Just as the nights draw in and we’re careering towards Christmas, along comes PreSS18, taking us a bit by surprise as always with a lovely promise of what’s to come once the festivities are all over and done.
This is a collection to see us through the dark days, guiding us with ease from one season to the next with a palette of pastels and plenty of fun.
Bellerose and MiH lead the way, throwing soft metallics, a spot of leopard print, beautiful embroidery and classic stripes into the mix. Then enters newcomer Shrimps with pastel fake fur, peter pan collars and gingham; Mes Demoiselles and Pyrus with floaty stars and ditsy florals; and St. Erasmus with the most beautiful, OTT bling.
Nevermind midwinter, we’ll be happily playing dress up.
Workwear; we’ve seen it inspire many a menswear collection over the last few years and we continue to be big fans of the aesthetic. That said, we're very much welcoming a fresh take this season with thanks to basement newcomers M.C. Overalls, a label with a long and industrious history manufacturing workwear since 1908.
Not that you’d know it, because M.C. Overalls aren’t peddling their heritage like most. And we love that. What we see instead is a great collection of hardwearing pieces adapted for the modern streetwear market. Straightforward Ts, trousers and jackets constructed from polycottons, heavy denims, technical fleece and jersey. And yes, we have overalls too.
Available in-store from this Friday, coinciding nicely with the opening of the label’s first bricks and mortar store on Carnaby’s Newburgh Street. Congrats M.C. Overalls, we're super proud to be exclusive UK stockists for AW17.
We are love, love, loving costume jewellery this season. Welcome to our new friend Pieter Louis Erasmus from St Erasmus who is all about crystals, sparkle and colour. He was born in Pretoria, is based in London, has a degree in fine art and painting but we particularly love that he has worked on one off pieces for runway shows for Dries van Noten, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Matthew Williamson. This is a man who knows his fashion onions. But maybe his art background chimed with us because we have got a little carried away with 18th century French and English portrait engravings. How good does Lady George Freeman look in the Pink Bauble Pendant? And we love the Duchesse de Berry in the Crystal Drops. And Marie Antoinette has bagged the blingiest for herself. Check her out in the Crystal Choker.
The curtain is down, the tree is up and the lights are on. Yes people, it’s time. Christmas Shop 2017 is here and it’s more beautiful than ever; our take on Christmases past, as traditional as we’re ever going to be. On one side, shelves glittering with baubles; pears, pinecones and a menagerie of creatures great and small. On the other side, crackers, wrap and all the trimmings, a flurry of gold stars and candy cane stripes. In the middle of it all, our very first Hambledon tree, decked to the nines and truly resplendent. The countdown starts here.
At last, there’s a nip in the air and with it comes a very nicely timed drop of knitwear from basement newcomers Country of Origin. Against the backdrop of soulless mass production, this is a label doing things differently and producing truly beautiful knitwear in the process.
Founders Ben Taylor (a filmmaker) and Alice Liptrot (a University of Brighton fashion textiles graduate who previously worked for Donna Karan) started out determined there had to be a better way to produce contemporary clothes that are honestly made, highly desirable, and made in Britain. They wanted to produce clothes that lasted longer than a season, and for there to be transparency about where things come from and how they are made, hence the brand name.
All of this proved easier said than done, however. The pair scoured the country looking for manufacturers and found large minimum orders stacked up against them. So instead they turned to 19th-century textile technology: hand-powered, hand-framed knitting machines, the happy halfway between mass-market, computer-controlled machines and hand knitting with needles.
Today the label occupies a small strip of land between two train tracks in South London, a none too salubrious setting where they design and make bespoke orders on a hand-framed knitting machine, with their ready-to wear collection hand-framed in Hawick, one of Scotland’s specialist knitwear centres. Inspired by modernist art and design of the twentieth century, this is a subtle Mondrian on a beautifully crafted jumper, a good knit with an interesting primary colour stripe or trim. All the stuff we really, really like.