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April 18 2014

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23 posts tagged "Thomas Tait"

The Dorchester Prize Looks to London

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A look from Emilia Wickstead's Fall '13 collectionThe royal baby isn’t the only big news out of London this week. This morning, in the Big Smoke, the Dorchester Collection announced the nominees for its 2013 Fashion Prize, all of whom happen to be London-based. Fyodor Golan, Barbara Casasola, Emilia Wickstead (left), and Huishan Zhang will now compete for the grand prize: a 25,000 pound bursary and mentorship, plus a two-night stay at one of the Collection’s über-luxe hotels. The big winner will be revealed on October 29, pending the results of a private catwalk presentation before a panel of judges, including stylist Caroline Issa and designer Daniella Helayel. The prestigious accolade was conceived to help designers in their professional infancy. To be eligible, brands must be between two and five years old. Previous recipients of the award include Thomas Tait and Anndra Neen.

Photo: Courtesy of Emilia Wickstead

Yasmin Sewell: Beach Babe

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Thomas Tait Shirts

On May 18, London-based fashion consultant and purveyor of cool Yasmin Sewell joined forces with Paper Mache Tiger to open Beach in the East—a graffitied, California-inspired Shoreditch pop-up replete with bespoke wares by the likes of Acne Studios, Eddie Borgo, and Reece Hudson. But those unable to scoot over to the UK before the store closes on August 24 are in luck, because Sewell has teamed with Farfetch.com to launch a virtual (and thus international) version of her shop. Starting tomorrow, the retailer will offer items that on-the-rise and independent designers created specifically for the project. For instance, Thomas Tait, whose last collection was skater-themed, produced a cycling top (above, right); House of Holland turned out a pair of polka-dot jeans; quirky shoe designer Sophia Webster (who got her start as Nicholas Kirkwood’s apprentice) designed a set of palm-tree-heeled sunset flats (below, right); and new talent Joe Duke created a range of hand-printed vintage denim jackets and vests (below, left). The shop will be replenished with all new limited-edition styles throughout the summer, and most items are priced below $300. Continue Reading “Yasmin Sewell: Beach Babe” »

Color, Texture and Print Reigned at the London Showrooms

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“I like a lot of embellishment and I like a lot of print,” said Holly Fulton. She might have been speaking for all her fellow English designers at the London Showrooms, the traveling, British Fashion Council-sponsored showcase which arrived in New York this week, following a stint in L.A. It’s almost a cliché that London designers trend bright and buzzy, but it’s become something of a calling card for the young talents nurtured by the BFC. To tweak the old saw, go big or stay home.

Fulton served up her groupie-inspired Fall collection, which featured lava-rock embellishments, hand-drawn prints, and a rather impressive dress constructed entirely of feathers. Others, like Simone Rocha (above), who’s currently selling stateside in Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony, offered less print but more color. Her key pieces were voluminous waffle-knitted neoprene looks in what she laughingly referred to as “Pepto pink.” Thomas Tait also played on unexpected fusion of spongy, bonded leather and quilted nylon in Day-Glo oranges and lime greens. “I feel like I’ve been shouting,” said Tait, whose line is also carried at Jeffrey. “I’ll be doing something mellower next season.”

Meanwhile, Fyodor Golan, designed by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, balanced elegant, elaborately embellished print dresses with more playful leather pieces embossed with smiley faces. Turns out Smiley—the company that owns the rights to the icon—approached the duo for a collaboration, and they jumped at the chance to create, as Frydman put it, a “sexual smiley.” Another duo, Teatum Jones (that is to say, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones) showed bright, seemingly tie-dyed dresses in perforated bonded jersey, as well as a few particularly interesting coats in latex-coated alpaca wool. Yet a third duo, Palmer//Harding, also in attendance, used a similarly clever technique on their wools to make them look like leather.

Men’s designers were on display, too, and they came with news to share. James Long whispered that half the designers showing on the Paris calendar had called to personal-order his sweater knitted with a giant picture of Divine. Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of Agi & Sam had news of an offbeat football (read: soccer) and owl-inspired capsule collection they’ll launch at Topman next month. And jeweler Dominic Jones revealed he’ll show his first-ever men’s collection during June’s London Collections: Men. In the meantime, he was showing his mainline collection as well as his recently-launched lower priced range, DJ by Dominic Jones. “I wanted to make something that all my friends could afford,” he said when asked about the gold-plated and bright enamel collection of baubles, which average about $100 apiece.

Photo: Courtesy of the BFC

Black and White and Gray All Over

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The London shows wrapped yesterday and, to our surprise, the city—known for its vibrant (in every sense of the word) young talents—gave us clothes in uncharacteristically subdued hues. Not that that’s a bad thing. As Marc Jacobs‘ show poignantly proved, gray is emerging as a prevalent Fall tone (perhaps a rebellion against the techno prints and acid shades we’ve seen in seasons past). And this held strong across the pond, with designers like Mary Katrantzou (above, center), J.W. Anderson, Richard Nicoll (above, left), and Thomas Tait favoring the shade. (Not that they were married to it. Tait, Nicoll, and Anderson each had splashes of orange, too.) Katrantzou—London’s princess of vivid prints—was a particularly unexpected (and successful) color convert, showing a meticulous collection that consisted mainly of black and gray, with hints of emerald, lilac and cobalt. But most surprising (and thrilling, for that matter) was Meadham Kirchhoff (above, right). The designers ditched their rainbow sequins and beloved disco palettes in favor of an almost entirely black, white, and ash Fall range. That’s not to say it was bland—vinyl ruffles (like the ones that trimmed the designers’ skirts and trousers), no matter what the shade, could never be bland. But it was indeed a directional departure from their typical kaleidoscopic mix. Don’t be mistaken—London’s pared-down palettes don’t mean the fog has taken over, and there were plenty of colorful clothes on offer to prove it. However, a few of the city’s talents have figured out that they don’t always need to employ prints and brights to pack a serious punch.

Photos: Marcus Tondo/ GoRunway.com

Seeing a Pattern

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On February 15, Phaidon Press will release Pattern, a book that highlights one hundred compelling fashion designers on the rise. Phaidon handed over the book’s curatorial duties to a group of ten designers and industry insiders (including stylist Keegan Singh, Preen’s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, the SHOWstudio team, and Business of Fashion‘s founder Imran Amed, just to name a few), each of whom chose ten talents to fill Pattern‘s pages.

The book (which is a follow-up to the 2005 fashion tome SAMPLE) features established designers (Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane, Sarah Burton), well-known emerging labels (Eddie Borgo, Thomas Tait, Creatures of the Wind, Mary Katrantzou, whose work is pictured above), and proper newbies (Simone Rocha, Marques’ Almeida, Phoebe English, Maarten van der Horst). The designers’ diverse aesthetics, techniques and outlooks are presented via detailed introductions, backstage, campaign and editorial photographs, and never-before-seen sketches, all of which serve to give readers an in-depth understanding of their work. “For me, seeing that the designers had a consistent point of view that’s true to their style was important,” said Singh, whose picks include Cushnie et Ochs (left), Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Tabitha Simmons, Dominic Jones, and Gianvito Rossi, among others. “You know, it’s like Azzedine Alaïa. He has his thing, and he always sticks to it,” he added. So does Singh think the next Alaïa is somewhere between Pattern‘s covers? “It’s a possibility!” he laughed. At the very least, he notes, “the book gives the young designers a chance to reach broader audiences; it exposes them to a whole new group of people.”

Pattern: 100 Fashion Designers, 10 Curators will be available on February 15, on phaidon.com.

Photos: Both images feature in Pattern: 100 Fashion Designers, 10 Curators. Mary Katrantzou—Nick Knight and Dinos Chapman originally for Garage Magazine; Cushnie et Ochs—Courtesy of Cushnie et Ochs.