THOMAS TAIT was undoubtedly the ticket of London this season – that’s what a pat on the back from LVMH will do. Tait, famously known as being the youngest graduate of the Central Saint Martins MA course (he was just 24) won its inaugural Young Fashion Designer Prize in May this year and with it received €300,000 – money he was keen to spend wisely so that it could take him on to the next level and put him on the radars of the powers that be – all of whom, of course, were squeezed on tightly to the wooden benches at the Vinyl Factory location this afternoon.
Did he deliver? Yes. He delivered. This was a stellar collection that left everyone feeling fashionably rejuvenated. It was razor sharp from idea to cut to finish. Tait had collaborated with artist George Rousse to create a painted wall installation, as well as take inspiration cues when it came to the clothes – something Tait hasn’t done before. He is a designer who is meticulous when it comes to detail and singular when it comes to his vision. So this was an exciting new step.
To begin, he sent out enveloping trenches whose collars and shape shrouded the models, neon punctuated legging-boots striding out beneath. Skirts came angular and layered sharp in shape, sheer long-sleeved tops to go with them; followed by checkerboard dresses of beige and red or blue and beige that looked as though they were part of the painted walls and that the models were stepping straight out of the installation. This, in fact, is exactly what Tait had intended when we caught up with him for a preview at the end of summer.
It was more 3D than before – in the sense that dresses boasted pointed and articulated shoulders, or as in the case of the aforementioned checkerboard numbers. But he built on all of the sartorial dialogue he’s spent the past seasons courting: those precision-cut jackets; see them up close for a real treat); those little pleated skirts (some half jacket, half dress hybrids); his surprising and slightly jarring colour palettes; and his combination of utility and pretty.
He added to that Malificent gowns with slits running up to the thigh, maxi skirts that did the same, and a series of beautiful neon pleated body-conscious minidresses that looked like they’d been dipped in sherbet.
It felt like a more expansive offering in terms of exploring ideas and the amount of looks. And that’s where that prize money will have stepped in nicely. We’re pretty sure the powers that be will have definitely taken note today.
With thanks to Mercedes Benz

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