Mum’s the Word at Teatum Jones
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones—the London-based designers behind ready-to-wear label Teatum Jones—respect their moms so much, they’ve built their entire Spring ’14 collection around them. “The story was all about hard-working women who are in a continuous work mode—a woman who rarely rests. She is not a ball-breaker, nor does she need to be praised for her hard graft—she just rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it,” said Teatum during an preview of the collection.
For those not familiar with the Teatum Jones aesthetic, the design duo’s signature has always been eclectic prints, which are meticulously thought out, researched, studied and drawn up by hand. For example, the three-year-old brand’s Spring “tea towel” print was inspired by one of Teatum’s childhood memories. “I have a vivid recollection of my mom cooking and cleaning for us, and she always had a tea towel thrown over her shoulder, which to me represented the ‘just get on with it’ attitude,” Teatum explained. “We used that tea towel detail as a bit of a theme.” The motif is woven into the shoulder detail of a gown and appears on a biker jacket. The collection includes an unexpected floral print, too—unexpected because it features a trompe l’oeil rendering of a wrinkled hand peeking out among the roses.
The two have become textile pioneers, as well. “We really wanted to push the limits of fabrics and what we can do with them. We basically invented this woven jacquard, then laminated it,” said Jones of a series of skirts and tops that felt almost crunchy. “The [people at the] mill in Italy, where we created this fabric, were so excited with it, they have asked us if they could purchase some. That’s gotta be a good sign,” he added. Certainly it is, but that’s not the only sign that the two are posed for a breakout year: Their label is one of the top two sellers on Liberty’s international floor, and won this year’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise New Fashion Ventures award, joining the ranks of previous victors like Erdem, Peter Pilotto, and Mary Katrantzou. Needless to say, the up-and-comers’ future is looking bright.
Have an exclusive first look at the label’s Spring ’14 collection, above, and keep an eye out for the full lineup when it debuts on Sunday at London fashion week.