Check Out Palace Skater Lucien Clarke’s Exclusive Fashion Week Photo Diary

Unlike Thrasher editor Jake Phelps, who once called fashion’s obsession with skateboarding “corny as shit,” Palace skater Lucien Clarke isn’t particularly bothered by the abrupt convergence of the two. “I’ve never seen skating and fashion as completely different worlds,” he tells me via FaceTime. “It’s always been the same for me because everyone in skating’s got their own sense of style. It just depends on how hard you go in, basically.”

The 31-year-old London-based phenom has been going in harder than most. When we spoke, he was at Paris Fashion Week, about to tuck into a light lunch between the Sacai and A.P.C. shows. It was his second fashion week trip this season; he was in Paris in January to walk in Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton show. The skate-obsessed designer has taken Clarke under his wing, or at least committed to lacing him out in new and unreleased LV gear—lately, Clarke has been wearing Osiris-like suede Louis Vuitton sneakers (and the occasional monogram luggage-vest) in the skate bits he posts on Instagram. Is he the inaugural member of an as-yet-unannounced Louis Vuitton skate team? All Clarke will say is that he and Virgil are “cooking something up.”

pAfter the Sacai show at Palais de Tokyo wearing Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh and Palacep

After the Sacai show, at Palais de Tokyo, wearing Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh and Palace

Clarke has been tapped in to the energy sources behind skateboarding’s cultural renaissance for basically his entire career. He started skating at 14, and soon found his way to London’s legendary Southbank spot, where he fell in with Lev Tanju, the ringleader of the Palace Wayward Boys Choir. He started skating for Palace and Supreme, and held down the former’s first video, Palasonic, with an epic seven-minute closing part. Eventually, all the time spent in front of the camera that being a Palace star requires (both on wheels and in new clothes for the brand’s many lookbooks) convinced Clarke to expand his creative reach beyond switch back noseblunts. So, inspired by Palace collaborators like Juergen Teller and Alasdair McClellan, he began taking photos and shooting and video. He’s now got a separate Instagram account dedicated to his photography, where he catalogues the grainy and occasionally blurry lives of the PWBC as they skate and party around the world.

So we had Clarke train his lens on his most recent Paris Fashion Week experience. Check out his exclusive photo diary below, and read on for more about what else he’s cooking up.

pThe artist Daniel Lismore at Vivienne Westwoodp

The artist Daniel Lismore at Vivienne Westwood

GQ: Let’s get some quick fashion show reviews. What did you think of Vivienne Westwood?
Lucien Clarke: I really liked it. I thought it had quite a lot of Islamic inspiration to the headpieces. She’s quite good. It was my first time actually going to one of her shows.

And what did you think of Sacai just now?
That was really good too. A lot of it was women’s wear. But a lot of it was like a collaboration of a puffer jacket and like trenchcoat-y kind of jackets, which was cool. I love wearing trench coats. A lot of stuff I’d be up for wearing.

Has it been cool for you to see the way that skateboarding has become so coveted by the fashion world? I assume when you were growing up skating in London that was not the case at all.
No, definitely not. But I don’t think skating and fashion are completely different sorts of worlds. It depends how hard you go into it, like with the actual shows with the runways and everything like that, but everyone’s got their own fashion sense whether they like it or not, do you know what I mean? In skating there’s been a lot of different trends from like the ’90s, through hip-hop and the punk era and everything like that. So I’ve never seen skating and fashion as completely different worlds. It’s always been the same for me because everyone in skating’s got their own sense of style. It just depends on how hard you go in, basically.

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