Posts Tagged ‘eri silk’

LFW AW13 // Off Schedule // Atelier Tammam

Posted in London Fashion Week on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

My favourite LFW experience this season was at Atelier Tammam. I loved the Slow feeling of it, both because is was a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Somerset House, and because of its very concept.

Nestled in a pretty street only steps away from the Renaissance Hotel at St. Pancras, Atelier Tammam has a similar philosophy: to offer a thorough modern product and service, while celebrating the grandeur of the past. As designer Lucy Tammam puts it: “The Atelier offers a bespoke service, designing, pattern cutting and tailoring any kind of garment for any occasion to each individual customer. This season we have decided to recreate the showcases of traditional couture houses, to reflect not only our inspiration from the golden era of couture but also our dedication to offering garments that are made in traditional ways by and for real people.” So, for a limited number of guests, a ‘live’ show was offered rather than a catwalk, with a commentary describing every piece, its material and provenance.

The presentation started with a range of beautifully cut, flattering yet unusual day wear, including black and white eri silk hand loomed trousers and a black and white eri silk tunic, hand finished in the traditional method. The organic silk comes from Assam, it is guaranteed to be ahimsa, a cruelty free process which ensures the moth is allowed to fly before the cocoon is processed into yarn. The yarns are then hand woven by a co-operative in Eastern India. The rouching on the top is done by hand by artisans at a fair trade stitching unit in Bangalore. The houndstooth trousers are available in a variety of colours, hand loomed using spun eri silk. However, this season for the first time Tammam also sourced some local materials, like stock lace made in the UK, paired to organic fair trade cotton.

My favourite was certainly the Kirsten dress, that incorporates the philosophy of Slow Fashion in so many ways. This is a beautiful couture 2 piece gown in eri silk, a simple flattering design that lends itself to being turned inside out offering a new look instantly. This type of gown is perfect for a bride who wishes to reuse her wedding dress, or wants to update her look for her reception. For the ceremony, the dress can be worn with a British lace over layer, but afterwards it can be transformed, meaning it won’t be relinquished to a dust bag after only one (precious) days’ use.

Naturally, Atelier Tammam has become renowned for their bridal ranges, and it was wonderful to see the perfect cuts and delicate fabrics from up close. For example, an exquisite hand block printed and embroidered organza veil, done by hand by Ammu in Bangalore, Southern India: it takes her almost a month to embroider a veil of a standard size using a fine eri silk yarn. Other hand made lace accessories include boleros in peace silk and reclaimed tulle. I also appreciate Tammam’s efforts in minimising wastage, using clever pattern cutting to utilise offcuts of fabrics from other designs from past collections.

Lucy adds: “Atelier Tammam’s focus has always been on creating ethical fashion that does not look “ethical” in the stereotypical sense: our focus has always been on style while working with the possibilities offered to us through our unique supply chain of fair trade producers, eco friendly materials and traditional crafts.”