by Marie-Christin Tripolt

When you think of fashion design, some of you might have photos of colorful, crazy pieces in extraordinary shapes in their heads. In-grid, however, proves that sometimes fashion means simplicity. Katie Timothy and Adam Barclay, the designers behind the label, focus on white shirts. White shirts that seem to be so simple to the buyers but are way more complex to the designers, as they told Jute Fashion Magazine in our interview. Read more about these two amazing designers, who are partners in business and life.

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In-grid stands for simplicity. What is so fascinating about keeping it simple for you guys?

Simplicity is camouflaged. To keep things really simple and to reduce a garment to its simplest form sometimes means a very clever construction. So actually what is perceived as simple is actually the opposite, but as designers this is what we strive for. It’s this contrast that fascinates us so much; it should look and feel effortless.

Our garments are required to hide complexity through simplicity, but there is a certain amount of masochism to it because when you produce a very simple white garment there is nowhere to hide deficiency of any sort. There is no color or pattern to hide behind, it has to be perfect. And we love that!

Why is the white shirt so important to you? What should it express?  

This is quite simple… It is inclusive of everyone, all the time. The white shirt does not discriminate against size, shape or age it merely supports you in your daily endeavors and executes this beautifully, elegantly with infinite dignity. It is a powerful sartorial decision when you have something to say or it is the days silent partner. The fact that it can exist on these extremes and express all these different things is a very powerful statement indeed. At in-grid we want to garner this energy and continue to liberate it.

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What kind of woman do you see wearing your designs?  

Thankfully to back up my last answer we really do have a whole spectrum of women wearing our garments… all ages, all shapes and all sizes. However from a conceptual point of view I guess what unites all these women at this point is a shared passion for detail with a natural leaning towards the quiet. In previous collections we have been very specific in making garments that are exceptionally quiet and reduced to their simplest form.

Moving forward we are also working to add extra layers (as our own creative energy has started to get the better of us). Whilst simultaneously making wonderfully reduced white shirting we also want to make a statement, pushing what we think a white shirt can be. This will be a process that happens over a period of several seasons as we slowly continue to craft and master the white shirt and find out where its parameters lie. We hope by doing this we will introduce our brand to a whole other demographic of women who are searching for that statement.

 

Where do you take your inspiration from when designing a new shirt?

I take inspiration from details. Those details may be triggered by an image, a conversation or some quiet time.  The idea may be how to hide a seam, a cut, a way to deconstruct a cut or a new idea of how to fasten a cuff. I then like to work out from this point by sketching and making. If ever I am on the search for new ideas sometimes the best way for me to start this process is to go out for the day, explore, see what I find and start thinking.

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You guys aren’t only partners in business, but also in life.  Does being a couple in life effect your work relationship? 

Yes absolutely, but thankfully we would say this is a positive statement as opposed to a negative. Personally, I never knew any different. My parents have owned a business together for over 30 years working side by side so as far as I’m concerned that was the natural thing to do. We both have very complimentary skill sets and try our best not to overlap on tasks as that is where the problems can start. As soon as in-grid became a ‘thing’ and it became apparent that it would be a business we run together my Dad said to me “division of labor” and he was very right. We know what we need to do and we both know exactly what we are aiming for. It makes for a very exciting process. And we feel very lucky to share it with one-another.

When was the moment you knew that you wanted to build up a fashion brand?

Well this is a slightly harder question to answer because it was a process that played itself out over a period of several months as we developed and refined every detail. The moment in-grid came to life was not when we named it or even when we finished the collection, but when we had boiled down our collective values to the point where we simply stood for 3 things: fine white shirts, for women, made in England. It was this development that really got us excited and made us push forward and build an operational brand based on these 3 simple principles.

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How would you define your styles in real life? Are they also that minimalistic and clean?

I like uniform. Uncomplicated uniform. Overtime I learnt what suits me and I do like to stick to this. I like to wake up in the morning and know what I’m wearing but feel good and feminine in it and most importantly feel comfortable in it. I like simple cuts in bold colors and on the contrast like simple colors and large statement cuts, but always in the parameters of the garments types that I wear. A white shirt, a navy roll neck, a large oversized white skirt, an orange jumper dress, a simple long black dress.

When you think of the future, will in-grid’s designs always stay the way they are now or could you imagine doing something totally different one day?

Like all creatives we naturally have an appetite to develop new ideas and over the next few years you will see an organic evolution. I do think however it is very important to state that we will always be a brand making white shirts for women. The question is how far can we push that? When ‘white shirts, for women, made in England’ rolls off the tongue your initial thoughts are how specific. Actually there is a whole world of exploration there, seeing how far we can push the white shirt. We have started very quietly with a certain amount of classicism and simplicity injected into our garments, these garments will always be available for our customers who are searching for that, but we will also be moving forward pushing and continuing to master the white shirt in different forms.

 submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, London, England, in-grid, Marie-Christin Tripolt, Katie Timothy, Adam Barclay, designer, white shirt, simplicity, interview

And when you think of the past, is there something your brand has achieved that you are especially proud of? 

We are now at the point in our business where we are turning the heads of some wonderful people in the industry, having meetings with them and sharing our ideas. We have also just shown for the first time at Paris Fashion Week and with that had some fantastic conversations with buyers from large department stores and concept stores from around the world. We are excited to start working with them. The same thing however sticks with me through all of this: I am proud that we had an idea, that we stuck to it and worked on it together. That the idea has bought us closer and allowed us to spend time together in some exciting, daunting, incredible and stressful situations and that it has worked.

 

The last question, what would you say makes in-grid so special and differentiates from other brands?  

Our un-wavering dedication to a singular aim. To master the white shirt, for women.

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