“COMMUNIQUÉ 001. COLLECTION 001.
Now is the time to rise above the whims of corporate fashion and actualise the individual. Industrial relations Faye & Erica Toogood have built a new collection — inspired by the workers, to inspire the workers. Eight new coats, practical and sculptural, crafted from hardwearing materials and engineered to withstand the changing seasons. Each garment derives from the workwear of a specific trade — an authentic vocation, not the shallow desk jobs of the digital age — marked with the signs of toil in screen-printed rubber and foil. Each piece knows no boundaries of age or gender, available in six sizes to enhance or disguise the individual frame. The materials are redolent of the values of staunch tradespeople: the waxed cotton of the oilrigger; the vulcanised rubber of the industrial labourer; the hardwearing canvas of the mariner and the artist. Unique documentation sewn inside celebrates its provenance, encouraging the wearer to forge a new link in its chain of production: the names of the buyer, the seller, the manufacturer, right back to the designer and the pattern-cutter, are all displayed with justifiable pride.
WHEREAS for too long we have witnessed the honest clothing of working people being stolen and arrogated in the name of so-called utility wear and industrial chic;
WHEREAS in an age of digital reproduction the individual is beset on all sides by the bastions of mercantilism and commerce, those false profiteers who prescribe with one hand and proscribe with the other, while forcing allcomers into constrictive sartorial templates;
WHEREAS the entrenched power bases of couture houses and multinationals mete and dole grotesque sumptuary laws to a compliant populace in the form of biannual ‘seasons’, weaving obsolescence into the very fabric of their garments;
WE HEREBY reject and reprehend the cruel diktats of the discredited fashionista treadmill: the voracious cycle in which spring/summer is devoured by autumn/winter, and autumn/winter is in turn devoured by spring/summer. Let them be rendered obsolete by the very inconstancy they thrive upon — we want it to happen! We will create only when we choose to create. Never again shall free thinkers be in thrall to the caprices of chainstore buyers or of marketing consultants!
OUR AIMS are simple, our methods straightforward. We shall sweep aside the crumbling detritus of plutocrat designers and clear the way for a new aesthetic rooted in individuality and honesty, a liberating mode that is available to all, male and female, old and young. We celebrate the craft and the toil of the workers — not faceless serfs running up disposable fads in farflung sweatshops, but named artisans with pride in their labour.
WE SHALL harness the techniques and forms of this mechanised age and return them to the people. The inherent worth of
any object lies not in the pronouncements of the self-appointed arbiters of collective taste, but in provenance and the craftsmanship of manufacture.”