We’re streamlining our wardrobe with Catherine Quin’s suitcase concept
The London-based brand presents its ‘Florence Suitcase’ capsule collection, an offering which simplifies the ritual of getting dressed
In her 1979 collection of essays The White Album, Joan Didion recorded her succinct and unchanging packing list for when she went on journalistic assignment. This included a tight edit of clothing, including two skirts, two jerseys or leotards and one pullover sweater, enabling Didion to ‘pack, without thinking, for any piece I was likely to do.’ As the fashion industry contends with the deluge of unwanted, wasted clothing it is producing – it’s estimated that in the UK alone 20 per cent of clothing ends up in landfill – Didion’s minimalist messaging is more prescient than ever.
One designer taking Didion’s dictum to heart, is London-based Catherine Quin. ‘When I started the brand it was really about finding the wardrobe solution to everyday life,’ she says of the founding tenets of her 2015-launched eponymous label, which offers pared-back, timeless clothing in elegant, androgynous and fluid silhouettes. ‘It’s about simplifying the daily ritual of getting dressed,’ she says of the direct-to-consumer label, aimed at busy women on-the-go, hopping from plane to party, work event to evening out. Instead of an over saturated range of styles, Quin hones in on signature silhouettes, like her ruched Regio dress or a trouser suit, which are all made in the brand’s London atelier, and handcrafted in high quality predominantly natural fabrics, like cashmere, silk and viscose.
With the launch of her label’s Suitcase concept – Quin has curated a travel bag of her own. The brand’s latest retail model is comprised of a series of city-inspired capsule collections, first an 11-piece ‘London Suitcase’, followed by a 13-piece ‘Florence Suitcase’ which launches online today. The Florence Suitcase, inspired by the terracotta tones and Renaissance splendour of the Italian city, features a series of elegant pieces, including a deconstructed trenchcoat, wide legged jumpsuit in deep khaki, a bib collar shirt and white tuxedo suit. These can be mixed and matched into over thirty different outfit options, and with simple styling tricks, like the addition of a waist cinching belt or a silk pussy bow dress layered with a wide legged trouser, dressed up or pared down. ‘We wanted to make the experience of getting dressed calmer and less stressful,’ Quin explains of the versatility of the silhouettes. ‘These are timeless pieces you can wear in any environment. Elevated and design led.’
As part of Quin’s ‘Distilled Wardrobes’ concept, customers have the option to either purchase each ‘Suitcase’ in its entirety, invest in four pieces, saving 25 or 15 per cent respectively, or simply shop a single item. ‘We really want to offer practical packing solutions’ Quin says of the pared back approach. Many travellers today favour smaller carry on luggage, allowing for a quicker dash to the Departure Lounge and the label’s packing system prevents over stuffing of accessories and shoes and other untouched items that never make it out of a suitcase. ‘These are pieces that don’t need to be steamed or ironed.’
Next on Quin’s pitstop is Paris, where she will unveil a suitcase serendipitous with the glamour and allure of the city. Autumn has also seen the launch of a limited edition knitwear collection, with natural dyed cable knit jumpers handwoven in London, using 100% organic lambs wool. With a zero waste approach, each piece is made to order. ‘We need to get a bit more real’ Quin explains of our approach to consumption. ‘We’re so bombarded with information today. Living with less feels much more in tune with the psychology of our time.’ §