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August 30 2014

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The Royal Of Savile Row

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On the last day of London fashion week, Patrick Grant of Savile Row’s Norton & Sons presented E. Tautz, the menswear line that he has rescued from the mists of history, in a salon of the recently renovated Hardy Amies building. The small audience included Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and their son Freddie Windsor, who is the new face of Amies’ also-revived men’s range, examples of which were being presented in another salon downstairs. Grant’s spiel for Tautz offered an explanation of cloth and cut that was the purest entertainment: this fabric specially woven by one man in Harris, spiritual home of tweed; that kilt hand-sewn by “a very talented young lady called Nettie”; the irresistible socks and mittens hand-knit by a posse of Welsh women with too much time on their hands. The smartest designers are looking for stories that make their clothes come alive. Grant has already mastered that skill. And, as one of life’s natural aristocrats, he made a striking contrast with the rather less prepossessing to-the-manor-born folks in the front row. If the royal family had Patrick Grant swimming in their gene pool, the world’s anti-monarchists would be thinking twice.

Photo: Courtesy of E. Tautz

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