After I managed to grasp the emotional magnitude of this brave starting point, I took my time to examine the collection. And the more I looked at the garments, the more I realised the raw and emotive inspiration that Catherine and Rob found in the manifold representations of women during the 1970s and the more seduced I became with their genuine admiration for lives lived with authenticity: these were neither the sort of women with flawless skin dressed in moss green silk blouses and sharp black pencil skirts that Tom Ford praised during his days at Gucci nor was their physicality edited by digital retouching; these were women who lived and inhabited reality and all its beauty and its flaws with a relentless sense of happiness and of selfless devotion to their partners and children.
To illustrate the desire to escape the realm of the home, a tinge of rebellion could be found in oversized bombers and biker jackets, whereas sleek textured satin column dresses conjured a world of aspirational sophistication. Furthermore, in order to combine the notion of how private lives are shared with the family within the home and the importance of dreaming about luxury and beauty, Catherine and Rob resorted to floral prints in the beautifully poetic ‘Generation’ print, where arrangements of petals proved to be, on close inspection, elegant collages of photographs of their mothers’ hands and fingers as a veritable sensorial depiction of, and homage to the first memories of bonding through touch and affection.
In every single one of their collections, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have revealed a skilful and painstakingly rigorous analysis of how womanhood and motherhood have been represented throughout history by writers, painters and architects. However, for Spring/Summer 2014, the two designers opted for turning their gaze inwards and explore their own creative psyches. Stemming from a joint understanding of how to paint a celebratory portrait of real women, the collection developed fluidly and confidently as an emotionally intelligent tribute to the roles that their mothers Jacquie and Mary Ellen played in their lives. And, for the perfectly balanced treatment of such a personal and emotional concept, Teatum Jones have confirmed why they deserve the applause of the fashion industry.