Studio Toogood use H&C photos in new clothes range
Words Tamsin Blanchard
Photographs David Hughes
Studio Toogood has collaborated with David Hughes on a new series of still life images, especially commissioned by Hole & Corner and used as placement prints in the latest Toogood clothing collection, 008…
Taking the theme of ‘domesticity’, the collection of around 30 designs includes cleaners’ tabards and a housekeeper’s coat overlaid with prints created by Hughes. This is the first time that Faye and Erica Toogood have incorporated digital print into their collection – meaning you will be able to wear your own David Huges still life. Their jay cloth fabric (a digital print of the everyday blue-and-white-striped washing-up material we all know and subconsciously love, made up into a delicate and precious silk) is a stroke of genius – something so recognisably mundane made into something so clever and fine. ‘I had no idea what the pictures would look like when we started,’ Faye admits. ‘A pile of things [that] could have been quite poetic and gentle – but that’s not really where they ended up.’
Faye Toogood worked with Hughes in her former life as a stylist. ‘We share a macabre humour when it comes to certain things,’ she reveals. Their resulting vision of domesticity is dark and shadowy, the scissors and latex gloves more than a little menacing. ‘We put that still life together to find an approach to give a bit more of a serious edge to the collection,’ she claims. ‘There is some darkness there, I guess the restrictions and the boredom – the restrictions of domesticity in a way and oppression and frustration and the mundaneness of domestic chores.’
Studio Toogood thrives on the collaborative nature of their work: ‘We have a team of sculptors, architects, interiors designers, fashion designers, graphic designers, interior designers… all under one roof, so we are all working on the projects that come in, and normally I set a concept for the year that infiltrates into objects, clothes and space in terms of materials and concept,’ Faye explains. ‘That usually has some relationship to what’s going on in my life or has some connection to a slightly more autobiographical nature to what I do.’
Continuing this approach, their new show for London Design Festival blurred the boundaries between a product design show and an art installation. The Trade Show featured 50 artists, designers and architects, all invited by Toogood to create a piece of work based around the format of a furniture fair – and in turn each was offered a limited edition version of Faye Toogood’s signature Spade chairs, the star of her debut furniture collection in 2010, which took place in the same Brompton location. The Trade Show, Toogood adds, ‘draws on the centuries-old tradition of artists supporting each other through mutually beneficial barter.’ The stellar cast of contributor-collaborators include: Judy Blame, Bill Amberg, Henry Bourne, Phoebe English, Max Lamb and Tom Dixon.