Fashion carnival

I first met Christie Clayton when her label, Carny Love (, was chosen as a finalist in the Generation Next competition at BC Fashion Week in April 2008. As part of the judging panel, I was lucky enough to meet the quirky designer and hear about the inspiration for her line, which was only one year old at the time. Since then, she’s been featured on national television as one of the finalists on Project Runway Canada, and despite a strong for-and-against fan reaction (some loved her street style; others dubbed her “The Headband”), Clayton’s label continues to do well in stores. I recently found it at Gastown’s Planet Claire (212 Abbott St., 778-829-9275,, a boutique that opened last November and is a haven for Canadian brands, and couldn’t resist this bright, whimsical hoodie ($124) from her spring collection. With its black-and-white striped trim and neon pink zipper pull, it’s the perfect mix of crazy-meets-street—an appropriate description considering the label itself is named for a fictional family of traveling circus freaks.