Marian Clayden-Dressing Up Drum
Marian Clayden (nee Bolton) was born in Preston in 1937. She studied education at Kesteven College in Lincolnshire and art at Nottingham School of Art. Having exhibited paintings at Preston’s Harris Museum on several occasions in the 1950s, she taught primary school in Nottingham and Chorley from 1957-62, when she emigrated to Australia. There she began to experiment with dyeing. When she and her family moved to California in 1967, she established her own studio in Los Gatos. Soon she was part of the international fibre art scene.
Unusual for the times, she moved from textile art to hand-made limited edition garments and in 1981 established Clayden Inc. Likened to Mariano Fortuny, she created what has been characterized as American haute-couture. Using luxurious velvets and other cloths masterfully air-brushed, discharged and dyed, her increasingly successful collections from 1981 until 2005 resulted in national acclaim and exposure on red-carpet events, with her designs worn by Oprah Winfrey and many Hollywood stars.