Interview by Katie Antoniou
Tweed is quintessentially British, and never goes out of style - in the city or the countryside. Rosalie Eustace is the founder of Timothy Foxx, ‘exceptionally eccentric’ clothing for those who appreciate the quality of traditional tweed combined with a quirky, modern twist.
How did you start working with tweed?
It all began with one of my father’s jackets, he is and always has been a wearer of Traditional tweed; a proper English gentleman. I grew up wearing Horse riding jackets made of tweed too. But when I found this Jacket of Dads which had a large and useless hole in the front of it, (no doubt it was created by a jagged barbed wire fence) I knew it wouldn’t be missed, so I decided to make something from it. I was studying Industrial Design at Loughborough University (aged 20) so having product design in my blood, I set about creating a small mini skirt from the recycled fabric, relining it with some funky looking fabrics, to give the tweed a youthful look. I loved it, and so did my house mates, so I began making skirts for my friends who also appreciated something unique.
You’ve taken a look traditionally associated with the countryside, and made it suitable for youngsters and urban life; was this hard to do?
It was great fun, and challenging- Tweed is such a British fabric with so much history; I wanted to emphasise its qualities. So I tweaked it, throwing in some crazy patterns and beautiful silks, and made a few designs like our mini skirts and our hotpants that were not styles normally associated with tweed. These look brilliant in the field with a pair of wellies, or in town with a pair of heels!
How are your pieces made?
They are now produced for me in Wales by a small group of ladies who have some beautiful manufacturing skills, as I couldn’t keep up with the demand on my own.
Are there any plans to add more pieces to your collection; dresses for example? Or maybe more menswear?
Yes; lots of plans in the pipeline for next season; it’s a very exciting time! We have plans for new ladies’ wear including more skirts, jackets casualwear and accessories, and our new men’s range.
Who are your favourite tweed wearers, from the past or present?
I am a massive fan of Vivienne Westwood she is fabulous, and I love eccentric people. Also, my good friend called George who is a complete hoot.
Who would you most like to see wearing Timothy Foxx?
I would love to see Kate Middleton in any of my gear: she is so beautiful and classic, young and sophisticated. Jodie Kidd bought a jacket from me last Christmas, and that was very exciting.
What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
I love waking the tree fairy up from her 12-month sleep, to pop her on top of our tree. She is a bit of an antique doll whose eyes close when she lies down so it really feels like she is awakening when her eyes open. But I love all aspects of the festive season, it’s such a lovely time of the year.