On days like this, I like standing here, watching the mudlarkers digging around,’ says menswear designer Patrick Grant, looking at the water that runs alongside his Wapping studio. ‘Too many people fail to see the natural beauty that is everywhere. There’s something about being in London that revives the soul.’
The gritty, industrial setting seems an unlikely place to find one of the most style-savvy men in the business. Grant is the man behind Savile Row’s Norton & Sons and its offshoot E. Tautz, which has become one of the finest fixtures at London Fashion Week. His buzzy S/S 12 collection, sponsored by Toni&Guy, went some way to bring British men’s fashion from the shadows of womenswear. A real-life example of a dapper gent – all subtlety and suaveness – he’s been called the James Bond of fashion and looks like someone you’d imagine waking up to a dry martini and cigarette every morning. (Except he’s as far from debauched as you can get).