It’s already been 4 months since going back and forth the passages of Fortezza de Basso at Pitti Uomo 84 and actually not even three months before it’s time to go again for the 85th fair in Florence. However there’s still one more review I want to share with you, my overall favorite brand in terms accessories - Drake’s London, which in fact nowadays is about much more than just accessories.
Even though Drake’s has been expanding their range, ties can still be described to be the soul of company’s business. And in terms of ties (all made in England), for every new season Drake’s comes up with a collection that includes about 100 woven patterns and 100 printed designs, all in about 10 different color options.
For next spring and summer there are again new fabric developments such as new “edition” of shantung (raw) silk with subtle herringbone pattern, new shappe silks (shappe is a fabric created by spinning yarns which have not been degummed through the fermentation process and where the gum remain leaves a fine ribbed effect to the cloth) and new introduction of panama silk. To shortly describe, both shappe and panama silks are vibrant in color but when compared, ties made of panama silk have a slightly drier handle on them. There will also be some new developments and designs regarding the line of grenadine fabrics such as the black watch tartan weave (unfortunately not pictured), mentioned as a personal favorite by Jamie Ferguson of Drake’s who I had the pleasure to meet during my visit and who also gave me a tour through the collection.
To highlight what’s coming up, few outtakes that caught my eye.
Small printed patterns such as flowers and diamonds in light colored options to cheer up your business wardrobe.
My personal favorite of the collection - raw silk, unlined, untipped, herringbone pattern and superior finishing.
Solid colors and stripes - each to his own.
"Unbothered by trends" - As always the pocket squares, scarves and bandanas are featured with attractive and inspirational prints that breathe the personal style of Drake’s. Perfect option to add some color to your outfit.
How the collections are born?
According to Michael Hill, the creative director of Drake’s every new collection is a process - with many layers - that constantly evolves over the development of the seasonal offering. The process involves working with the Mills that are used, going through their developments and in turn jointly developing fabrics with them in terms of for example weaves, colors, prints, motifs. The process also involves pulling old fabrics, designs and creations from the archives, seeing what have been done, getting inspired by them and sometimes even for example re-coloring the old favorites (in this point I feel the need to make a wish of bringing back the unicorn prints from the archives). In the end - after going through multiple rounds of checking what fits what - all the work should result as a collection that sits well together, in all aspects.
Drake’s Haberdasher factory & shop just opened in London
As seen, in recent seasons Drake’s has been expanding to new product ares and is now offering pretty much a full range Drake’s collection including sport coats, unlined blazers, shirts, knitwear, cardigans, bags and outerwear. And just recently, in cooperation with Austrian manufactured Saint Crispin’s they also introduced a new range of Drake’s London footwear. After seeing the development that Drake’s has done with their selection, I’m eager to see their appearance at the next Pitti in January and hope that will also include the whole range of their offerings.
The company also just opened another store in London, located at 3 Haberdasher Street (N1 6ED) alongside with their new factory. As I’ll be in London next weekend, I look forward to visiting the factory and the shop and I promise that detailed review will follow.
Take a look at more out-takes from Drake’s booth at Pitti from their own tumblr here.
(panama silk for S/S ´14 - photo by JKF of Drake’s)