Those crossed horizontal and vertical lines _ the chequers or "checks" _ belong entirely to the Brits. Behind these little squares that come together with a combination of camel, vicuna and black lies the history of a brand that has steered its long-cherished legacy through more than a hundred years _ two turns of the century and two world wars. Like its uber-luxurious, influential counterpart Burberry, Daks is on its way to resurrect its massive archives through a modern presence.
Of course it's unfair to compare Daks to its British heritage house predecessors, be it Burberry or Aquascutum _ both were founded in the 1850s, while it wasn't until 1894 that Simeon Simpson began to offer his bespoke tailoring service on London's Middlesex Street. As Burberry and Aquascutum have enjoyed their modern success through their designers' contemporary vision and popular marketing cliches such as superstar presenters (Pierce Brosnan, Suede's Brett Anderson, Gisele Bundchen and model Jamie Dornan for Aquascutum, and all the high-voltage English roses du jours from Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, Emma Watson to Rosie Huntington Whiteley for Burberry), you could say Daks is on its way from heritage house to modern fashion corporate, and it sure has come the right way.
Take, for example, its triumphant show at London Fashion Week last month _ during which American designer Sheila McKain-Waid delivered her sublime third collection for the brand _ marrying Daks' celebrated house check with American sportswear, innovative material rendition and understated chic. The star of the show _ the house check _ is reworked into layers simulating brushstrokes of abstract expressionist painters: it's revitalised in the modern era by McKain-Waid as fluid movement of lines, and through the use of glitter embroidery and textile innovation.
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