“This kid is gonna be so freakin’ famous,” whispered someone in the front row at Thomas Tait’s fall 2012 show Sunday afternoon. Whoever said it isn’t wrong. The young NEWGEN-sponsored designer, who launched his line in 2010 after graduating from Central Saint Martins College, has made waves the last three seasons with immaculate tailoring, a restrained aesthetic and smart use of volume. But fall 2012 marks a milestone for Tait, who arguably turned out his best collection to date. “I feel like it’s been along time coming,” said the designer backstage of his stern but feminine looks.
Marking a return of the renegade London fashion show, Tait held his runway romp in a barn in East London, complete with a green wooden sliding door, iron and plank benches (many of which were on their last legs and patched together with duct tape), caged light bulbs, and a concrete and grass catwalk. Naturally, there was no heating in his delightfully desolate venue, but editors were provided with a very English spot of tea to fight the cold.
Fall is Tait’s most colorful collection yet, featuring mosses, mustards, and navys. Most impressive, however, was the newcomer’s attention to detail: wool and quilted nylon jackets were trimmed at the wrists and hem with soft, pleated leather. His finale coat, a dramatic full-length black number, was flocked at the hem to look as though it were dusted with dew. Workwear, like construction gloves, suede-embellished denim looks, and leather baseball caps were contrasted by luxurious full velvet skirts, tops and trousers, sweaters with ribbed leather panels and necks, and buttery leather looks. His signature volume remained in sharp, exaggerated collar cashmere wool coats, as well as blousy collared shirts.
With his strict lines, impeccable attention to finishings and considered silhouettes, Tait’s collection was highly focused. “I just want to keep working hard and keep being interested in what I do,” he said after the show. But for all his seriousness, the designer is not without humor. As the models took their final lap, the theme song from Inspector Gadget filled the space. “I started playing it in the studio and I thought it would be fun.” Should he keep turning out collections like this, Tait has a bright future ahead. All we have to say is go Gadget, go!