered the art of tailoring; which I utilise to gift confidence to others. My approach is to make a statement of simplicity, with creations that speak of craftsmanship with quality. Seeing someone smile with confidence is precious to me."
– James x
I'm a creative who loves the simple things in life, but the type of simplicity that's laced with as much style as possible. My love of creativity and my hunger for learning have taken me on beautiful adventures over the years. From performing music, to packing room fragrances for a retailer, stacking shelves at a supermarket and pulling pints behind a bar whilst doing my college and uni assignments, to two restaurants in the UK, a wine bar on a Mediterranean island, along with making life long friends to laugh with. My professional life may have been busy from a very young age, but so far, it's been a amazingly wild ride with lots of laugher along the way. There have been many moments of silliness, from falling asleep inside a rubbish bin and being woken up by strangers, and scolding myself with hot coffee at board meetings to being in the middle of a busy street in Paris, only to find myself rushing to take my trousers off, as a spider started climbing inside my trouser leg. Through it all, my passion for creativity keeps me excited and turned on, to the point that nothing ever feels like work.
I attended University of Central Lancashire to study Business Management with marketing, and Central Saint Martins in London for Fashion Design. I always studied and worked simultaneously. I pursued my passion for creativity in 2002, and developed my James Clarke Brand with flowers, cakes and interiors including home fragrances, whilst fine tuning my skills as a photographer, alongside working for an award winning college in Lancashire to mentor Year 11 students for couple of years, until I decided to not travel as much. During those years, I only made a handful of bespoke suits, to keep my tailoring skills practiced. 15 years passed by in a flash and it was time to launch my James Clarke couture collection in 2017. A return back to full time fashion with my bespoke tailoring, and also back to my photography since late 2019, for creating campaigns and editorials for brands.
I'm someone who used to wake up with a 2.30am alarm (something that I never got used to and the snooze button was used maybe a little too much), to collect flowers in all weathers, wearing a chef's uniform for cooking, putting my wellies on to tend to my fruits and vegetables and serving drinks behind a bar till the early hours. From hanging in a harness to create a large scale floral installation, jumping out of a plane with a parachute strapped to my back and sailing the ocean on a little yacht, the adrenaline fueled my sense of adventure. And now... I get to stay in bed till 6.30am most days as well as being able to wear couture mixed with high street whenever I like, without the worry of it being spoilt by pollen, soil or beer froth.
At times, you may find me looking like a farmer, when it's time to dig up my vegetable patches looking for carrots and parsnips, then there are times when someone will snap me trying to look presentable coming out of a runway show at Paris Fashion Week. So regardless of what I'm doing, I always strive to live each day to the fullest with a smile on my face and my creative cogs turned on to the max.
Paris is one of my favourite cities. From enjoying a walk with a coffee and a pastry to being interviewed about creativity and style, I'm always ready to climb aboard Eurostar for an early morning ride to the city of love. Many a mornings, I've woken up and decided to go for the day, just because I wanted a French coffee and to feel the mood of the city. Whenever I'm there, I like to support independant artists and creatives by purchasing their art works and products. It's the city that taught me how to make artisan patisserie and chocolates. Paris is a constant source of inspiration for me and a place that's a huge part of my creative process.
I may have a wardrobe full of suits and blazers, but I'm happiest when I'm wearing a t-shirt, jeans, a crumpled up jacket with a nice pair of shoes. I'm happy when I get to mix and match independant designers and ethical high street with high fashion, as long as I don't have to wear a tie too often.
I'm a huge fan of black and white photography, there's a certain sexiness with black and white that engages with my curious mind. Whether it's tailoring or casuals, everything just looks smooth. I learnt photography from the ground up and as a teenager, I used to develop my own black and white films in a tiny little home made dark room under the stairs.
My love of travelling and adventures take me to places where I can explore local cultures and learn new things that inspire me. I'm not one to spend my days by a pool on holidays though. After a morning coffee and breakfast, I'm usually out exploring landscapes and nature, and of course to soak up inspirations from it all, including local sightseeing. My explorations usually spark creative ideas in my mind, inspired by local architectures to the colours and delicacies, the little neurons usually start having a party inside my head. Whilst exploring the localieties, I love to visit and buy hand made products from artistans and independant creatives across the industries.
At the 10 year mark of playing full time with flowers, baking and photography to establish my JC brand, in 2012 I started to develop my brand's Bespoke Tailoring range behind the scenes with every little spare time I had, towards making the full time transition into the world of fashion. From working out my brand design and direction to the marketing strategies, the type of tailoring I wanted to do, and solid ideas for eventual brand story telling through music motion graphics and cinematography. I explored many different avenues in my mind and completely overhauled my brand design, before I was ready to hang up my floral scissors. I had given myself a window of five years to work as hard as I possibly could on my transition plan with lots of 'To Do' lists; yes I'm a list writer. Right on schedule, in the summer of 2017, I made the full transition from floristry to fashion, and showcased my first collection of couture in London. And now... 20 years since 2002, when it all began... my James Clarke brand remains authentic and loyal to the core with the highest quality and exceptional craftsmanship together with an impeccable eye for the finer details, whilst being kind to our home planet.
My love for fresh flowers is still as strong as ever. These days, I just enjoy growing them, and even though I'm not a florist anymore, sometimes it's really difficult not to cut some fresh flowers and arrange them in a vase. My neighbours have a constant supply of flowers from my garden in the summer months, and I still create one off commissioned pieces or whenever I need to create something floral for a photoshoot.
Because I create from my inspirations of everyday life, everything has a meaning and tells a story of how something came to be. I photographed the floral arrangement below, that I created in a vase as a gift to one of my friends on 20 June 2016. One year later, I had the photographs printed on silk to tailor as lining for suits. Even though I made a handful of tailored Bespoke suits between 2012 and 2017, it wasn't till I made the full transition into the world of fashion with my first couture collection in 2017 that I crerated my first custom printed linings. To this day, this original lining is one of my favourites and I still tailor with it.
A forever learner is probably the most accurate description of me. I'm always grateful for being inspired and for learning new things. From conciously making efforts to learn new skills myself to learning from experts in the creative industries, soaking up knowlege and skills like a sponge. I believe in constantly improving myself and always thankful when someone teaches me something, whether it's about creativity, spirituality or something technical.
Always keeping it real... I've been known to walk into board meetings with a face full of pollen stains as if I've just come from performing in a circus. I've also been known to laugh uncontrolably at my own clumsy nature to being the practical joker of the family. I'll take off a couture jacket and put it in my bag to protect it and get soaked walking in the rain. To be honest, I love walking in stormy weathers, whether it's rain, snow or a thunder storm. Those natural moments inspire me and feed my creative mind. My family and friends know me as Jason and they see and experience the contrast within my character first hand. I drag them along to pick my home grown fruits and vegetable, scare the life out of them on the choppy seas, pull faces at them at serious moments and annoy them with my directness. I cook and bake to add inches to their waists and hips and do all the outrageously wild and wonderful things with them. I also disappear on them when I need time and space to be creative, but they always know how to find me, if they ever needed me.
My other brands include, James Clarke Photography, British Muse Magazine and a pâtisserie brand (which is only for family and friends at the moment). I will be launching another stand-alone brand, that will be tailoring for grooms wear in the late summer, available only on a wholesale capacity to boutiques within the wedding industry.