Thomas Tait evokes “haute turtles” and much hotter versions of Jay-Z and Kanye West at his spring/summer 2012 show
“The ShOws” (no one has given us an answer to why there’s a capital O in the name) is a series of runway presentations to showcase Canadian talent without the designer incurring any financial cost, creator Paola Fullerton says. Fullerton’s idea is to bring Canadian designers who already show elsewhere (London Fashion Week, for example) to Toronto, without leaving them with a substantial bill for lighting, runway space, models and promotion. Thomas Tait, the first show of the series, took place yesterday afternoon in the ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton (there were probably only 150 seats)—Tait is a Canadian who studied at La Salle College in Montreal before graduating with an MA from London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins in 2010 (the youngest student ever to complete the course). Tait was introduced by another displaced Canadian, model Coco Rocha, who’s in town to promote her short documentary Letters to Haiti, a work that a few guests described as self-indulgent. Though Rocha read off a sheet of paper, we heard that even she, ever the professional, feverishly practised her speech backstage (looks, acting chops and perhaps a Toastmasters member? She’s just like us).
Tait’s show takes the cake for strangest swag: an e-cigarette with flavoured cartridges that seemed to delight the fashion editors, with one overheard saying, “The peach flavour is the best.” We spotted many plumes of malodorous water vapour during and after the show from all those too lazy to head outside. But enough about adults acting like children: models trotted out in calf-high white socks and pristine sneakers, ensuring no tumbles would take place. Tunics in black and white were everywhere, both oversized and amorphous, which gave a sort of futuristic, androgynous feeling—one editor referred to some looks as “haute turtles.” We loved the touches of pastel in mint green slacks, powder blue dresses and pale pink sweaters—they looked ideal for an Easter egg hunt or a day of croquet. Texture was also everywhere, in iridescent patches on skirts and fine ribbing on black leggings and dresses. We also loved the styling, with models wearing backwards adjustable baseball caps (echoing Kanye and Jay-Z) and circular sunglasses with mirrored blue lenses. Tait wasn’t there for the spotlight, taking the shortest bow we’ve ever seen post-show (we doubt even Peter Parker could have nabbed a shot of the guy), and we even caught him trying to duck out alone with a bright green Jansport knapsack before a PR girl dragged him back for interviews. Perhaps Tait prefers to let the clothes speak for themselves.