Ever wondered what it would be like to see a man from Edwardian England attending a London club night at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Brixton Academy, or Camden Palace? This intriguing thought inspired Denzil Patrick designer Daniel Gayle when envisioning his fall collection. While it might sound bizarre at first, delving into the rationale behind the lineup reveals that Gayle’s creative process always serves a thoughtful purpose. “It’s about intersectionality,” he said during a preview in his Woolwich studio. “In these London nightlife spots, if you look closely at the interiors you can see ornate traces of bygone eras creeping through—that crossover was something we wanted to celebrate. Times and styles might change, but the end goal is the same: To have a good time.”
The collection drew parallels between the Edwardian era and the ’90s and early 2000s through fabric choices and familiar silhouettes. Technical tops featured smocked and ruffled collars, embellished with the brand’s reflective logo for a bold sportswear effect. Jacquard jackets with matching track pants were elegantly cut in an antique floral damask print, reminiscent of theatrical interiors. Complete with detachable spats at the ankle, the pants elevated the silhouette with a nod to the early 20th century. Gayle affectionately referred to these sets as the “Edwardian tracksuit.”
Continuing the language of era-transcending fashion, technical recycled satin jackets emulated the classic morning coat, complete with a discreet zip and carefully placed buttons, elegantly concealed at the front. In homage to London’s iconic Pearly Kings and Queens, Gayle showcased punctiliously crafted bomber jackets, sheer tops, and straight-leg pants embellished with a medley of buttons sourced from the internet by himself and his partner, artist James Bosley. Elsewhere, cropped poplin shirts with offbeat tie details and heart-shaped cut-outs offered playful options—perfect for raving in, should one feel compelled. While Gayle was initially hesitant about hoodies—“It’s just not very us”—sleek reversible versions with midriff-exposing heart-shaped cut-outs were featured. “The heart symbolizes love, peace, and the spirit of partying,” he explained.
Leaving the studio, it was hard not to think of two standout moments. One was a striking white jacket and pants ensemble, crafted from padded canvas fabric reminiscent of aged theater seats, brimming with wadding at its seams. The other was a purple knitted jumper adorned with woven velvet ribbons, mimicking the intricate patterns of damask floral prints. Both were products of sheer brilliance.
After presenting his previous collections in Paris, Gayle has decided to refocus his brand around his UK roots, hinting at a potential runway show in the near future. Despite the challenges faced by emerging designers in the wake of economic crises and the aftermath of Covid and Brexit, London feels like the ideal space for Gayle to unleash his creative prowess. Welcome home, Denzil Patrick.