>> The great thing about presentations in New York is that you can be overly ambitious and try to cram three or four into one hour, dropping in and out, perusing a collection in about five minutes, grabbing a press release and rushing out in a fashion hit and run. However, at the S/S 14 presentation of Tome last night, I overstayed my welcome, and couldn't help but want to linger longer to see how every look of their collection changed under the ambient lighting, designed to portray sunrise to sunset. Not the harsh exaggerated sunsets and sunrises of cheap postcards but dreamy ones where everything is in soft focus. Weirdly, just as I was thinking about Deborah Turbville's bath house series yesterday, those mauve, blush-pink and lingerie-derived hues appeared again in the lighting and in the collection.
For all my talk of loving the weird, the so-wrong-it's-right and the subversive, sometimes you just can't fight off beauty. Especially when it comes unexpectedly. Tome, an NY-based label designed by two Aussies Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, has slowly been gathering pace over the past couple of seasons. Their rise can be attributed to Lobo and Martin biding their time, waiting to launch their label after gathering design experience in the industry. Now they can really reap the benefits of their patience as their presentation had people in raptures. That can't be just down to tricked-out lighting of course. Lobo and Martin's fascination with using unexpected textures on classic pieces is fully explored in their most ambitious collection yet. The connected to earth spirit of artist Ana Mendieta inspires the naturalistic slashed chiffon embroidery and the visceral looking python-on-tulle surfaces. Madame Grès-esque draping moulds the pagan looking dresses. Tweed is given a more sensual and raw quality by being grafted on to tulle as though it were floating on the skin. Still fixated on shiny textures, they introduce an eye-catching cotton coated in plastic, which is effective in an oversized trench coat. Still, all of this textural loveliness isn't in rooted in lofted heights. You can dig your hands deep into the pockets of their jackets and voluminous trousers. You can fling on a backless flouced shirt. Even a grecian looking gown is in fact a roomy palazzo-trousered jumpsuit. Sure you can make like Mendieta and be at one with earth, but even better that these clothes can also be as down to earth as you please.