Minimalism can easily get pretentious, but not in the case of Thomas Tait. So often when it comes to designers up Tait’s stripped-down alley, creating something conceptual seems to be synonymous with boring soundtracks, overbearing show notes, and a total ban on humour. Tait’s show at the pleasant Il Bottaccio on Hyde Park Corner had none of those things. Sure there was the token white carpet and a faint smell of cleaning agents, but the soundtrack was catchy in a crooner kind of way and in the place of a press release, Tait had cheekily hidden his inspiration on the invitation, ‘9 Grosvenor Place Lesbians SW1X 7SH.’
The collection had the pristine sterility and neat shape-shifting sculpturing you’d expect from the designer – cf. the clinical bubblegum pink raincoat with the parachute back and the immensely long train – but as Tait’s sportswear elements evolved so did the eccentricity of the collection. A white leather biker suit with seventies triangular rainbow stripes on the shoulders could easily have been a nod to the Lamborghini girls in Cannonball, while a thin translucent fabric used in several looks clung to the body like a wet shower curtain, creating a rather seedy vapour in the room. And how beautiful was a sleeveless top with a centre zip that practically morphed into a protruding lapel as it came closer to the neck? What it all had to do with lesbians probably depended on the eye of the beholder, but one look did have some very insinuatingly situated red feathers under each arm.