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SLOW FASHION: “In a time when the window of opportunity to develop new fabrics is shutting down, I wanted to give a chance to look into the context of my brand,” said Thomas Tait, walking through the mini-exhibition he boldly staged at the Giardino di Boboli in Florence on Wednesday night.

Pitti Uomo’s women’s guest designer infused the room with a custom-made fragrance by Lyn Harris and invited visitors to touch and feel the exposed items, which were arranged in pairs: a key piece from Tait’s previous collections next to a twin he spun especially for the occasion. To wit: A classic cashmere and wool coat with silk-twill lining from Tait’s fall 2011 collection appeared beside an updated knit version, done in reversible virgin wool.

The individual case studies, meant as “creative conversation,” as the designer put it, continued on celluloid rib-knit jumpers and animal-print boots, among others.

The winner of the first LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize said he was otherwise busy spending the prize money from the competition. “It’s needed on all fronts,” he said, looking charmingly off-kilter in a white boiler suit. His immediate business focus, he added, would be on growing his wholesale accounts. “It was great to be picked up by a big group and be given an aerial view of what one is doing. Now we need to build our business in terms of revenue,” he said.

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