Drake’s Jackets: Easy English Elegance
Actually, our step hasn’t really been audacious at all. We’re not ones to rush into things, so we’ve been thinking about jackets for a while now. Our idea was to do a small, special selection of sports jackets with a decidedly British aesthetic of nonchalant elegance, but with an Italian sensibility for meticulous construction and soft tailoring. Since we didn’t want to foist our experiments on the public, we took our time, but now we’re ready to present a few, and we wanted to tell you about them.
Our initial inspiration came from the soft, cardigan-casual tweed sports jackets favored by the acknowledged Grand Master of the British sartorial tradition, the Duke of Windsor, who saw no reason why comfort should be sacrificed to stylishness. We couldn’t agree more, true sophistication has a self-confident ease about it that saunters rather than struts. But to make a jacket that’s essentially unconstructed, as relaxed, and lightweight as a cardigan yet still has shape is difficult to do.
We started with a few superb British tweeds known for their soft-but-durable hand and subtle colouration: mossy greens and fawns, a navy blue for a distinctive blazer, and a Prince of Wales plaid in cream-and-cocoa with a peacock blue windowpane overcheck that would have had the Duke himself beaming. To keep the jacket as light as possible, we used a 3/8th buggy lining and a completely finished self-facing, with the least amount of infrastructure possible.
We knew from the start that simplicity of cut must be the hallmark of our design, and we pared down the model to what we thought were the essential of the genre: small, unstudied shoulder, 3-button soft front and perfectly balanced notch lapel. Finely detailed with three open-patch pockets, and side vented. Hand-stitched notch buttonhole. No gimmicks, no bells, no whistles. The attitude is a bit casual, but perfectly correct. Purist really. We wouldn’t want to be accused of being purposefully fashionable. International, contemporary, that’s fine, but fashionable, never.
The French call this sort of thing chic fatigue. But is there a word for that point where old-fashioned charm meets contemporary urbanity and refinement? We’ve settled for calling it easy English elegance, with that fine Italian hand. We think you’ll approve.
Oh, one thing we regret to mention. For the moment, these jackets are only available at our Clifford Street shop. We hope to remedy that in future but, for the time being please accept our apologies.
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