The Look // TOCCA // Spring 2013 Collection

We’re walking on air with TOCCA designer Emma Fletcher, who agreed to share some of the secrets behind one of our favorite womenswear collections this year.  Described as the label’s “coming out collection,” take a peek at some photos you will only see here on the Arcade!

Visiting TOCCA’s Spring 2013 presentation had the dizzying affect of walking into a hall of mirrors. Models stood in mirror-lined carousels, adding a kaleidoscope affect to the lace-lined frocks and Technicolor pantsuits. All the better to see the details on the clothing—intricate lace that seemed whipped from the clouds and chevron stripes that Emma tells us comes from a most unexpected inspiration.

The looks were shot on-site at the presentation, as models were drawn into a photo studio adjacent to the action. There, a whimsical illustration of a hot air balloon hints at the true inspiration for Emma’s vision of spring: playful, dreamy and light-as-air.

Does the design process start with a theme?

The clothes rarely stay pure to the theme all the way through. I start out with an idea and as you start seeing samples, it evolves into something else. At the end you realize it’s this whole other thing, and you then use that to move on into the next collection.

Spring 2013 was originally inspired by faded Polaroids of hot air balloons—the chevron patterns, floating colors and transparency. When I started seeing the zigzags on samples, it looked like Charlie Brown’s shirt,  so I looked at [the comic strip] Peanuts and got the pops of colors—Woodstock [shows up in the] yellow zigzag dress, Marcie in the blue suit, Violet Grey, etc. Then all together with the cut-outs, it looked like a kaleidoscope so [I] presented it that way.

What does this particular collection mean to you?

That is a hard question. Maybe that I don’t have to be so subtle and strict all the time, it can be fun, airy and light.

Are there any secrets of the studio we might share?

I really love French lace. I use it every collection. This lace is from Solstiss. Spring 2013 has a beautiful kind of ripped snakeskin lace that is inserted on a few pieces, most notably the diamond dress, which is kaleidoscope-y, and the side-panel dress.

What other artworks have inspired you recently?

Recently I have been looking at Carlo Mollino’s photos of semi-naked women. The styling and backgrounds are so perfect. I’ve been collaging with photos of flowers and that has influenced the collection and the way we are presenting it.

In general, [the film] Searching for Sugarman has inspired me a lot.

2013 is just around the corner. What are you excited about for the new year?

I am excited about collaging and showing in February.

—Angela Cravens