Daks show innate British Charm for S/S’12

by Katie on September 27, 2011

Nostalgia is a cosy comfort blanket currently used by brands as a sweetener for their inflated prices, an added-value extra to that initial retail therapy purchase buzz. That wool cashmere coat may be exquisitely cut but isn’t worth dishrags if you aren’t reminded of simpler, rose-tinted times, childhood trips, or long-lost relatives. Clothing as regression therapy for the soul maybe?
New Head of Womenswear at DAKS Sheila McKain-Wade took us back to post-war Britain for her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, with films of seaside holiday camps and bags of childhood favourite sweets on the seats. Buttons were already being pressed, the emotional manipulation had begun. Thankfully the designer stopped short before treating us to an airing of the ‘Holiday Rock’ theme tune from ‘Hi-De-Hi’.
The collection itself is a playful yet refined paean to the Fifties; full pleated skirts, tops cinched in at the waist, and the kind of cheeky poolside terry towelling playsuits not seen since ‘Carry on Cruising’. The house check has been given a subtle, nautical makeover, and is mixed with co-ordinating cable prints, deckchair stripes, and rope-handled accessories created exclusively for DAKS by artist Lois Walpole.
McKain-Wade subtly layers these clichés to the extent where it’s impossible to not be bowled over by the clothing’s innately British charm, one which saw the overseas investors on the front row suitably effusive.

The new girl has drawn a line in the sand with this expertly-executed collection, which encapsulates the DAKS brand to perfection, and can only bode well for future seasons.

Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.
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