Toogood: Transcending Creative Fields

Walking into the Toogood shop on Redchurch street feels like an intimate gathering at Faye’s home. Decorated with furniture from the original shop merging in with the shapes and colours of her own sculptures. The space evokes a feeling of familiarity and work in progress, as their studio is just above the shop. Whilst the outlines of the wood sculptures might seem random at first glance, it was amusing to hear how the seemingly organic shapes happen to originate from the beautifully pencil shaded drawings of some objects she had around the house. Vases and little cups seem to have been created to harmoniously coexist with each other, whilst other bits of wood just picked at random add to a touch of well thought out disorder. Sticking to the same brown, natural wood and ochre colours, it is very reminiscent of the last Toogood collection, sporting wool hand knitted pieces. Whether it is art or clothing, the Toogood sisters continue to surprise and innovate.

Most recently, Too Good has just collaborated with Carhartt to bring their new store in Kings Cross to life. Beautiful dimmed lighting absorbs you as you walk into the store, in harmony with the wooden furniture. Even to the smallest details, like hangers they have put a slight touch by enlarging and flattening out their shape.

As you walk in, there’s the protector coats, two beautiful and large jackets displayed made my Toogood, first one, its shape rather reminiscent of bodily contents, as a twisted and turned version of a puffer jacket, with which seems to be rusty or some coloration on the classic ‘Toogood’ cream colour. Second jacket with dripped black paint over it which then solidified paint giving it a heavy and solid feel.

Toogood does not disappoint, constantly keeping their loyal customers engaged and awaiting for their new creations. The sisters bring out the Toogood heritage to reflect on the brand. Their appreciation of the art of making can be seen in nuanced ways; in the names of their garments, the manner in which they are displayed, their functionalism as well as the styling of their photoshoots. They aim to bring utility wear to a new light, portraying it as something other than military garments. Still utilising functional and durable textiles, Toogood bridge the gap between practicality and creativity. What results in a collection of natural hued, original and wearable designs. With Erica’s background in pattern cutting and Faye’s art and furniture background, there is a beautiful balance between the sculptural and the practicality of the clothing aspect of the brand.

Challenging notions of what labour means, Toogood incorporates such commonplace items such as the dish cloth as their inspiration. Day to day domestic duties like sweeping inspired their 008 collection, which included cream linen dresses, workwear jackets, sculpture like creations reminiscent of ripped up paper pieces or even toilet paper and tops with printed tubular shapes like pipes that were also seen in Toogood’s art installation. The worlds of fashion, interiors and art have intertwined before, but it is rare to see such multi-skilled talents excelling in all fields.

there is a beautiful balance between the sculptural and the practicality of the clothing

Written and photographed by Laura Jasiunaite