Tata Naka: The Highlight of My LFW…
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The Royal Academy, London Fashion Week.
Quick story: Two seasons ago, I was milling around Somerset House on the final day of LFW and saw that Tata Naka was having a presentation. I felt that my London coverage had been pretty subpar and probably would’ve considered the trip a failure, so I decided to go queue up for the presentation in a last-ditch attempt to shoot something meaningful. I didn’t have a pass or an invitation, but because the queue wasn’t long (most people were already in the process of leaving for Milan) I waited like I was supposed to be there, and did my best sweet-talk to the two people allowing entrance. It was clear to them that I wasn’t supposed to be there, but there was space in the room, and as I argued, Tata Naka could only benefit from the extra coverage. “I’ll wait until some of the press clear out,” I reasoned, “and if it wouldn’t be a problem I will only shoot for five or ten minutes.” They allowed my request (so, as urban legend goes, these things do in fact happen) and after about twenty minutes, allowed me to shoot for ten minutes. The resulting experience was two-fold for me: on one hand, it was the first time I’d seen a presentation and straight away knew that it should be shot like an editorial, and more importantly, I fell in love with Tata Naka’s eclectic style. Instantly.
To say that waiting for a Tata Naka invitation is one of my highlights of the entire fashion week season is really underselling the fact. Every time they preview a new look on Instagram I’m devouring it, pouring over the details and seeing what new use of splashy colour they’ve employed this time. The autumn/winter collection that sisters Tamar and Natasha Surguladze unveiled this week was no exception. Looking at the choice of colours, the patterns, there’s something oddly familiar about this, but to call it retro would be cliched and horribly disingenuous. No, this is more nostalgic, closer to home than what I’ve seen from the twins in past seasons. There’s something particularly Eurasian about the jumpers, and the dress-shaped floral coat. The sincerity is there; the subtle, underlying seriousness apparent.