Spring 2014 Menswear
June 17, 2013 London
Rake by name, rake by design. Clive Darby's collection has Savile Row spirit—understandably, as its founder worked with Richard James on his Savile Row label and later took the reins at Kilgour—but a friskier outlook. Rake's unlined, whisper-light jackets can be rolled up, stuffed away, shrugged back on. There's a garderobe quality to Darby's pieces, which don't veer dramatically from season to season. Unfortunately, that can't be said for his Spring inspiration, the late racer François Cevert, who died tragically during the qualifying race for the ’73 American Grand Prix. (The restored car he died in was, amazingly and somewhat macabre-ly, parked outside Rake's Duke Street store, where the presentation was held.) The better part of Cevert's inspiration was felt in the collection's colors, which derived in part from his tricolor helmet, especially the blue that became denim and chambray. A few polos, a novelty tee or two, and some printed pieces recalled his seventies heyday, too. But the Rake constant is a courtly, if unstuffy, gentlemanliness, no less firmly tied to the seventies than to the present. The real spirit of Cevert, in fact, might find truer expression in the label's speeding ambitions: The Duke Street shop opened in March, the line recently made its American debut at Barneys, and Darby confided that a deal has just been signed with a U.S. distributor to bring it to even more North American stores.