It's our birthday! We are 5, and to celebrate we invited 5 customers to a very special photo shoot. Modelling 5 'special edition' red dresses, we saluted the 'LRD' that launched the brand. What a wonderful 5 years it's been; from kitchen top studio, designing and packing up everything from home, stitching and fitting, finding local makers, pop ups, to our new found studio and small team that we are now! Most importantly we have enjoyed creating the wonderful community that we have today.
My first collection was just a few pieces, all created in black and cream with just one corduroy tiered dress in red, which is now known as the Mill Town Dress. The press picked up on the style and my tiny run of ten dresses sold out overnight... little did I know that this dress was the first of many red dresses in the making! So it seemed apt to mark our birthday by rekindling this dress, and with it creating a collection of your favourite dresses all in the colour red!
Here our models are real customers, how I wish I could have invited YOU ALL! Thank you for your incredible support, this community is quite amazing and I'm constantly in awe of the women that we dress. Special thanks to Tattie of Tattie Rose Flowers who created this incredible backdrop for our party... we'll be hosting a special newsletter about Tattie very soon too.
So without further ado, let me introduce you to our models for the season!
Tattie, wearing the Saltaire dress in crimson corduroy. We couldn't believe our eyes when she created a magical backdrop for our red dresses by transforming a simple studio into a winter wonderland. Tattie makes and designs botanical sets for events and her work is truly art in nature, running her eponymous company with her husband Fred.
"I love JT dresses because my life is very practical and I spend a lot of it climbing in and out of vans and up ladders but I also would always choose to wear a dress over trousers. When I wear a JT dress I can carry on climbing ladders and exploring whilst also feeling free and feminine. They are so well made and the fabric is amazing quality so they last and last and are completely timeless."
Nazish, wearing our London Fields dress in berry red corduroy. Nazish is a writer who weaves her words with faith and spirituality alongside her passion for exploring and good food, cake and coffee! She discovered us over a red gingham dress a few summers ago and has been one of our most stylish customers ever since. Full of energy and with her infectious smile, she entranced us with how natural she was in front of the camera!
"I never thought I’d wear a floral dress until I discovered Justine’s dresses! They’re highly wearable and feminine without being overly girlie, and allow me to express that side of my style well. Also, pockets! I also love the sustainable, support-local ethos of the brand."
Juliet, wearing our new velvet Pavilion dress in rich ruby red. We love spying Juliet wearing our clothes on her instagram. Whilst her job as editor of a medical journal may be completely different to ours, she certainly knows how to style a JT dress! In her time out, she's happiest reading a book, running, yoga and walking the dog. She also loves cooking with her own vegetables grown on her allotment.
"I love JT dresses as they are so wearable and easy to style for different occasions. The fabrics are really gorgeous and the dresses are of such a high quality and made to last. I love that I will be able to wear these for many years, and that they are made sustainably."
Jade wearing the new cranberry crop jumper and vermilion silk Bobbie skirt. Jade was our very first model, wearing the original red dress in our Spitalfields launch and has been a model, customer and wonderful friend since. She is co- founder of LOANHOOD, a new clothing rental platform, and PhD student in Sustainable Fashion. Remarkably she has time to follow her hobbies; yoga, vintage hunting and walking little Ludo, her Brussels Griffon!
"I love the JT dresses because they are timeless, inclusive and I feel part of something that is positive for the fashion industry. I feel like fashion should bring people together and JT dresses have the power to do that."
Justine And finally, here I am wearing the very dress that launched the brand. Five years ago, I designed a red corduroy three tiered dress, a style that was quite outside the fashion zeitgeist at the time.
Inspired by vintage dress from my mum and photos of Edwardian 'mill girls', I chose the simple shape because it epitomised everything I hoped the brand would be: pretty and practical dress, style conscious and comfortable. Made in luscious corduroy, I chose red as a beacon of hope for the brand and it has served me well. And not forgetting adding pockets... sounds surprising but at that time no dresses seemed to have pockets!
This dress has appeared in so many guises since it's launch and I'm thrilled to bring back 'the scarlet' for our celebration of red.
So, why do I like 'Justine Tabak'?!
I started this brand having worked for many years in the industry with a desire to connect back to community, to make consciously and locally so that I had a true relationship with everyone I worked with. I was disillusioned with fast fashion practices and passionate about slowing down the cycle of fleeting fashion trends. We make dresses that stand the test of time, can be worn dressed up or down, in practical shapes and natural fabrics kinder to the environment. I am proud to say we have worked with a loyal team of British makers who have grown with us over time.
At our core, we love making dresses for our incredible community of women; I could not have done it without you! It's been the hardest work of my life but the kindness and enthusiasm of our followers has truly kept me and our small team going!
Thank you everyone,