DAKS, founded in 1894, hit London Fashion Week and managed to represent the finest aspects of British Heritage in his SS16 womenswear show.
Titled The Art Deco Collection, DAKS did some smart work with vivid patterns and flashbacks into the past this week. The DAKS woman might be found wandering around art galleries thinking about how the micro-patterns on her evening gown might become a muse for new decorative art form styles. She lived in the Thirties – booming economy and post-depression gave her a new confidence, a new shape. There was a need for abstraction and distortion, and geometric shapes highlighted by intense colours were beginning to be considered as the style for elegant sophistication. Manipulation of lines and experimentation with chiffon and georgette, window-check print and marble print, flowers and leaves in gentle monochrome-like tones – it made us feel like we were not in the digital era but the era of extreme newness in design.
Chic in the workplace
We can expect the usual from DAKS. Known worldwide for its tendency to show OTT love for British luxury, tailoring, and ready-to-wear professional attire it came as no surprise that the LFW event was held in a quiet, elegant town in London, far away from anything that might spoil the general sophistication of the show. Since the launch of the womenswear collections in 1937, DAKS has engaged with the dichotomy between masculinity and femininity in fashion. The new collection played with prim and chic, tailored suites accessorised with cinched belts, playsuits, blazers, and some classy strap heels that can easily be considered as fashionable work-wear. The masculine aesthetic the brand is known for prevailed but did in no way undermine the elegant, soft tones of the lightweight fabrics and the flowing silhouettes this season.
DAKS house check revamped
A big thing in this collection was the use of the DAKS House Check colours – camel and vicuna. The pieces that were layered with dark caramel colours were the ones that really stood out from the very monotone, dark, plain colours. A suede belt together with some camel calfskin heels gave a grey tailored suit a fun and intriguing twist. Rust-coloured jackets enhanced the skirt and shirt combination and the bomber jacket never looked so good. Camels might have indeed inspired the collection, as well as art deco, and we expected nothing less from the luxurious brand that harbours some love for those rich and warm House Check colours.
Photographer: Thurstan Redding
Words: Marianna Mukhametzyanova