Rakish progress: 5 things I loved about E.Tautz AW14
There was always a sense of history and storytelling in E.Tautz, from the intimate days when Patrick talked us through the collection to more recent shows in the vast space of The Old Sorting Office. In that more intimate past the story was often in the fabrication itself and needed to be interpreted or, better still, touched for the specialness of the pieces to be really understood. Backstories of the home knitters, the mills, the history of a fabric like Ventile were an essential part of the E.Tautz DNA then but recent collections have had a more wide-screen appeal, both in the presentation on a big stage and the literal impact of the clothing. A commenter on my Guardian-published round-up last week described the E.Tautz runway image I’d included as “the limp, embroidered tranny guy” which is not something that would necessarily have been said of the E.Tautz of a few years ago. And that’s a good thing! These days, Patrick’s work has greater showmanship yes, but there is still the knowledge that backstage you will discover clothing of satisfying weightiness, where the focus is still as much about the secrets you might discover on closer investigation and never just on tabloid-baiting flounce.
On this occasion the story involves Hogarth, The Georgians and the idea of a ‘beau monde’ at a time when dressing up was a much more individual way of expressing yourself, when to make a fashion statement was to really strike out, and not just in the tribal sense of today via associations with a certain brand or lifestyle.
Here are five things I loved about E.Tautz AW14:
1. Those dramatic coats, some with strong graphic lines. Capacious and scene-setting.
2. The rakish hats. Now a signature aspect of an E.Tautz collection and part of the consummate polish of the show.
3. The boxy, round collared, over-shirts in rich colours, giving new direction to that still fashion-forward shape.
4. The biker jacket with wide pants ensembles established a new outline, full of shoulder-shrugging urchin cool.
5. The embroidery. “Tranny guy embroidery” comment notwithstanding, this element added a very individual signature to the relevant pieces.