The interpretation of Sheila McKain-Waid’s fourth and latest womenswear range for London-based fashion brand DAKS started the moment one unfolded the layers of the beautifully crafted ticket for the runway show that would unveil the quintessentially British brand’s collection during London Fashion Week.
In essence, DAKS’s Autumn/Winter 2013 womenswear collection celebrated craftsmanship and the art of the pattern cutter by playing on traditional shapes and proportions through folding, draping and layering. To accentuate this notion, McKain-Waid opted for non-traditional pattern-cutting techniques and for the manipulation of fabrics such as felted wool, flannel, mohair and suede offered in a palette of greys, olive green, deep claret red, camel, navy blue and black.
Also inspired by the depiction of Charlotte Rampling’s sophisticated and androgynous style both in her life and in the characters she portrayed in films, McKain-Waid used the collection to push the traditional representations of the female silhouette forward by adopting masculine tailoring with gusto. This was evident in looks where all-in-one pieces evoked male suiting, waists were dropped or not very pronounced, and pleated trousers abounded. In spite of this genderless approach to the overall cut of the collection’s garments, feminine shapes were introduced via the juxtaposition of fluid long skirts and dresses with cropped jackets and fitted tops.
Similarly, and to emphasise the dichotomy between (feminine) softness and (male) rigidity that underlined the forms and concepts behind the collection, DAKS’s tartan pattern clashed with oversized florals, natural materials such as wood, leather and suede were paired with rubber and metal to emphasise contrasting textures, and accessories reworked traditional functionality and construction, with rigid angles combined with fine, curved seams.
Photographs courtesy of DAKS