The seventh in a twelve-part series intended to change the way you buy and wear fashion. This month we feature womenswear label White Tent.
Inka (left) wears dress Vintage Modes at Gray’s Antiques. Jacket White Tent. Blouse Minna. Socks American Apparel. Shoes Swedish Hasbeens. Necklaces Comfort Station. Gloves from Beyond Retro. Neele (right) wears dress Beyond Retro. Shirt White Tent. Necklace stylist’s own. Socks American Apparel. Shoes Church’s.
i-Sustain is over the half way mark and this month we’re going to grab a moment to take stock and re-assess what it is we’re trying to achieve. The intention was always to start a debate and offer some viable and realistic alternatives to the current fast and furious model that pervades fashion design and purchasing. The project is also an opportunity to build a new partnership, one that takes the knowledge and expertise of one organisation (The Centre for Sustainable Fashion) and uses the attitude and cultural influence of another (i-D) to give that knowledge and expertise a totally new voice and audience. The ultimate goal is to re-contextualise our relationship with what we wear, which requires a cultural shift right across the spectrum; we need designers and makers who can drive innovation whilst still offering desirable and relevant products; we need journalists who can be more rigorous and questioning but still tell a great story, and as fashion consumers we need to use our buying power to support the people who give us a better product and spin us a more honest yarn. If we all play our role in the partnership, things start to transform and real transformation is exciting, shocking, exhilarating… all the things that fashion is supposed to be.
Left: Dress Minna. Shirt White tent. Collar Vintage Modes at Gray’s Antiques. Veil Beyond Retro. Right: Top White Tent. Dress Partimi. Collar Vintage Modes at Gray’s Antiques. Boots Vivienne Westwood + Melissa Bootie III.
Over the last six months i-Sustain has looked at a variety of designers who make a small but significant contribution to transforming the fashion landscape. Each one presents a challenge to conventional thinking, alerting us to new possibilities and exploring new relationships that change how we design, make and wear our clothes.
Neele (left) wears dress Partimi. Shirt Beyond Retro. Inka wears dress White Tent. Blouse Beyond Retro. Socks Beyond Retro. Boots Church’s.
Sticking with the theme of collaboration, we decided this month to focus on a brand that recognises the vitality and resilience that springs from effective collaboration. White Tent (read interview here) is a design collective started by Evgenia Tabokova a Russian Central Saint Martin’s graduate and Pedro Noronha-Feio, a Portuguese graduate of London College of Fashion. The pair understood from the outset that a reliable manufacturing base is the bread and butter of a successful fashion business; however they were also looking for a partnership that reflected their values in terms of design, quality and working practices.
Left: Dress Minna. Shorts White Tent. Socks and shoes Beyond Retro. Right: Inka wears coat White Tent. Skirt Partimi. Veil Vintage Modes at Gray’s Antiques. Dress Minna. Boots Beyond Retro. Neele wears coat White Tent. Dress, gloves and veil Vintage Modes at Gray’s Antiques. Boots Church’s. Necklace Comfort Station.
As is so often the case, clarity of purpose delivers results. Working in collaboration with a like-minded garment manufacturer in Portugal, White Tent have been able to take the time to fully explore their minimal and yet experimental approach to design. The collections are clean, contemporary and offer beautifully made, understated pieces with surprising and unique details. As well as having the support they need to develop their design and brand identity, White Tent have been able to work with their manufacturer to create employment and training opportunities in a deprived area of Portugal and to research how environmental considerations can be integrated on an ongoing basis in to the development of their collections.
Neele (left) wears dress Vintage Modes at Gray’s Antiques. Top White Tent. Inka (right) wears dress Partimi. Blouse Vintage Modes at Grays Antiques. Socks and boots Beyond Retro.
The White Tent approach recognises that brand evolution should happen because of, not in spite of, the shared values and ambitions of those involved. The future of a successful and sustainable fashion industry depends on like-minded individuals and businesses committing to a long term marriage based on principles, purpose and a genuine desire to do things differently.
Head here to see our i-Sustain series in full.
Text: Alex McIntosh
Photography: Kerry Dean
Styling: Sam Willoughby
Hair: Selena Middleton @ Soho Management using Kiehls
Make up: Marco Antonio @ DWM using kiehl’s skin care and Shu uemura
Models: Inka & Neele @ M&P
Photographer’s Assistant: Chloe Coates
Styling Assistants: Gemma Butterworth & Otter Jezamin Hatchett
Re-touching: Russell Day @ Daybreak Creative