Included in fashion retailer TOME’s mission statement is a desire to produce clothing that is not only flexible- that is, clothing able to be worn by a variety of persons- but a desire to produce clothing absent of all the extra “frills”. In other words, TOME’s aesthetic seeks to remain focused, approachable, and straightforward in a world which, at the best of times, can feel hectic, confused, and overwhelming. Though the Fall ’17 collection offers a limited color palette of browns, yellows, pinks, and blues in addition to a classic black and white aesthetic, customers should hardly feel restrained by a collection that is boundless in virtually every other way. Here, TOME offers a variety of designs sure to flatter a wide array of body types, refusing to preference one standard of beauty over another. The clothes are straightforward, but without feeling generic; there remains a powerful sense that designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin take great pride in their designs and treat every item as a piece of art. The crispness of their double breasted jacket is accented by white lines on either side of the lapels; meanwhile, the A selection of looser fitted garments contrast with those intended to create or accentuate curves, providing customers with a wide range of aesthetic choices. The garments maintain their own timeless edge while still calling upon recent trends, with items in the collection utilizing popular elements such as velvet, v-necks, and tie waists, thus appealing simultaneously to a hip and modern audience. There’s something to be said about a collection that can create long-term, investment garments while still consciously reflecting the era of their creation; and there’s something unique about a collection that can manage to be both timeless and trendy while also offering their own unique twists on different styles, as evidenced by the zipper detailing on TOME’s bomber jacket as well as the overlong, pooling legs of their tie front jumpsuit that cause the already seductive one-piece to feel like red-carpet chic.
TOME’s designs aren’t just appealing in theory, but in practice. Two of the garments from their Fall ’17 collection have already sold out, and it’s not difficult to understand why: the much-loved pieces include both a corset slip dress cast in two tones of soft pink, appealing to the recent trend toward lingerie-inspired looks while still boasting a masterful construction that allows the dress to translate easily into formalwear. Also sold out on TOME’s website is a blue pinstripe peplum shirt with a tie waist, which, again, with its inclusion of both a peplum waist and a tie, calls back to trends made popular in the past decade while still presenting the garment as “work appropriate” through its use of pinstripes and its conservatively high collar. At a time when many women feel forced to choose between a hip, unique aesthetic and clothing that meets dress code requirements, TOME offers a sophisticated middle ground on which working women, particularly women working in offices, may rely. All other elements aside, it’s also comforting to know that TOME places particular emphasis on manufacturing their clothing in an ethical manner. In recent years, the label has been involved in sustainability-oriented projects such as the CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative. Started in 2011, TOME is currently based in New York.