The new spring/summer collection from Toujours Toi & Family Affairs is online now and below is the press text I wrote for it. Looking at the clothes and re-reading it makes me want summer. Now. Preferably in the south of France.
For the spring summer 11 collection, Ocean Lemonade, the Toujours Toi & Family Affairs heroine is exploring the South of France with her old battered suitcase. She is feisty rather than sweet and a little defiant – feminine, but not girly. She often doesn’t brush her hair. She goes wherever she finds the carefree pleasures of summer on dusty back roads scented with lavender: picking up tomatoes, olive oil, honey soaps. She collects feathers, picks cornflowers and wildflowers to put in a jar on a scrubbed wooden table. She makes lemonade in a glass jar, uses whatever she has to hand and freestyle bakes something delicious, ties it up in a picnic knapsack and heads to the beach, singing along to Jonathan Richman: “That Summer Feeling: Memory comes taunting, you pick these things apart they're not that appealing, you put them together and you'll get this certain feeling, and that summer feeling is gonna haunt you one day in your life…” Spreading out a colorful beach towel, she stays until night falls, watching the stars, drinking rosé and eating raspberries.
Wherever she lands, people want to invite her to their kitsch parties, in villas with chandeliers and colorful cocktails out on the balcony. True Blue by Madonna wafts along on the air and a crappy transistor radio crackles with sentimental Italian songs. Her dancing shoes are thrown in the old suitcase, and she’s on the night train to Bari just as everyone realizes she’s not there anymore.
The collection is made up of everything our heroine would need to put in the old suitcase on her travels: the exactly right mix of polka dots, exotic florals, lace, sheer, black, blue and pink. The Arles floral skirt for walking along dusty lavender scented roads, The Milky Way or Room With a View dress in black silk chiffon with polka dots for other people’s parties, the short babydoll lace of the Science of Sleep dress and the most exuberant expression of summer freedom in the Strawberry Fields jumpsuit, which comes in a heavy crepe searched for far and wide for its Biba/Ossie Clark quality that drapes perfectly.
All the fabrics in the spring/summer 11 collection are those that feel good, have the right weight and movement. Silk blends are used for the exotic flower prints; there is also silk chiffon, heavy crepe, and cotton twill to give the more structured pieces the feeling of soft denim.