Under the loupe: TOGA ARCHIVES x H&M
A closer look at autumn's first (and most extravagant) designer collaboration.
The wait is over. Only weeks left until TOGA ARCHIVES x H&M is out. And what should you expect? Think of your typical everyday outfit. Then add an unexpected mix of materials, bedazzling beads somewhere it "shouldn't" be and cut out holes where you want to show your skin. It might sound extreme, but it's certainly thrilling. When you discover how each garment has the power to adapt to specific situations, you will notice how conscious the design is.
HOW WAS THE SELECTION FOR THE H&M COLLABORATION DONE?
"I focused on the pieces that are based on everyday widely adapted clothes, like the suit. Classic pieces that I tried to create a new perspective on. New angles to look at those everyday items."
The concept is genderless, but due to size and body shape, the collection offers men's and women's wear.
In the women's line, we find the wool-twill trench coat that easily switches up its silhouette via an internal belt, and the oversized grey blazer that will tease any Monday morning meeting with its gold bugle beads spilling out from the chest pocket. Also, the cut-out tunic, silver sequined leggings, gingham tailored trousers and marble-printed dress with cut-outs and embellishments. Stunning styles that leave us speechless.
For men, we find classic staples like a V-neck jumper (but transparent), a sweatshirt (with a cut-out hole), a bomber jacket featuring a vintage scarf print (plus a technical olive fabric that folds up into a carry-anywhere bag) and brogue boots (with holes). Remarkable details that can't go unnoticed.
"I had been interested in the process of puncturing basic items of clothing, but with a very different approach than a punk one. The idea of the TOGA pieces is that the wearer can control the level of bodily exposure for themselves. They can choose to have bare skin underneath a hole in their skirt, or to put trousers underneath."
Deciding how much of your body to show, not because of expectations, but what you feel comfortable in.
Yasuko Furuta, founder and designer of TOGA
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION?
"The black and white checked skirt with the hole! It is a motif I've been working on for years, and if that can be adopted more globally by a wider audience, that would be incredible. I'm interested in the notion of giving women the choice to determine how much of their skin they expose. The hole in the skirt is a part of that idea, to give women agency over this. Deciding how much of your body to show, not because of expectations, but what you feel comfortable in."
Essential for TOGA is to create clothes that will be enduring and long-lasting — this goes from designs to choice of material. The unique looks are made with Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), recycled polyester and Naia™ Renew acetate (a fabric made from 60% sustainably sourced wood pulp and 40% certified recycled plastics). Plus, the brooches and earrings are made with recycled zinc.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MORE SUSTAINABLE FASHION?
"I think that the most important thing I can do at TOGA is to create clothes that will be enduring and long-lasting, that people will love for more than just one season. Outside the TOGA shop, we also sell vintage clothing. I imagine that TOGA garments will be the vintage fashion of the future. That people will feel it's something unique and ask, ‘why did they make it like this?'".
The TOGA ARCHIVES x H&M collection will be available worldwide in selected stores and at hm.com on 2 September. Share your look with #TOGA_ARCHIVESxHM on Instagram and Twitter for a chance to be featured.