Published in Plaid Magazine Online, August 2011
Photos by Kristin Vicari
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones are the designers behind the womenswear label, Teatum Jones. Influenced by the idea of romanticism, the designers tell a story full of emotion, tragedy and beauty through their collections.
Following the same theme, the warm and concise colour palette of the S/S11 collection consists of tender shades like jade green, petrol blue and pale pink. The fluid fabrics of satin, silk, and chiffon, combined with flawless tailoring and exquisite draping, evoke feelings of movement, form, and grace.
Plaid spoke with Teatum and Jones to learn more about their undeniably lovely line.
What is your favourite fashion memory?
When we met Janice Dickenson at the Designers Party during London fashion Week…we spotted her on the stairs and called out her name, she turned around and slurred an obscenity at us….It was perfect. It was exactly the greeting we were hoping for.
How did the Teatum Jones label develop?
Teatum Jones developed out of a need to redefine the emotional connection to a woman’s wardrobe through creating beautiful and refined collections that simultaneously operate in two emotionally engaging ways:
1. To narrate and engage our woman in an emotive and thought-provoking seasonal story.
2. To create collections that provoke humbling responses on the basis of the clothes being exquisitely crafted and utterly desirable pieces.
How do you compliment each other in the design process?
We both follow a very instinctual approach to design yet we’d admit that we’re both quite organised and logical people. We’re often asked who is the creative and who is the commercial? When in fact we’re actually very similar in most ways. When it comes to designing the collections we approach it almost like method actors. Teatum writes a script, Jones composes a play list and together we create a treatment on the woman, the setting, the mood, the lighting etc. Then from this we start to work on the silhouette, cut, fabrication, print…gradually the collection begins to take form much like a storyboard in an editing suite. It’s an exciting and inspiring process that you continuously learn from each time.
Your S/S11 collection is entitled “…The Moment Just Before…”. How does that name capture the essence of what the collection is all about?
“…The Moment Just Before…” was about delving deep inside the mind of both the executioner and the executed and extorting the unnerving energy in the hauntingly powerful moment just before an execution, when a person’s senses are undoubtedly at their most extreme…heightened tragedy, hatred, remorse, relief, forgiveness. They’re all present.
The ‘Anticipation’ print was a real visual narrative of this feeling. It was inspired by 17th Century Spanish art, drawing on the trompe l’oeil drapery in the robes of the execution paintings by Diego Velázquez. The post-Medieval was tempered with blown up microscopic human cell imagery that has been captured whilst in the grip of ‘fear’. It was an almost physical, romantic and scientific representation of that moment just before.
Do you draw a lot of inspiration from fine arts?
We draw a lot of inspiration from all areas of art and artistic thinking. For example, the human mind and how we emotionally react to different situations, subjects and other human beings. We’re both fascinated by human behaviour and exchanges. It’s very much an anthropological approach to design.
What is your favourite piece in the S/S11 collection?
The “12.4 Ounce Jump Suit” in petrol blue silk. It combines fluidity and structure, our perfect balance between the masculine and feminine.
Who is the Teatum Jones woman?
The Teatum Jones woman has a refined and contemporary take on elegance. She embodies an effortless chic whilst being boldly nonchalant. She is drawn to the label because it allows her to achieve the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.
Who would you love to dress?
Kate Winslet and Hillary Swank. They both ooze strength, beauty and confidence.
Describe the Teatum Jones aesthetic in three words.
Refined, chic, effortless.