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White Tent

Monday 22 August 2011
Words Spindle

I love fur. Fun fur, real fur, fake fur, fraggle fur, any form of fabric with the tactile quality that can change your form and shape the way fur does and I’m there like Cruella DeVil to a Dalmatian. Don’t get me wrong for I would never skin a Dalmatian, but White Tent’s latest collection has managed to amalgamate my caveman taste with the most unlikely of items.

Since launching in 2007, White Tent – the brainchild of Evgenia Tabakova and Pedro Noronha-Feio – has produced designs with manipulative pattern cutting and innovative fabrics, from laser cut designs for Hello Kitty’s 35th anniversary collection to Reebok Freestyle trainers with toy men emerging through the white leather structure.

Tabakova and Noronha-Feio’s own collections have displayed beautifully draped garments in vibrant colours, holographic fabrics, and camouflage; forms that really stand out, which is why when I first laid eyes on White Tent’s latest collection for the upcoming winter I was disappointed.  Yes some of the boxy structures were still present, giving the wearer a slick geometric silhouette as opposed to the common curve, yet the garments had lost their edge. Colours were replaced with a sea of beige, and innovate fabrics had become lazy Sunday jersey and comfort knits. I couldn’t see how a brand that has caught so much media attention and become a regular feature in the pages of Vogue had become the younger sister to the White Company. However, a gem poked through the stone washed collection – the bumbag.

‘Bumbag’ has become such a dirty word.  It conjures up cheap nylon, lost tourists in high waisted cargo shorts and the dreaded 80s term, ‘Fanny Pack.’ If I suggested a bumbag in fluffy monotone fun fur then it would surely send shudders out to everyone but the more darling traveller. And surely the fact that I dear reader am advocating such an item would lead you to believe I have bashed myself with my caveman club. However under White Tent’s design, the bumbag has become…well, chic.

Slightly oversized and fluffy seemed to be the facelift the dated ‘fanny’ needed, and when tied around the waist of White Tent’s ‘cosy’ knitted numbers, it lifts them from lazy days with a bowl of soup on the sofa to being a girl with an edge, proving that White Tent’s genius can transform a heinous accessory and therefore one hopes can transform the soon to be shown S/S 2012. Bumbags crossed.