Faye Toogood


Much of designer Faye Toogood’s inspiration comes from juxtaposition— the fusion of apparent contrasts that form a modern, elegant and minimal design.

In an interview with WE SEE BEAUTY, Toogood explains that a lot of her work plays on the masculine and the feminine in terms of its form and materials. From a steel box cage-like dressing table (“Cage the Birds”) to the Element Table in her Limited Editions, the meticulous and thoughtful use of surprising materials create, in essence, a new benchmark of form.

Surfaces and the treatment of surfaces is another canvas of contrasts for London-based Toogood, and inspiration for her current Aether Collection, in collaboration with makeup artist Ayami Nishimura for MAKE. The collection has a zen futuristic feeling with a pop of optimism. Defying convention, the collaborators first removed almost all color from their starting palette, and then looked at the color/light spectrum for variations of whites and silvers that conveyed an otherworldly presence. They then played with contrasting textures of opacity, transparency, gloss and glitter. A striking spectrum of cool to warm whites, the whole collection is pierced with a very strong neon yellow—a statement eye shadow with a technical edge that is intensely pigmented, yet has a velvety matte finish.

Toogood believes that the sense of beauty and how we see beauty has changed, and she views the Aether collection like ‘war paint for the future,’ with the spectrum of whites creating a protective space of beauty, one that is absolute and eternal, and very much of the moment.

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One example is the Spade Chair, currently featured in Matter, a NYC design shop. Toogood’s inspiration was looking at a chair as a modern ‘tool’ for sitting, and designed the Spade Chair with a minimal silhouette inspired by the juxtaposition of a three-legged milking stool and the handle of a gardening implement.

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Faye Toogood's Spade Chair was used in our Sulfur Look and is available for purchase at MATTER in New York.

SCRIPT: I think there currently is a closer blur between genders and the masculine and the feminine. I certainly know that through my own work, it's something that has become quite apparent. But I think actually for young women and for young men, gender is becoming something that people are not so aware of. It's not such a strong classification now.

I think actually genders at the moment are much more blurred. And I think that's really interesting for how the future will be for feminine beauty.

It's something that I addressed when I did a piece called, "Cage the Birds." And this was inherently a dressing table made using steel. And it's a box cage on very thin, delicate legs. So the overall piece opens up almost like an insect. And as the woman using this dressing table, it offers you protection.

The piece is constructed from security grill. So a lot of people found it quite aggressive. But actually, in my mind, the whole idea of adornment and applying makeup is a moment that you have to yourself, as a woman, in the morning. And I wanted to create this sort of protective space for that moment. And I think probably there's also a sort of questioning of beauty and what is currently femininity and considered feminine.

And I think there's a blurring between genders. But at the same time, we still want to be considered and seen as glamorous. So I think the sense of beauty and how we see beauty has changed. And this is something I was aware of when I was putting the makeup collection together. I think it would be very interesting for the makeup world and the beauty world to perhaps address the fact that things have changed for women in the way that we live our life.

But that moment in your dressing table taking time for yourself is something that I think most people don't have time now. So beauty, perhaps, is an indulgence in some way.