Blank Etiquette

BLANK-ETIQUETTE_Tosca-Wyss_Lookbook_photo-by-Nina-Raasch_WEB_067via Blank Etiquette A/W 2016 Lookbook

Following no path but her own in the creation of her collections, Tosca Wyss places emphasis on the values of working on her terms. As is perhaps common, focussing on a sole element often proves a challenge. But then again, why should she? In an attempt to bring together all of her inspirational forces, she creates a collage, a “beautiful chaos”, which serves as the springboard for her designs.


Collaboration, impulsivity and uniqueness are the buzzwords for the creative process behind her brand, Blank Etiquette. The results are both timeless and unique, making heavy use of experimental textile combinations.
BLANK-ETIQUETTE_Tosca-Wyss_Lookbook_photo-by-Nina-Raasch_WEB_042via Blank Etiquette A/W 2016 Lookbook

Tosca is a member of a generation that grew up with an acute environmental awareness, knowing that with the encouragement of mass production comes an increasing negative impact on nature, and that the speed at which the cycle spins is a threat to the creativity so integral to the fashion industry.


Yet ultimately, young designers have to find a way to pursue their creative visions while remaining tuned in to the wants of the consumer. Striking such a balance proves challenging, yet Tosca remains resolute that she wants to no part to play in this cycle of mass-production:
“For me it’s more important to create uniqueness. In this way a garment becomes a real favourite of the buyer. The buyer would not even think about buying something else, but embraces the uniqueness and personality of a garment.”

BLANK-ETIQUETTE_Tosca-Wyss_Editorial_photo-by-Nina-Raasch_045via Blank Etiquette A/W 2016 Lookbook

How does she go about creating this uniqueness? Primary tools in her arsenal include an innovative approach to the combining of various materials, and the refinement of her embroidery skills. With shapes and forms of all kinds as her foremost inspiration, Tosca brings them together in a manner that allows for the creation of the uniquely detailed silhouettes for which she has gained acclaim.

Through her work, Tosca advocates the individual’s right to live out their visions and dreams, and the importance following one’s creative impulses.

“I love to let things happen. When I’m making my patterns or when I’m sewing, the most beautiful things happen by accident. Sometimes I work randomly to free my mind of the ideas I had in the beginning. A good example of freedom: Cities like New York and Berlin where so many things come together and where creative visions have the opportunity to fully materialise.”
But this goes far from saying that she isn’t a perfectionist at heart; Tosca is never entirely satisfied with the end result, encouraging her to strive to do one better in each and every collection.

When asked how she wants to develop ‘NEW’ things of interest, “What is new? We all have a body with legs and arms”, was her response. For Tosca, focus should be placed on creating something unique or timeless; novelty doesn’t come into the equation. In fact, she works closely with companies that produce plenty of scrap material, since “working with leftovers is very important for me. I always want to keep the environment in mind.”

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In recent times, the fashion industry has been subject to intense scrutiny, and Tosca hopes that this generation will be the one to take action. In her eyes, fashion is an industry that allows for the telling of stories and the spreading of messages of great meaning.

This generation will also have kids one day. At some point they have to realise the importance of taking good care of the environment. […] We can make a difference. We can be part of making changes – do it the right way and reach the right people. ‘’


But environmental issues are far from the only ones afflicting the minds of young designers; rapid technological development often means that we move further and further away from handwork techniques, the exact opposite of what Tosca wants.
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via Blank Etiquette A/W Runway Presentation 

Though such terms have long been commonplace in the food industry, the words ‘organic’ and ‘ecological’ now see themselves applied to materials, becoming marketing techniques in both cases. What’s your opinion about this form of marketing?

“The fact that people connect ‘organic’ or ‘ecological’ to their brands does not necessarily mean that it is good for the environment. The hype around these words is bigger than the benefits they actually bring to the world. People have to think clearly about this problem and do something about it. For example: work with leftovers and do not make new collections every season. Focus on quality and uniqueness and people will wear your clothes for ages. In this way you protect the environment and make people truly happy.”

Tosca decided to focus on menswear. Why? For men there is a lot more to create and discover. Additionally, Tosca wants to be able to separate her brand from herself, hence her decision to create clothes for the male physical form.
Though elements traditionally associated with womenswear may feature in her garments, this in itself is not a statement: “I’m not very into the unisex idea, I much prefer the idea of male and female clothes. Of cours,e women can wear my designs. But during the process I focus on men.”

You sell your clothes online; how do you see online shopping affecting the viability of physical shops in the long term?

“For me selling my clothes online is much easier than selling them in shops. I think a lot of designers will agree. Besides, you’re not one of a kind hanging on a rack. You can show yourself independently in your web shop. I hope there will continue to be, but I think they will be more like concept stores. So the focus is then not only on buying but also on the experience, which I think is very important.”

Could you describe a perfect fashion circumstance, from conception, to production, to the people who wear it?

“The keyword for the perfect circumstance is ‘local’. We think we help people in less privileged countries by giving them work in the fashion industry, but it is only in order to keep the cost as low as possible. I think we have to go local. From the idea to the production process to what we need for making a garment, keep it as local as possible. That would be a great situation for now. Down the line, we can perhaps think of how we can work further afield. For me, the world is a place where we should live together, regardless of culture differences. “


All lookbook images via Nina Raasch
All runway images via Alexander Palacios