Bee-Keepers, Dustmen and Mechanics, are Toogood for fashion, in Paris.
Faye Toogood is known as a designer. She’s primarily known for object design – sets, environments, that sort of thing. Not clothes. But then again, clothes are another environment to exist in. So it’s a natural development for her to look at those too. Especially when her sister Erica is a pattern-cutter and fashion designer.
Hence the fact they’ve launched a clothing line, under the label Toogood, which sounds like a boast rather than a surname. But it is good. The range is focussed on coats and outerwear inspired by eight different professions – professions like bee-keepers, mechanics and road-sweepers.
The idiosyncratic apparel of those workers is translated into subtle details, oddly placed pockets, an articulated hood. The “Dustman” coat has a back-panel made from heated and compressed plastic binliners. The Toogood twosome wouldn’t tell me how many, but suffice to say it was a lot.
I’m a fan of any garment that resembles a bin-liner. There were plenty here, with leather, plastic print finishes and resin coatings on coating. Each piece is unisex and comes in six sizes – quite a Japanese conceit, Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons is given over to similar stuff. And the labels bear not only the name of the brand, but the initials of the individuals involved in the pattern-cutting and manufacture, the names of the store that purchased it, and eventually your name as the owner. They’re quite big labels.
The Toogoods say that the label is “inspired by the workers,” hence the workwear focus. But it’s not what they term “the shallow desk jobs of the digital age.” No-one would really want to buy an office drone suit, after all. Except Thom Browne customers (although that’s pretty tongue in cheek).
The designers also know how to show their wares. The black and white imagery of their clothes is very slick, while the showroom space – including an industrial steel handing rail with integral fluorescent lamp that reminded me of the name of one of their coats, the “Oil Rigger”.Tagged in: Paris Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2014, Toogood
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