We are unbelievably excited to have stumbled across Antenne Books, an independent distributor of very independent magazines. And print is most definitely where it's at. These are beautiful, intriguing, weird, funny and refreshingly analogue. Titles include, and yes, we're aware this is a niche market, MacGuffin (a craft and design magazine focussing on a single object each issue), Put a Egg on It (biannual art and literary zine celebrating food), Puss Puss (high end fashion and felines), Four & Sons (where dogs and culture collide) and Clutch from Japan (like an old school mail order catalogue but very cultish according to Rob). And there are loads more. Ditch WH Smith now and head to The Hambledon.
Orslow, our latest addition to the basement, is a homage to Japanese design, quality and construction. Which is no surprise as designer Ichiro Nakatsu is meticulous about combining traditional techniques with contemporary style. Ichiro built his career in the world-famous denim production centre in Kojima Okayama. He started Orslow in 2005, naming it to reflect the slower (clever, huh), careful way he made jeans, rebelling against the frenzied pace of modern fashion production.
His passion for denim started at an early age with a pair of dark overalls given to him by his mother. Wearing them everyday, he was fascinated by their fade and, as he puts it, the “ colour and texture of worn clothes; and the atmosphere they exude.” He began making his own jeans at home by taking apart old clothes and mirroring their construction.
The same careful craftsmanship is applied today and all the sewing machines in his atelier are in full use - from 1940's vintage models to the latest digital machines. Most of his collections reflect his casual take on traditional workwear and military garments from the 19th and 20th century. Contemporary clothes for those that love that extra bit of attention to detail.
Lucy did all the prep but I'm afraid she bailed on the sale itself because she's a sensitive soul and it was c...flippin' ...razy. Thank you one and all for braving the chaos and seeking out the bargains. It was fun while it lasted. But don't expect another one soon. You've cleaned us out.
Lucy is an avid fan of a gin and tonic. Finn is partial to a glass of fizz. Rob has been known to down a pint or two of Cognac. The Hambledon wouldn't necessarily be the natural home for the temperance movement in Winchester. But we like to confound expectations. Welcome Mr Fitzpatrick (est. 1899) from Rossendale, Lancs, and his traditionally brewed, non alcoholic, botanical cordials.
The temperance movement began in Preston in 1835 during the period of the Industrial Revolution and was a response to the widespread alcoholism that existed at that time. The availability of cheap ale and gin (Lucy, Rob we're watching you) had been responsible for the breakdown of family life and industrial productivity amongst the working classes. Prohibition was never legalised here but non alcoholic bars began to appear in every town and village to promote abstinence from ‘the demon drink'.
The movement started and continued to blossom in the textile districts of Yorkshire & Lancashire, but quickly swept across the whole of the UK. It was a Methodist cheese maker born in Preston, who set about establishing a society under which a pledge of sobriety was taken. The society grew and expanded beyond the churches to become part of every day life for the now sober British. Temperance Bars had become the new social scene.
By the 1890s temperance bars graced every high street, the most prominent being Mr Fitzpatrick's – a successful family of Dublin herbalists who established themselves in the North of England and at their peak successfully ran over 40 shops in the region. After World War II interest in taking the pledge faded. The end of prohibition in the United States and the heavy importation of sweet, sugary drinks, saw the decline of the Temperance Bar. However, one Temperance Bar survived and today Mr Fitzpatrick’s still own and operate the little Victorian bar situated in the Lancashire town of Rawtenstall.
And now The Hambledon has its very own corner of sobriety with a selection of Summer time cordials. It's the perfect time to ditch the hard stuff and get involved in cream soda, lemon and ginger punch, rhubarb and rosehip cordial, sarsaparilla and root beer.
Founded in 2011 by surfing friends Andre Bastos Teixeira and Jose Miguel de Abreu, La Paz is a menswear collection from Portugal. The collection is in part a study of traditional clothing and production techniques but also a celebration of place. Classic marine styles are reinterpreted for a contemporary market and there's a real Atlantic feel in the colours and detailing. We asked Andre and Jose to give us a flavour of their enviable life in Porto with an Instagram edit.
You must know by now that we love a seasonal theme. For Summer 16 we are feeling very inspired by the prospect of hot holidays. But we have a particular yearning for the Aegean and all things Greek. We're dreaming of whitewashed churches, windmills, blue sea and olive groves.
Floaty cotton kaftans, pretty dresses, fine voile tops and Greek sandals. This is Talitha Getty and Bianca Jagger hanging out in Morocco, minus the troublesome private life, of course. Masscob, Ottod'ame, Rose & Rose, Rabens Saloner, 0039 Italy, Des Petits Hauts and Bellerose will show you the way.
Hurray. Hurrah. Pearl Glassware is back in stock. And the salad bowl and the small clear bowl, absent from Western Europe for 4 long months, have finally arrived. Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry are not wrong. Pearl glassware is practical and pretty, perfect for all our Summer entertaining and ideal for our internationally optioned TV shows.
Sandy Suffield, member of the extended Hambledon clan and real life actual sister, has been designing for us since the very early days. And it is high time she had a big shout out for all her lovely work, and not just for us. She has worked for some stellar clients (including Apple, Wagamama, Penguin, Time Out) so we feel pretty blessed to have her in the family.
Check out our beautiful new vouchers and cards. And the new quarterly which will be available in store any minute. And have a look at www.sandysuffield.com. She's good, she is.
We have been fans of James Brown (not that one, the brilliant printmaker one) for a long time. A while ago we commissioned him to make a Winchester poster, we had an exhibition in the Project Space of his prints and he did a great talk on his work. And now we're big fans of Pressed and Folded, a brand new card and stationery venture, from James and his lovely textile designer missus, Malissa.
Describe a typical working day?
Malissa works from her home studio I go to my studio, so although we work together we have separate spaces and work on our individual projects too as well as Pressed and Folded. I think Malissa is a lot better at sitting down, focusing and getting on with the job in hand, I tend to flit about a bit, going from one job to another. Some would say 'unfocused and easily distracted', I prefer 'multi tasking polymath’.
What do you like most about what you do?
The fact that we love doing what we do, and that we are doing this for ourselves and are in complete control of the fun we can have with Pressed and Folded. We can take it in any direction we choose, creating products we love and having fun doing it.
Who/what couldn't you work without?
A The corny answer to that question would be... ‘Each other.’
The real answer would also be each other. Pressed and Folded is very much a team effort. Without the ‘Pressed’ it would just be... ‘Folded’.
What provides the inspiration for the Pressed and Folded collections?
Anything from an exhibition, to a piece vintage of fabric. Malissa has been designing womenswear prints for many years but designing cards has allowed her to be much freer with colour and pattern. We are not designing our cards for occasions and so don’t have many limitations.
How have you found working together on these collections?
At the moment we design separately, but welcome each others opinion when designing. We like the fact that there are two distinct styles creating diversity within the range.
Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?
Of course we are most proud of our new baby, Pressed and Folded, we've been planning it for a while and since launching at Top Drawer in January our cards have been very well received. Its all very exciting indeed and the hard work has paid off.
What are your plans for the future with Pressed and Folded?
We have few ideas in the pipeline including gift wrap, notebooks and some textile products.
What is Pressed and Folded's guilty pleasure?
Absolute 90’s Radio is great to pack cards to. I’m early 90’s baggy and Malissa is late 90’s R n’ B.
Finally, could you tell us about any of your favourite places/hidden gems in the area you live/work in?
We live in Leyton on one side of the Olympic Park and I work the other side in Hackney Wick, so my commute is a nice walk or cycle through the park or along the River Lea. Hackney Wick is a great place to work and has a brilliantly unique community, although I fear the end is nigh, The bulldozers are coming over the hill and the estate agents are circling above like vultures.
Leyton is changing for the better though, thanks to the Olympics and its proximity to Stratford.
We’ve had lots of great new places opening recently to eat and drink (for very important business meetings of course!).
(Marmelo, Yardarm and Deenys)
Leyton is great for green space too, Olympic Park, Victoria Park, Hackney Marshes, Epping Forest.