Patrick Grant entitled the House of Tautz's Autumn/Winter 2014 collection 'A Rake's Progress', referring to a series of paintings by 18th century English artist William Hogart, highlighting the fall of a spendthrift son. Perhaps the unhappy ending of the paintings as well as Stravinsky's opera that it inspired, set ground for the show with its sentimental piano opening track before rewinding to Tom Rakewell's exuberant lifestyle through the series of final looks.
Black and grey dominated the runway as the piano was played. Grant introduced us to 18th century menswear all over, sporting the boys in oversized wool coats over trim Saville Row suiting in dark tweed and Prince of Wales checks reminiscent of Rakewell himself, before adding enlarged geometric prints of lines and crosses for modern flair.
All the boys were tied up - not one single boy missing a tie. These boys were smart but far from out-of-date, wearing their ties with jumpers, bombers, bikers and skinny suits, looking strong and completely relevant to now.
Towards the conclusion, Grant brought back dandies as the collection drifted towards the abundance that marked the start of the Rake's rich journey. Coats, jackets and pants in floral jacquard started to shine in gold, red and blue, and fringed scarves fluttered underneath jackets and outerwear which were hand embroidered with floral appliqué and words from Auden's libretto of the opera.
We all talk about the return of the suit - men need a suit but they don't want to look like their fathers. Not only did Grant take us back to the birth of the suit, but he demonstrated how to balance tradition and newness in perfect harmony.
Photography: Courtesy of Star Works Group