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.
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.
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 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
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:
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.
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…
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