With each curtain call, E. Tautz affirms that it deserves a bigger arena. A morning slot on the last day of LCM frames the show as a palette cleanser, especially with its soft tailoring and clean lines, but the heritage label dating back to 1867 has a lot more to show for it. Patrick Grant at the helm has stealthily relaunched a once-forgotten English tailoring company into a contemporary cutting edge brand that features an immaculate taste in men’s clothing.
1950s optimism was central to the theme as Grant looked to The Festival of Britain, a government initiative to boost the morale in the aftermath of war, for inspiration. Truth be told such blue sky thinking couldn't have come at a better time given the fatigue of fashion production that has been all the talk lately. Particularly, Grant referenced the “Skylon,” an impressive floating structure that embodied the fiercely progressive sentiments of the post-war climate. If the flagship store on Duke Street were anything to go by, the 50s nuances are becoming a recurring motif with Grant, especially in the leaning towards modernity and simplicity. Rich with nostalgic Britishisms, and the peculiarities of the time, the collection read like a leaf out of David Hockney’s poolside series.
High-waisted shorts were styled with laidback sport shirts as models moved with ease; gingham coordinates added visual tension to the simpler silhouettes. Top buttons were left open and the zippers on 50s Safari jackets were just short of being fully unzipped. It felt like masterclass in Baldassare Castiglione’s “sprezzatura,” meaning a studied nonchalance. Trendy Suprematist graphics were used sparingly in reference to the architectural inspiration, giving the more reserved styles a contemporary feel.
Patrick Grant’s intelligent dressing makes him a favourite among men who know how to take it slow. Much like the designer, the collection bears a knowing ease that is extremely stylish.