The London Lookbook: Teatum Jones
London fashion week is a whirling dervish of shows, presentations, interviews, parties, photographers and generally flying by like a blue bird. Being invited to shows and having the opportunity to meet fantastically talented designers is a privilege bestowed to few and desired by many. However, as inspiring as it is when the fashion circus comes to town, there’s a frenetic mania about the whole affair that has me longing for the simple, calming comforts of home and family.
On Sunday I went to see the Teatum Jones presentation; nestled amongst the high drama and flamboyance of Somerset House, there was a collection inspired by quiet feminine nurturing. Teatum Jones’ work is always imbued with depth and artistic integrity that transcends the frivolity of fashion, wearing their clothes is like wearing a piece of art. The SS14 collection is no exception, but this time the British design duo has gone down a personally emotive path. At first glance the collection was full of beautifully wearable pieces that I yearn to have on my back. Blood orange florals were juxtaposed with periwinkle blue and white and yellow checks. However on closer inspection, disembodied female hands emerged amongst the exuberant prints. Rob and Catherine (Jones and Teatum respectively) took photos of their mother’s hands and tucked them into the petals and tea-towel checks. The effect was macabre yet deeply poignant – echoes of motherly love reverberated through the collection.
Pinafore details were incorporated into the straps of dresses and jumpsuits, skirts in laminated wipe clean organza in 50’s feminine shapes. Silks were draped with casual precision, inspired by a mother’s tea towel slung over the shoulder to clean up her kids slips and spills. The tribute to maternal pragmatically ran through each piece; the collection had a loving kindness about it, the lines were soft and welcoming, the colours engendered reassurance.
As Kate Bush’s ‘This Woman’s Work’ mournfully filled the room I chatted to Catherine who told me that the collection is dedicated to the woman who ‘who just gets on with it, because she has to.’ I choked back a sob, partly because I was standing next to my own mother whose stoicism is a daily source of inspiration, and because honest emotion is often missing in the cynical world of fashion. Added to that I’m a sentimental old fool who bawls at RSPCA adverts, but that’s neither here nor there.
Rob and Catherine have an honest, unassuming attitude to their work which is as refreshing as it is inspiring- it’s what makes Teatum Jones such an exceptional brand. Added into the emotively potent mix is Catherine and Rob’s instinctive understanding of what women want to wear today – their clothes are sensuous without being provocative.
I love Teatum Jones’ clothes; they make a statement without ever looking like you’ve overdone it. It seemed right that I should fly the Teatum Jones flag by wearing their Wellesley dress from their AW13 collection. My coat is by Judy Wu and my boots are Topshop.