by Eviana Hartman
May 26, 2015
T Magazine Blog - New York Times Fashion
photos by Osma Harvilahti
""We hereby reject and reprehend the cruel diktats of the discredited fashionista treadmill," reads the brand manifesto for Toogood, the clothing line created by the British designer Faye Toogood and her younger sister, the Savile Row-trained pattern cutter and fashion designer Erica Toogood. Like the elder Toogood's celebrated furniture and interiors, the project - which introduces its second collection this spring, though the sisters disavow the concept of fashion seasons - is a humanistic exploration of the possibilities of handicraft. Each unisex, oversize piece is named for a profession (the plumber jumpsuit, the beekeeper jacket) and finished with droll details (handpainted mask appliques, "Abolish the High Street" spelled out in frayed rope) that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Now, Statesiders will have the chance to do just that thanks to a new installation created by the sisters at Tiina, the Amagansett boutique owned by the influential Finnish-born stylist Tiina Laakkonen. Housed in the shop's back room, the clothes hang opposite a series of elaborate handmade puppets wearing miniature versions of the same silhouettes; scattered about are three-legged aluminum chairs designed by the elder Toogood. And an entire wall is covered by a boroesque quilt made from leftover fabric scraps and embroidered on both sides with snippets of the brand's antifashion philosophy. That the room is rendered entirely in shades of indigo - Laakkonen, and her store's signature color - is a happy accident; the sisters first conceived of the collection as a salute to the blue-collar worker. "I'm telling you, the whole world is catching on to this indigo thing!" Laakkonen says with a laugh when asked whether she had any sway over the design process. "It was just one of those lucky coincidences." Then again, perhaps it wasn't: Both Laakkonen and the sisters Toogood espouse a relaxed, cerebral mode of dress that transcends trends. "I've worked in fashion most of my life and I think it's really hard to create anything these days that has a unique point of view," Laakkonen says. "Because of the materials and cut, these are statements, but in a subtle and real way. These kinds of clothes make me happy.""