The Teatum Jones show is a highlight of fashion week, Catherine and Rob (Teatum and Jones respectively) are always guaranteed to bring something interesting to the table. They scooped the International Woolmark Prize in July this year, further testimony that TJ are on their way to becoming formidable players in the industry. Their SS16 collection was inspired by Libyan peace activist and the first female African president, Leymah Gbowee. Women of towering strength and principled dignity are often a jumping off point for Catherine and Rob. The clothes are beautifully tailored for the feminine body, but rarely traditionally ‘sexy’. However, there were flashes of sheer fabric, exposed shoulders and backs. The strategic reveal was sensual and subtle, anything but vulgar.
There were suggestions of African inspired prints and a few pieces in berry red that made bold, vibrant statements. It would be tempting to imbue the whole collection with splashy hues, but for the most part the reference to Libyan textiles was restrained. Most of the collection was in simple mono-chrome and indigenous prints were explored via texture. The exquisite white pieces towards the end of the show were beautiful, ethereal and unabashedly feminine. The generously ruffled skirts, nipped in waists and delicate fabrics, never once compromised the awesome courage that inspired the collection. These are not clothes for passive fairy princesses, rather women who understand that self-assured femininity is empowering and you don’t have to dress like a man to be strong.