A few days ago I picked up the April issue of UK Vogue
(yes, we get them really late here), and was instantly intrigued by this photo in the “Fashion’s New Generation” feature. The Gareth Pugh look-alike on the left is Thomas Tait
, a Canadian designer who is the youngest MA graduate from Central St Martins (at age 22). As with fellow graduate Anja Mlakar
, Tait is one of the students whose work I didn’t feature in my brief coverage of the CSM show
, so I suppose it’s a good thing I’ve been pretty much confined to the couch for the last two weeks and needed some reading material. Anyway, Tait’s graduate all-black collection
, consisting of stiff cashmere/wool pieces paired with silk/lycra leotards, was extremely clean and expertly tailored, but methinks the lighting of the show didn’t allow the perfect cuts to show through all the blackness (hence why I didn’t remember his pieces at all). Also, the styling choices themselves might have been slightly detrimental to showcasing each individual piece; for example, the silk/lycra dress on the model (Molly Smith) was actually in the graduate collection, but all but the train was obscured by being styled with a knee-length black cashmere/wool coat over top. Then again, Tait did win the Dorchester Prize (i.e. a lot of money) with his collection, so obviously the people who mattered could see better that myself.
Anyway, after (re-)discovering Tait, I was quite happy to see that, for his F/W 11 collection (below), Tait introduced two more colours which really help showcase the architectural shapes of his pieces. Tait also developed this half-skirt/upside-down tuxedo thing (for lack of a better word) that is present through most of the collection and that pretty much gives him bragging rights for his ability to sculpt stiff wool into whatever shape he wants. Oh yes, folks, that is wool, and not neoprene or somesuch. And while I do prefer the neckline of the dress from Tait’s graduate collection, I am loving those extreme ‘hell’s windows‘ and the longer length in front for the trained (?) dress. That is also my favorite style of a high heeled shoe. Sigh.