Aleks Cvetkovic considers our summery batik print ties.
These are the new batik prints from Drake’s, designed expressly for Spring / Summer 2018, drawing on patterns held in the company’s archive. Of course, if you’re reading this you’ll be well versed in the Drake’s obsession with quality – all the house’s ties are special in one way or another.
Even so, there’s something about these few that’s truly exceptional. Everything about them is ‘bespoke’, as it were; using the Drake’s archive as a start-point, they’ve been drawn and printed on tactile silks sourced from Como, Italy. They’re as precious as can be, yet understated at the same time.
They feel timely, too, particularly in the wider context of the Spring / Summer collection. Batik prints have been a part of the brand’s identity more or less since it was founded and speak to their creative credentials. Nowadays we think of batik as a pattern, but it originally referred to a wax-resist dyeing technique, developed in Indonesia (although different theories posit its origins in ancient Egypt, or possibly Tang Dynasty China) and applied to fabrics in busy, finely marked tonal patterns. Now, this series of batik prints for SS18 blends perfectly with the Drake's aesthetic - soft and expressive.
So, how do you wear them? Essentially, a white and navy tie with a subtle print will do just about anything you want it to – so long as you are confident with it. Keep things tonal with a chambray oxford button-down, or mix things up with a forest green or crimson Bengal stripe shirt. You could pair these with one the collection’s two-tone stripes – the blue and yellow shirt under a dark navy blazer would look sharp, or for something a little more zany, the red and blue would work, too.
Of course, any of this season’s earthy linen suits will pair with navy batik, but you should also consider wearing your shirt and tie combo beneath one of this season’s overshirts, which with their smooth linens and earthy colours make for a great lightweight layer for creative offices or smart-casual environments.
The range’s soft prints and smooth, round shapes have a relaxed feel; they’re not too ‘office appropriate’, but not too eccentric, either. In fact, there’s a print in there to serve any sharp dresser; the small, square print feels like an intelligent choice for work, while the geometric print or the rounded square are a little braver – great for a modern tailored look or for a weekend out and about.
Whichever tie catches your eye, each of these is a connoisseur’s piece – and you’d be silly not to consider wearing one this spring.