Day two of London Fashion Week began as usual this morning with DAKS leading the day at the Somerset House Show Space. As The Beatles playing out and into the packed tent to sooth the fashion crowd (and their headaches from the previous night) the lights dropped and the first look took to the catwalk.

Although elements within the collection were familiar - the iconic house check, the play on shapes, and that overriding, quintessentially British heritage feel - this season felt much grungier than usual, with surprise structured metallics and a foundation of black and slate grey. The key focus was, as usual, on the construction of shapes created by folding, draping and layering; something that DAKS excel at time and time again. There were black polo necks under v-necked vest, paired with heathered flannel trousers, classic trench coats and gorgeous gloves - every look was styled to such perfection that I almost wished the Summer away and found myself longing for Winter again.


Patterns were stripped back to sparse checks and the occasional burst of retro inspired digital flowers to allow focus on the details. Double lapels appeared on cropped jackets, pleats adorned both skirts and trousers, zips were detailed on shift dresses and angular cutaway backs on floor length numbers.The colour palette, inspired by designer Ashley Havinden (who's graphic influence can be seen in the DAKS logo and across the DAKS aesthetic) consisted of rich, dark colours in varying hues - olive and pea green were popular in felted wool knits, along with red mohair and navy blue (we've seen navy on a number of AW catwalks this month - is blue the new black?)


As well as pushing the boundaries of the silhouette with layering, necklines were high, whilst hemlines fell either to the ground or just above the knee, creating a sense of new direction and recreating that same tingling feeling of excitement I had when I saw the glorious cocoon coats back in AW12. Accessories too were fresh and forward thinking - angular handbags detailed curved seams and were constructed using contrasting textures; wood, leather and suedes were paired with rubber and metal, giving a contemporary twist.

In my opinion? A rare collection that will simultaneously keep the loyal DAKS fans happy and catch the eye of newer, younger crowd.

[Gary Stemmett / SDR Photo]