Scrolling Thomas Puttick’s Instagram feed, and that of his newly launched namesake label, is refreshing. Shots of a sheer slip, hand-embroidered with climbing roses, and a black shirt made of seemingly liquid silk are interspersed with modernist paintings. Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Australian artist Margaret Preston’s Implement Blue both feature.
“I’ve always loved her work,” says Puttick, whose first collection was inspired by Preston’s lino prints, which he says convey a “sense of strength and femininity”. The result is a tight edit of luxurious, wearable clothing that delivers on the designer’s core goal: “to create an inclusive and positive dialogue in fashion”.
A coveted traineeship at Alexander McQueen followed by several years under Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Christopher Esber has given Puttick a privileged look inside the global fashion industry. And though he gained insights into a range of companies and manufacturing processes, he also saw the fashion world’s darker side.
“There’s a sense of exclusivity, an active disassociation from the humans behind the clothing and also a lack of representation in how we present fashion,” says Puttick. It’s what led him to create his own label placing women first. From a commitment to luxurious fabrics and local production, to a design process that fits real women rather than the standard size-zero model, Puttick’s designs are thoughtful.
“I think that to empower women through design you have to make sure they can achieve whatever they need each day in your clothes,” says Puttick.
Despite the label’s youth it’s getting noticed. This year, Puttick was nominated to enter the prestigious Woolmark Prize, and he will show his resort collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2017 in Sydney this May, alongside a pop-up store.
And after that? “I’m really excited to see where the brand can go. I’m looking forward to the day I can look at the fashion industry and be really, genuinely proud of what it stands for.”