The former Project D designer’s label has a more sophisticated look yet retains a down-to-earth Britishness, says Ian Wright.
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Archetypal dress brands usually bring to mind either slightly trashy, body-con, peplumy numbers or statuesque, red-carpet eveningwear, with little in between. Tabitha Webb fills that void. Set up by Webb, former designer of womenswear label Project D, the brand picks up where the Dannii Minogue-partnered label left off but takes a more sophisticated direction.
Lace, print and texture all feature in the autumn 13 collection (available to buy now) but all are used in a neater, more precise way than in Webb’s previous work. But this is no knocked-together, knee-jerk reaction post-Project D - she maintains it was always meant to be.
“It just felt like the right time. The demand was there for what I was doing and people wanted to see what we could create,” she says. “Tabitha Webb is a very British fashion house born out of my love of London, where I’ve lived for years, and Cornwall, where I escape the pandemonium.” This duality is seen in a collection that offers something for everyone.
“We have the thorn print, which is an edgier, younger print, and then the amethyst flower print, which is more vintage and less intimidating to wear. We’ve also worked in leather, which gives the collection two defining looks: the softer, easier look and the harder, more structured look,” reveals Webb.
Cut too is important, as Georgina Coulter, womenswear buyer at key stockist My-Wardrobe.com, explains: “Tabitha focuses on the woman’s body so the fit is well thought out to create the perfect silhouette.” Other stockists already include Harvey Nichols online, Saks Dubai and indie Question Air, as the brand gears up for a “sportier, edgier” pre-spring 14 collection sold through Fourmarketing and a spring 14 collection inspired by Webb’s Cornish heritage.