During the three years I’ve been writing collection reviews for The Manual I’ve come across all kinds of sources of inspiration: Films, intrepid Grandfathers, even mountain folk. But when it comes to Delikatessen’s kale-inspired collection for Fall/Winter 2014, I’m genuinely surprised, not to mention totally intrigued.
So kale then. Once you’re over the initial weirdness, the Dutch brands reasoning actually makes a whole lot of sense. The leafy vegetable is a super rich source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It’s also known to provide extreme doses of minerals including copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. It’s this honest goodness, along with its simple beauty and awe-inspiring colour, which captured the imaginations of designers Andre Lisowski and Stephen Hartog, who grow the vegetable in their own garden in Burgundy. The honesty, braveness and subtle sophistication of the vegetable are what they have reinterpreted into a practical and stylish set of garments, perfectly ripe for FW14.
In terms of fabrics, the collection features a combination of rich and tactile materials such as vintage chambrays, thick denims with interesting waffle structures – which were found in Japan -cottons mixed with wool and silk and Italian ‘Lana cotta’. FYI, the super soft slow vintage Wagayama knits are just the thing you’d want to reach for on an icy-cold day.
The collection is particularly hot on shirting, offering a plethora of options that would segue from work to play effortlessly. Subtle microprints, grainy chambrays and washed-out plaid appear in steel grey, rich burgundy and deep petrol. Pants are spacious, slightly low on the crotch and occasionally patterned, creating a fresh take smart-casual dressing. The various shades of kale appear in the form of sumptuous sweat tops, casual double-breasted jackets and, at its most literal, in a super sharp overcoat featuring white contrasting buttons…gotta love that vegetable.
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