Thomas Tait's show this evening was held in a car park near Trafalgar Square. Looked at one way, that served as an appropriate setting for his race-car-driver-themed collection. After all, racers do drive cars. As suggestive as the setting was, however, it was misleading in one important way: Whereas a parking lot is where cars go for a time-out, Tait's collection was incontrovertibly built for speed. This was a confident outing for Tait—a very focused show that interpreted racing apparel in a pretty literal way but, nevertheless, made it convincing as fashion. Tait's jumpsuits, track pants, anoraks, and color-blocked tops all reported back to his theme, but it wasn't difficult to extract pieces from the collection that could viably be worn on the street, in particular any of the array of low-slung, attitude-fronting trousers.
One of his best ideas here was to make the trousers in a semitransparent nylon and show them over color-blocked leggings; that look will get a lot of editorial play, but it's also likely to diffuse and make its way into women's day-to-day wardrobes. Elsewhere, Tait had some standout looks in his quilted pieces, puffer jackets, sweatshirts, and coats with quilted ribs so thick they seemed likely to withstand bullets or a high-impact crash. And that was the intent, of course. All in all, this collection confirmed the impression made by Tait's show last season, that this indisputably talented designer had found his voice and his métier. The Tait woman, it seems, is living life on the edge—and to suit her, he's designing clothes high on adrenaline.
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