We’re still solidly in winter, but Drake’s new spring/ summer arrivals remind us that warmer days are just around the corner. The popular English label continues to design some of the best men’s accessories I’ve seen anywhere. Michael Hill, the company’s Creative Director, tells me that they’ve relied a lot on interesting and subtle weaves this season. “We have a linen chambray from Solbiati,” he says. “It has a nice texture and a bit more color than plain weave linens. There will also be some semi-warp faced cloths, which have a nice, antique hand, as well as a lot of slubby silks."
My favorites so far are the grenadines and pocket squares. Drake’s grenadines now come in two weaves – larger and smaller versions known as garza grossa and garza fina, respectively. They also have grenadines with striped, dotted, and jacquard patterns, for those who want something a little more distinctive (these look particularly good). For pocket squares, there are cotton bandana prints, as well as a number of interesting designs on silk habotai – an exceptionally lightweight, slightly sheer, plain weave silk that has a bit of sheen. I find it goes well with cotton and linen jacketings.
Michael also tells me they have some sport coats, shirts, and chinos coming. "We’ve never thought about design in terms of a product alone,” he says. “It’s always been about a look as a whole, so in some ways, this is a natural extension for us. It’s taken a bit of work to learn how to construct these other things, but I feel we’ve done a good job."