Tome‘s Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin may be up-and-coming designers, but they’re not your fun, quirky youngsters making whimsical clothes for their friends. They waited 13 years after graduating from design school to launch their own label, and their caution and precision show in their clothes and the pace at which they’ve chosen to grow their business.
And fall 2014 was definitely a season of growing up and maturing, in a few ways. For one, it was the designers’ first ever runway show. Of their decision to make the switch from presentations: “It was time, no?” quipped Lobo. And the collection was deserving of the more grown-up show format. They experimented with new, elevated materials including Blackglama mink, Swarovski crystal, jacquard and double-face wool, which moved the designers into a higher price point. “The collection is more expensive this season. Literally and figuratively, he explained.”
And thirdly, Tome’s girl has always been tastefully understated and chic, but fall’s customer is decidedly more conservative and sophisticated. The clothes were more glamorous than staid — standouts included pink satin frocks, sumptuous oversized coats and ultra-chic (and a bit Celine-esque) stoles. Everything was gorgeous, but nary a fleck of skin was shown. The designers were inspired by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat and the late Egyptian singer Oum Kathoum. “Oum Kalthoum wore a lot of Dior and Balenciaga in her day and Shirin Neshat is a proud Iranian woman,” explained Martin. “It was metaphorically and literally about being covered. And glamorous.”