Rake – “A gentleman of rogue habits, a seducer of all things beautiful in life, and the libertine of his day”

The costume of the rake is a caddish blend of rebellion and classicism. He acknowledges the rules of male dress and traditional tailoring but doesn’t allow himself to be consumed by them; making his own mark on proceedings, under his terms.

Introduction To Rake

The brain child of retail and design consultant Clive Darby, Rake was established in 2009. With nearly thirty years experience in retail, buying and design, Darby prides himself on an understanding of the customer, “It is about understanding the individual and gaining their trust and confidence. They have to feel positive with what you suggest and confident with what you dress them in.”

This focus and appreciation of the kind of man that would wear his clothes seems to run through the heart of every collection; a comfortable, wearable elegance with a slim silhouette that flatters without being too ornate.

Despite the obvious focus on comfort, garments feature a clean cut with sharp lines that connote a well-tailored aesthetic. RAKE has balanced the subtle nuances of slim tailoring, English heritage and the desire for a unique feel.

There is a wonderful simplicity and sense of purpose to the brand image at Rake. Reading the concept (on their website) behind what drives this label, it seems they wish to walk that difficult tightrope between respect for what has gone before and an inherent desire to push things forward.

“Our Rake is an individual who moves through life with an inner confidence and purpose. Through his refined elegance and understanding comes a man who dresses for himself and not to conform; whose style is reflected in his manner and the code he lives by.”

The Rake label is split into two distinct lines; lounge and mainline.

Rake Lounge

The Rake lounge collection debuted this spring/summer season and focuses on true gentlemanly evening wear. Think classic black tie attire, as well as smoking jackets and premium luxury materials that exude extravagance and sophistication; conjuring images of the rat pack and the ‘Jet Set’ lifestyle.

“The debut Rake Lounge collection is everything that proper eveningwear should be: exuberant, extravagant and ever so slightly salacious. As ever, luxury is the watchword: satin trims, smoked mother of pearl buttons, piping and filleting all appear in the collection, and the quality of the tailoring means all the pieces can be presented half-lined for a louche sophisticated feel that works particularly well with the crisp and clean shirts with their hidden plackets.

As well as knitted silk bowties and Ascot cravats, stand out pieces include piped trousers and a roguish cream suit with a peaked lapel creating a full wardrobe for even the most dedicated disreputables.”
Rake Lounge – Spring/Summer 2012

Rake Lounge SS12 Lookbook

Rake Lounge Men's Lookbook SS12

Rake Mainline

Rake mainline is the traditional Rake menswear range. Releasing a beautiful collection of men’s suiting and high quality separates each season, their is a focus on modern menswear staples that are fantastically cut and can be mixed and matched for the occasion.

“Rooted in the Rivera life of the jet set of the early Seventies, this season’s RAKE Mainline has a colour scheme of navy, white, ecru and stone, giving it a nautical, summery feel. As well as intricate piping and subtle trims, the collection’s themes include wide, confident lapels and the use of elegant, light materials like linen and wool-silk blends.

With cuts suitable for the film stars, industrialists and aristocrats that graced the waterfront and stand-out pieces like the kangaroo leather jacket and the double-breasted travel Mac, the collection is full of suits made for craps tables at Monaco or the red carpet at Cannes.”
Rake Mainline – Spring/Summer 2012

Rake Mainline SS12 Lookbook

Rake Mainline Men's Lookbook SS12

Rake at London Fashion Week 2012

At the recent autumn/winter 2012 show at London Fashion Week a glittering front row of celebrities looked on as Rake made their runway debut; namely David Gandy, Tinie Tempah and Dermot O’Leary.

With a collection of 1970s high glamour inspired separates, complete with a colour palette of rusty reds and dark greens, there is certainly a hint of the English Countryside, as well as that sense of glamorous London knave about town.

Designer Clive Darby presses home the idea that his collection can be mixed and matched to a certain degree – the core theme being that the separates in the collection can be teamed in more than one way. For me, this removes the sometimes abstract nature of catwalk shows and high end collections and places the emphasis on wearable luxury. Beautiful loafers accompanied many of the outfits in the show, almost acting as statement pieces in their own right.

The jackets and trousers in the collection follow a slim silhouette that compliments what we already know about contemporary British tailoring. Below is a selection of key pieces from the autumn/winter collection taken direct from the catwalk show in London. See what you think:

Rake AW12 Lookbook

Men's Rake Autumn/Winter 2012 Catwalk Images

Rake AW12 Catwalk Show

Rake Menswear
  • Rake Paisley-print Scarf 114734Rake Paisley-print Scarf 114734
  • Rake Lounge Square End Silk Tie 55400Rake Lounge Square End Silk Tie 55400
  • Rake Lounge Silk Knitted Bow-tie 55368Rake Lounge Silk Knitted Bow-tie 55368
  • Rake Long-sleeve Sports Shirt 56731Rake Long-sleeve Sports Shirt 56731
  • Rake Contrast-collar Shirt 58279Rake Contrast-collar Shirt 58279
  • Rake Swiss Pique Top 57039Rake Swiss Pique Top 57039
  • Rake Lounge Small Diamond Cotton Shirt 55259Rake Lounge Small Diamond Cotton Shirt 55259
  • Rake Wool Trousers 56998Rake Wool Trousers 56998
  • Rake Cotton Canvas Trousers 56734Rake Cotton Canvas Trousers 56734
  • Rake Kangaroo Leather Jacket 56728Rake Kangaroo Leather Jacket 56728
  • Rake Wool-silk Suit Jacket 57000Rake Wool-silk Suit Jacket 57000
  • Rake Wool Unstructured Jacket 56738Rake Wool Unstructured Jacket 56738
  • Rake Lounge Wool Jacket 55510Rake Lounge Wool Jacket 55510
  • Rake Lounge Waffle-weave Jacket 55262Rake Lounge Waffle-weave Jacket 55262
  • Rake Lounge Wool Dinner Suit 55511Rake Lounge Wool Dinner Suit 55511
Get The Rake Look

Of course, nothing beats the ‘real deal’, but here at FashionBeans we like to cater for all budgets. Here are my key tips for achieving a Rake inspired look, along with some recommended pieces that will help you along your way.

  • Concentrate on a slim yet comfortable cut for your tailoring. The last thing you want is to be bursting out of the seams of your jacket – not cool. If you feel relaxed and it fits you well then the chances are it looks good.
  • For the autumn/winter look, opt for deep greens, reds and browns that ooze that feeling of the English Country cad.
  • Statement items are not necessarily an over the top consideration. If you refer to the collection you will see a clever use of signature loafers and neck scarves that can work really well against a darker colour palette; drawing your eye in subtle ways to different areas of your outfit.
  • If in doubt, bare in mind the definition of a “rake”, presented at the start of the article, when you’re getting ready to hit the town and take it on board!
  • Allsaints Teshio ScarfAllsaints Teshio Scarf
  • Asos Slim TieAsos Slim Tie
  • Topman Navy Evening Bow TieTopman Navy Evening Bow Tie
  • Camo Sant Aristide Long Sleeve TopCamo Sant Aristide Long Sleeve Top
  • Maison Kitsuné Contrast-collar And Cuffs Oxford ShirtMaison Kitsuné Contrast-collar And Cuffs Oxford Shirt
  • Allsaints Ivy ShirtAllsaints Ivy Shirt
  • D&g White Stretch Poplin Slim Brad ShirtD&g White Stretch Poplin Slim Brad Shirt
  • Reiss Mason Slim Fit Tailored Trousers LatteReiss Mason Slim Fit Tailored Trousers Latte
  • Asos Skinny Fit Tuxedo Suit Trousers In NavyAsos Skinny Fit Tuxedo Suit Trousers In Navy
  • Drome Classic Shiny Leather BlazerDrome Classic Shiny Leather Blazer
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In LinenAsos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Linen
  • Topman Stone Herringbone Skinny BlazerTopman Stone Herringbone Skinny Blazer
  • Asos Skinny Fit Tuxedo Suit Jacket In NavyAsos Skinny Fit Tuxedo Suit Jacket In Navy
  • Allsaints Lorient BlazerAllsaints Lorient Blazer
  • Reiss Dynamic Double Breasted Blazer With Patch Pockets BlackReiss Dynamic Double Breasted Blazer With Patch Pockets Black
Final Word

Rake are generating a huge buzz within menswear at the moment, and with some of Britain’s best dressed men becoming advocates of the brand it is not hard to see why. With the launch of the Rake Lounge label and their first full runway show at this year’s London Fashion Week, it is safe to say that Rake should only continue to grow and develop their offering moving forward.

But what do you guys think? Are you a fan of the Rake label and their overall ethos and attitude to menswear?

Let me know your opinion in the comments section below…