When I first met Patrick Grant, Creative Director of E. Tautz during August last year, he explained to me that, “E. Tautz was originally a great luxury sporting house and its founder, Edward Tautz, was a real innovator in cut and fabric”. Fast-forward 150 years and not a whole lot has changed. That’s if you don't count an epic rebirth that has positioned the brand at the apex of British ready-to-wear menswear, and picked up a handful of design awards for collections that present an entirely new way of approaching British utilitarian design.
E. Tautz is recognised for its well engineered, relaxed and comfortable garments which simply beg to be worn, and are constructed in such a way that there’s no restriction in movement. It’s clothing to be enjoyed and to feel comfortable in. But most importantly, it makes one look stylistically on-point, every piece from E. Tautz’s collections work well with one another and different parts of each collection are united through interesting cuts, colours and subtle textures season on season. Even so, uncompromising quality is where the brand truly stands out. From luxe-sportswear to relaxed tailoring, the vast majority of E. Tautz’s manufacturers “are in the UK, so our knitwear comes from three sources which have Royal Warrants; Corgi Hosiery, Johnston’s of Elgin and Begg & Co”, Grant tells me.
Originally founded in 1867, Grant’s relaunch in 2009 has propelled Tautz into position as an exemplary British brand with a forward thinking attitude, with a cautious and respectful understanding of its impressive heritage. We caught up with Grant ahead of his Autumn/Winter ’17 catwalk show to get the inside scoop on what we can expect.
What can we expect from your upcoming AW17 collection?
We're continuing to explore a more relaxed shape to our clothes, and a much softer construction. We like a drape and an easy wear. We are also continuing a move into a much earthier palette, away from a dominance of mainly greys and blues.
What has been your main source of inspiration?
It might sounds slightly odd but it’s a book by a photographer called Peter Mitchell called 'Scarecrows'. For over forty years he photographed scarecrows in the countryside surrounding his native town Leeds. They are wonderful and weird, and they don’t care so much for the rules of style. The result is a casual lack of concern: an ‘in your face’ indifference for the way they dress. They look at ease. They wear tweeds, anoraks or odd coats with old checked shirts. They like baling twine too. Some are slightly sinister, some look drunk, some look strangely kind, and I love them.
Have you sought out any new fabrics, incorporated any new processes of garment construction or utilised any new factories and manufacturers to E. Tautz?
We've worked with a much broader palette of colours and yarns than normal, and have gone back to colours of the Scottish foreshore in autumn; the seaweed, the lichens and the mosses. All our clothes are now tailored using a softer construction that we've been developing for a few seasons.
How would you summarise the collection’s aesthetic?
It’s about an easy carelessness. Tailored clothes have for years been about a trussed-up and tucked-in look; short and tight, mean. It all seems a bit drab now. We're trying to reclaim a sense of ease in the overall collection.
What element or part of the collection are you most proud of?
What I like best of all is the way it all sits together so easily. You can take any trouser, jacket or coat and wear them together with any shirt or knit. The colours compliment each other, as do the shapes. It all feels simple.