Daks incorporates Heritage with Contemporary Styling

by Katie on February 25, 2011

Daks may seem like the epitome of English heritage brands, but the label now boasts a Milanese designer, in the shape of Filippo Scuffi, and Japanese owners. This hasn’t dented Daks’ innate Britishness in any way, and the womenswear shown as part of their Autumn/Winter catwalk presentation positively reeked of the Horse and Hound-reading, paddock-walking, debutante coming-out ball-attending old money that has always been the foundation of Daks’ business.
Scuffi and the company’s owners have obviously been following Chris Bailey’s reinvigoration of Burberry and been taking notes – a swinging Sixties mood, rescaling and recolouring the house check, and a Bailey-esque indie rock soundtrack at odds with the refined ladylike clothes on the catwalk. However, Scuffi has been careful not to ride roughshod over Daks’ inherent values. These are ageless clothes which, thanks to some subtle styling by ex-Voguette Cathy Kasterine, retain a contemporary feel.

Heavy masculine materials such as quilted nylon and leather are used in the full and calf-length pleated skirts which dot the collection, juxtaposed with some finer ruffled Lady of the Manor blouses (Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton would, frankly, kill for these clothes). A collaboration with Daks/RCA 2009 competition winner Emma Bradbury has resulted in chunky drop-shouldered handknits, long Doctor Who scarves, and knitted hoods produced from British Blue-faced Leicester wool.

Menswear is smartly casual, with heavy knitwear and pinstripe trousers dominating.

The race to dress the future Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is on and, whilst the media is focused on which designers dress Kate Middleton’s public engagements, even money says that she’ll be spending much of her downtime at Highgrove wearing Daks.
Review by Lee Clatworthy for Katie Chutzpah

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