We are delighted to welcome brand new British denim brand Hawksmill to the basement. Based in Brighton, manufactured on vintage Union Special machines, using exclusive Cone Mills selvedge cloth and drawing inspiration from European and American workwear, this is set to get the denim heads hearts racing. We asked founder, CEO and designer Fraser Trewick to tell us a bit about the Hawksmill story.
I've known you since your days with Nudie and I know indigo runs though you veins, was this the main reason to go and start up by yourself ?
I've alway had an interest in denim since I was a teenager. In the 80s it was a big thing to buy vintage Levis, and I soon noticed that some of the jeans I was buying were of far superior quality to others. With a little research I discovered that these were the jeans that were made before the age of mass production. They tended to have a capital E on the red tab and were made from selvedge fabric. That was when my love affair with denim began and it's alway been an aspiration to create my own label. Myself and my partner Anthony Smith have had this planned for sometime and just felt that now was the right time to introduce our ideas to the market.
Was it always the intention to go out and work with Cone mills ? How did that come about ?
Before I began Hawksmill I worked for a while with a denim factory in Bristol Tennessee. As part of the project I was lucky enough to visit the Cone Mills White Oak plant in North Carolina. It's the last place left in the US manufacturing selvedge denim and is currently celebrating its 110 anniversary. For me it's where everything started and seemed an obvious choice when selecting fabrics for Hawksmill.
When you designed the cuts did you find inspiration from those much loved favourites that we all have in our wardrobes?
Of course when putting together the jeans we would take inspiration from vintage pieces, but this was more in terms of construction. The fits were created from scratch and were a long time in development. The main aim was to offer something for everyone. Hence, we created 5 classic fits which we felt would appeal to a wide audience.
Do you think the man in the street has a better take on how a pair of jeans should be compared to 10 years ago? If so why do you think this is?
The main reason has to be the internet. Now knowledge which was once difficult to accumulate from specialist dealers and books is widely available on the web. This is a hugely positive thing, and a lot more people understand the work that goes into a premium pair of jeans. Without this growing audience Hawksmill Denim Co would not be able to exist.
Tell us 3 important things that you've learned about starting a denim brand?
1. You're only as good as the people you work with.
2. Never compromise on quality.
3. Focus on what you're doing and don't worry about what anyone else is up to.
The Hawksmill A/W15 collection is now available in our Winchester store.
Founded in New York in 2009, KBL (Kind of Bohemian Lifestyle - but I think we'll have to forgive them a dreadful acronym) is the latest eyewear brand to hit The Hambledon. Launched by Adam and Kara Mendelsohn whose collective experience includes stints at Oliver Peoples, Mykita and Thakoon, this is a brand that knows its fashion and sunglasses onions. Featuring Italian acetate, milled Japanese construction and a cute Empire State Building on some of the arms, these are beautifully made and effortlessly stylish. And just in time for sunny holidays.
We wanted to write a provenance all about the history of Ban-do. But then we went and found this on their website and it was way more fun and a whole lot more entertaining than waffling on about the Founder (who incidentally is Jen Gotch, who incidentally everyone at The Hambledon thinks is brilliant).
'Oh hey. We're Ban.do. Let's be BFFs. We can stay up late watching 80s rom coms and eating pizzas with everything on it (except anchovies, grooosss!). Cool. Now that it's settled we should probably tell you a bit more about us. We're a gift, tech, stationery and fashion accessories company designed by a pretty spectacular group of girls in sunny Los Angeles. We love bright colours, irreverent patterns, quirky sayings and kittens. OMG we love kittens so much. Forever inspired by Champagned soaked, all night dance parties, we are serious about fun and so thrilled you are here.'
Enough said. Get your Ban-do here.
Engineered Garments' Workaday makes a very welcome return to the basement for SS15. This is Daiki Suzuki's seasonless collection of everyday staples, which maintain pattern, construction and quality season after season. Expect to see old favourites: the utility jacket, 19th Century shirt, crossover pocket tee and Bedford fatigues. The Hambledon is one of very, very few (we think only two) UK stockists, so this is well worth a trip to sunny Winchester.
Didn't we have a luvverly time the day Meri Meri came to The Hambledon and made party crowns. It was a crafting extravaganza purpose built for half term fun. Everyone made full and free use of lashings of ric rac tape, fluffy pom poms, and glittery letters. The crown jewels have nothing on these beauties. Huge thanks to Nat and Katie who glued and ribboned like troopers at Cowley and Meredithe and Emma for their sterling efforts in Winchester. Long may you all reign.
Blah blah baking, yes, we are all still enthralled - but not with the Village Hall aesthetic of Bake Off. It's summer and we're opting for a more elegant take on the bake. Neither twee nor retro, it's altogether something more beautiful. Colours bright and blush side by side. Seasonal fruits and edible flowers. Swirls of buttercream and dustings of icing sugar. Vintage platters and stylish cakestands. See Linda Lomelino and The Violet Bakery Cookbook for cues, Bitossi bake moulds for practicals and Chiviarini for lashings of jam.
Roll up. Roll up. Meredithe (childhood nick name Meri Meri, it's all becoming clear) and her team of wonder workers have installed a Party Project Extravaganza. We thought we knew the range but this is a crazy new world of Silly Circus, Charms, Ombre and Happy Birthday paper paraphernalia. And a mad planet of tattoos, garlands and super brand new and fabulous jewellery. And we have a secret stash of helium to fill the balloons in the patented Balloon-a-Dashery. Hurry on down. And for those of you who really want to embrace the fun filled life that is Meri Meri, there will be crafting workshops (Thursday 28 May 11-3 at Cowley, Saturday 30 May 11-4 in Winchester). No need to book. Just show up in a cheery mood, ready to get glittery.