E Tautz Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
Britain in the 1950s is often characterized as a culturally repressed period that was fatally straitened by postwar austerity and a sourly authoritarian establishment. Yet there were glimmers of light: Francis Bacon was already carousing in The Colony Room as the state-sponsored Festival of Britain attempted to jolt the nation forward. Patrick Grant today attempted to invoke a positive, idealized vision of an overlooked decade that was the bridge between bad Old World and a brave new one. As he noted backstage afterward, it was also when sportswear became a thing. Christian Louboutin provided the evocatively blank plimsolls worn with narrow-legged, tailored shorts; pintuck drill pants; or Grant’s favorite ultra-roomy, deep-seat “field trousers” in raw denim. Loose, ultralight cagoules, parkas, macs, and blousons came in faded salmon pink, cherry red, and marine blue. Gingham safari suits and boxy two-pocket sports shirts were fine evocations of bygone leisurewear staples whose unfussy functionality was, like much else in this collection, extremely beguiling.