E.Tautz AW12: clothing with substance
Backstage at E.Tautz yesterday I was struck by the sense of calm and orderliness. Models in hair clips were being given final instructions on pace and demeanor, outbreaks of Estuary English accent adding grit to the vision the Toni & Guy team had perfected, as though one could suddenly hear the voices of the powdered, coiffed cast of a silent-era military epic. One had a sense of Patrick Grant as captain at the helm of a tight, sleek and exceptionally well groomed company of men, with none of the sense of panic or chaos one imagines backstage.
From the pre-show notes I was already aware that the collection was inspired by the work of Richard Serra, and took other reference points from military cloaks. Freemason’s Hall was the perfect setting for the very dramatic collection, the heavy ironwork and the sense of a building with a very particular purpose adding to the weightiness of the collection.
Sturdy coats were offset with blocked, oversized scarves, and bell-shaped distressed fedoras added to the sense of drama. In terms of colour, light absorbing black was inter-shot with cool greys, bold blue-black checks appeared and a perfectly syncopated finale paired cavalry scarlet with dense black.
This is clothing intended for a world where to step outside is to face the challenge that weather can throw at us, and generally does in Great Britain, pitting the physics of cloth against the natural elements. In other hands this collection would be an ode to ‘performance gear’, but at E.Tautz, elegance is always central and the clothing is never reduced to showy mechanics.