Lobster and Swan has been one of our regular blog stops for a while now, for cooking, crafting, gardening and decorating adventures and a proper dose of all things girly and romantic. Here, author Jeska lends her eye for all things pretty to her pick of our wares.
London footwear brand Hudson launches its first ever shop within a shop in September. And it's here. At The Hambledon. Doors open on Saturday 31st August.
Autumn 13 is the season of the ankle boot and Hudson have every angle covered. Watch out for Plath (contemporary with lizard detailing), Stanford (ultimate preppy penny loafer), Mirar (modern and easy), Horrigan (coveted by star Millie Mackintosh for its bohemian charm), Riley (a little bit urban cowboy) and Sefton (elegant covered wedge).
Hudson has been putting its best foot forward (and other terrible shoe puns) for more than two decades and we are delighted to welcome them, and their loveable supremo Uncle Les, to The Hambledon. There'll be more from Uncle Les next week as he opines on shoes for our news pages.
The Hambledon/Hudson Project runs from 31 August - 29 September. Extended until Sunday 13th October.
We've gone glam with the leather goods thanks to our first AW13 drop from Beck Sondergaard. Say hello to glossy eelskin, supersoft leather printed up with gold stars, subtle metallics and sophisticated shades of mushroom, charcoal and 'fuzzy peach'. The perfect bit of sparkle and colour to break up those heavy blocks of autumn/winter colour. Plenty useful too with straps and pockets in all the most thoughtful of places.
Bellerose AW13. We're calling it 'thrift store chic'. It's that clever, fearless and effortless kind of dressing you long to pull off but struggle with where to start. Bellerose have made it easy with this collection. No rifling through piles of outcast garments here. Just reserve all caution and mix it up like crazy.
A washed out flannel plaid skirt with a diamante trim collar silk shirt and cropped quilted jacket. Why not? Americana high school jersey layered up with grandma style cable knit. Definitely. Bright orange polka dots with leopard print fake fur. Hell yeah.
We're in full favour of a bonkers project. Here artist James Gulliver Hancock attempts to draw all the buildings in New York. There are 900,00 of them. Hat's off to him, he's made a fair dent so far. 500 and counting. The Empire State, the Rockefeller, the Flatiron, Brooklyn's brownstones, Soho's boutiques - they're all here, charming, sketchy and colourful, begging us to hop on a plane armed with just this by way of a guidebook.
It's 1836 in the German Schwabian Mountains. The land has grown infertile and farmers and their families are starving. So the government kits them out with circular knitting machines to earn their way and some years later a chap called Balthasar Merz founds a company called Merz b. Schwanen, producing a fine line in cotton undergarments.
Fast forward and the fastidious Peter Plotnicki steps into the picture. Determined to revive traditional circular knitting processes, he takes on the Merz brand name in order to continue the family's tradition and history. The result is here in menswear to see - an immaculate collection of jersey apparel, largely based on original patterns and manufactured on mid century circular knitting machines.
There are no side seams. The weave is beautifully irregular. The fit, quality and detailing is superb. And we rather like the beautiful brown boxes they come in too.
Check out our latest faves on Pinterest.
We've been big fans of Chinti & Parker since the beginning and have loved watching how the brand has evolved since launching back in 2009. Here, as we take delivery of their AW13 collection, we talk to co-founder Anna Singh, pictured left.
Describe your typical working day?
I’m not sure there is a typical day as both my partner [cousin Rachael Wood] and I are extremely hands on; we direct all aspects of business, so a single day might include planning the next collection, conducting sales appointments and press interviews, managing any number of ecommerce projects, and a fair bit of number-crunching and business strategy. The common thread is a fairly early wake-up call via my two sons, and a healthy amount of ribbing from Rachael who is a bit of a comedienne.
Who or what couldn't you live without?
My family, Wagamama’s chicken Katsu curry and a sense of humour.
What do you like most about what you do?
I’m building something extremely personal, and when people respond positively to it, it’s hugely rewarding.
Tell us a bit about how Chinti & Parker has evolved since launching in 2009?
I like to think we started out small, but perfectly formed. We launched with a capsule collection of high quality, well-designed basics in organic cotton and cashmere. Since then, we’ve expanded considerably, and now offer a well-versed collection of luxury casualwear with a strong focus on knitwear that combines classic cuts with fashion-minded details. I like to think we create the sort of pieces you’ll return to year in year out, but always feel stylish in.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
There have been a lot of highlights in the last year or so, including amazing press coverage and high profile collaborations with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and cult pattern studio Patternity. However, I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve grown our business considerably in the last year and have subsequently been able to double our team and output. For a young business, this is no mean feat.
What has been the most important lesson learnt?
The bigger your company and profile gets, the easier it is to become distracted from the essence of your brand. Having constant checkpoints in place to keep you focused is crucial.
Who or what inspires you?
We take inspiration from everywhere: a childhood jumper, a tile pattern we’ve seen on our travels, the colour of sun-bleached paper, and any number of style icons past and present. It’s a constantly evolving, eclectic thing, and subconsciously I’m always looking for triggers.
What is team Chinti & Parker's guilty pleasure?
Oh gosh, too many to list! Definitely something edible… probably a mid-afternoon sugar fix in the form of Krispy Kremes. And we’ve been known to check out the Mail online.
And finally, tell us a bit about a few of our favourite pieces from this season's collection...
This season is a balance of graphic intarsia knits, charming handmade prints and versatile separates that do office, evening and off-duty. We loving the Aztec sweater as it lends instant nowness to jeans and a jacket, while the voile shirt is a pretty dress-up, dress-down piece that’s chic without being overdone. For print, the box tee in our handmade ‘tooth’ print is a great way to do pattern in an understated way.
Welcome back to the comfort zone that is autumn/winter dressing. This season we're wrapping up in layer upon layer of texture. Fine silks and chunky knits to statement fake fur and eye catching print. Burnt oranges, icy blues, mustard yellows and plenty of charcoal.
Our first look at menswear a/w13 is a welcome reminder of what we know and love. The heavyweight cotton and wool, hardwearing canvas and leather. The blues, greys and olive greens. Boots, chinos, sweats and jeans. The workwear classics we can't do without.