Coherent, Exciting and Refreshing Menswear
Following its AW13 collaboration with Johnstons of Elgin, E.Tautz worked with the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) for its AW14 collection. Both collaborations have proved extremely successful, resulting in coherent, exciting and refreshing menswear.
E.Tautz creative director Patrick Grant, told Modeconnect in a previous interview: “Savile Row will only be relevant if the craftspeople that work on it, with the traditional skills, choose to move forward. If they don’t it won’t be.” These collaborations seem an excellent way to blend or re-blend traditional techniques and materials and produce something new.
E.Tautz inspiration for AW14 was A Rakes Progress, an 18th century series of paintings by William Hogarth. An early form of graphic novel, they tell the adventure of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich trader, who succumbs to the charms of London – luxury, prostitution and gambling – and is incarcerated before dying in Bethlem Hospital.
For this collection, twenty six RSN’s students worked directly on two shirts, a waistcoat and a jacket, embellishing them with intricate hand embroidery they designed from E.Tautz brief, initial designs and colour palette. They applied their skills and knowledge to create motifs and worked them into the garments. The project took over 300 hours to complete.
Angie Wyman, course leader of the RSN degree programme explained: “The students worked collectively on the project…to maintain the cohesive visual signature necessary for the collection. This is one of the hallmarks of the RSN. Our embroiderers are trained to work collectively on a project yet it will look like the work of one person.”
E.Tautz AW14 collection seems to strive on this quality of diverse cohesion. Within a rich palette of autumnal colours – charcoal and light greys, dark royal blue, vivid red, humble rust and a hint of bronze – it mixes a broad range of garments and silhouettes, oversized outwear of varying lengths, from duffle coats to biker jackets, over flowing baggy trousers or ankle cropped skinny leg pants. Similarly geometric prints of varying scale, from the very bold to the hound tooth mix harmoniously with organic prints and embroideries.
Despite its 18th theme Modeconnect finds Jacobean qualities to the collection while embroidery specialist Hand & Lock’s Jessica Pile said: “a great example of how tailoring, embroidery and design can come together; the collection made me think of the beat generation writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs wearing their poetry.”
Such power of evocation is a sure sign that E.Tautz is doing it right.
Slideshow Images courtesy of New York Times, E.Tautz