Thomas Tait Spring Summer 2016
Thomas Tait’s show this afternoon was one of those odd outings that don’t seem at first to be up to much, but then accrue in force as the looks accumulate. The impact of Tait’s latest collection generated from the ways the clothes forced your engagement, whether via the play of light on assertive, multicolor crystal embellishment, or the sound made by the jewelry that dangled off of certain pieces, jangling like cat bells. The most intriguing of Tait’s stratagems to command your attention were the porthole-like openings that decorated all manner of his garments—they were like little windows for Peeping Toms to peer through, and the more Tait reiterated the motif, the more you keyed into the collection’s compelling voyeuristic tone. Tait intended that reaction: As he explained backstage after the show, he wanted these clothes to create a sense of “awkward intimacy.” Job done.
Others of Tait’s engaging effects were more subtle. He was playing quite a lot with texture here, notably in his ribbed knits and his terrific jeans, with their patches of super-shiny black patent leather; other looks pulled you in with their wabi-sabi appeal, like the frayed quilted jacket and coat, or a leather A-line skirt made from antique calfskin. Tait also used the skin in his strangest look, a heavy jumpsuit featuring a monumental pattern and exaggerated perforation down the sides. The piece was interesting on its own, but something of an outlier in the context of the rest of the show, which emphasized rather accessible silhouettes. Tait’s stovepipe skinny knit flares, for instance, ought to excite widespread demand. Ditto his ribbed knits, and the cuffed jeans and denim jacket. If Tait’s goal was to create intimacy, he nailed it in those most straightforward looks: The best way to be intimate with clothes, after all, is by wearing them.