History / Bio
A little bit about the designer & the story of the label so far.
Firstly that weird name : Philmore was born Philip Moore- Clague & the nickname arose from kids misunderstanding his name when starting at a new school.
" What's your name ?"
" Phil Moore-Clague "
" Philmore Clague ? "
Philmore was much travelled as a youngster, with a Manx Dad & an Aussie Mum he grew up in the Isle of Man as a child before moving to Sydney, Australia for his high school years . He first took an interest in design after joining a Sydney theatre company . When without a performing role Philmore would make himself useful working on costume .
After returning to the UK at 17 Philmore drifted through some wild years of adventure & misadventure in projects that took in music, performance art & more before settling in Portobello road in West London and going to work for Souled Out, one of the labels that was influential & pioneering not just in the rise of vintage in the '90s but also the deconstructing and recycling of old garments into new ...." recyclomania" was in fact the tagline of the label.
Dressing all of the celebs of the era, attracting a lot of press coverage & being called upon for many a TV show , there was plenty of scope for Philmore to experiment & exercise his imagination within Souled Out but ultimately the label disbanded when the founder, Frank. moved on to focus on his work as a stylist.
In 1999 Philmore took on the former Souled Out shop premises in Portobello road & started the project SCC ( shape cloth & colour ) which involved himself. in collaboration with others, creating ever changing ranges for the store. This also afforded him the time & space in which to do all the learning & training he needed to go it entirely alone & start the Philmore Clague label proper in 2003.
Once the Philmore Clague label began ( late in 2003 ) it was an instant hit. The early collections involved adjustable dresses in rough dyed broderie anglaise often coloured with tea staining & inks, deconstructed vintage cycling tops ( a source material Philmore intermittently returns to even now ) & heavily jewelled & embroidered bomber jackets . This all drew immediate press attention & very soon the word was out.
Since those early days Philmore Clague ( or just ' Philmore ' as the label name is often abbreviated to ) has grown into the archetypal 'cult' label with many women becoming extremely devoted to it & taking it on as a key ingredient in their own personal style. There is a distinctive look to the designs which incorporate experimental tailoring into very wearable pieces with fascinating twists to them. Philmore uses many oddment fabrics & sources vintage materials meaning that ranges by their nature are limited edition as well as having a high sustainability factor.
Over time certain pieces have taken on a life of their own and become 'classics' such as the balloon sleeved shirt, the shadow dresses & the sculptable shirts. Variations of these pieces recur regularly, whereas some ranges are one season only and others can even be strictly limited to no more than a few dozen ever made. This keeps the label consistent in it's over all look yet fluid & evolving all the time rather than adhering strictly to a mainstream fashion industry schedule .... an advantage of operating as an independent. It also means that even if someone were to visit the shops as often as every 3 weeks there would always be new things to see.
All the clothes are produced entirely in the UK to high ethical standards & fall into a mid-price range with items generally from £35 up to £250 . 4 or 5 sizes are carried in stock, however, most pieces can also be made to measure if required.