Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie
Away from the busy rush of Somerset House, away from the mobs of photographers, willing subjects and flashing lights, Teatum Jones chose to retreat to a secret room behind large wood-panelled doors. This wasn’t any room, but the official personal office of Arthur Liberty himself, which still retains the charm of it’s original design. Completely hidden away from the public in the Mock Tudor labyrinth that is Liberty, I was directed down a panelled hall before reaching the beautiful presentation Teatum Jones had prepared.
One thing I have loved doing this London Fashion Week is talking to design duos. There is something incredibly sweet about how each designer will talk about the other when you interview them, complimenting them endlessly. As soon as I entered the room, I was introduced to Rob Jones, who immediately beamed when he heard I was reviewing the presentation for Amelia’s Magazine. After giving his thanks to the Amelia’s Magazine team for all the continued support and gorgeous illustrations from the last review, he began to talk me through the intriguing collection.
These Ravensbourne College of Design and Central Saint Martin’s graduates began to work together due to their mutual love for escapism and the power of a story, which is how this collection began. Rob Jones described how they start with a ‘screenplay’ when working on a collection, and this one began from looking at the menacing and dark qualities to fairytales. ‘I found it interesting that stories we read to children deal with such dark and frightening themes. It made me think about how I’d react if a fairytale was re-told in a newspaper today, would I see it differently?‘ Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum were drawn to the mix of innocence and frighteningly dark folklore, wanting to explore the underlying beauty in something considered traditionally sinister.
I was immediately drawn to the intricate prints, swirling with dark reds, bright pinks and forest greens, highlighted with touches of neon. Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum pointed out how these beautiful floral-like patterns were actually cut-up crime scene photography from the 1940’s. I was immediately surprised, which I couldn’t hide. Really? But they were such beautiful prints… suddenly I saw the numbered markers police use for blood spatters, dropped weapons, or worse. The thought sunk in…and it made sense. In a strange way, it felt nice to know, like being let in on a secret or the thrill of when the murderer almost catches someone in a horror movie. In order to place such a dark theme on clothing in a lighter way, a harlequin diamond pattern was used instead of simply overlaying the imagery.
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Andy Bumpus
Other items of clothes glittered and shimmered, almost like childhood dress-up clothes, or to mimic the magic of fairytales and shining sweets like that shown in the film created for the collection, currently showing on the Teatum Jones website. Although several mannequins displayed the collection in the centre of the room, it wasn’t until I saw the models that I noticed that most of the clothing had large pockets, even in the more formal dresses. One of the models commented on how relaxed she felt, resting her hands in the silk pockets of her neon yellow dress.
This team have found a perfect niche for womenswear that is considered and subtle, yet attention-grabbing. Alluring without being obvious. The midi length of the dresses and nipped-in light fabrics allow the wearer to be feminine in a relaxed way. It’s clear that the Teatum Jones woman is at ease with herself, a modern-day enchantress with a penchant for neon, skilled design and something a little wickedly different. The warm and positive outlook of these designers created an unforgettable London Fashion Week presentation experience; a drop of magical escapism from the busy London Fashion Week storm.
All photography by Alia Gargum
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