The story of Andersen & Andersen is like a case study in low key Danish design. Founders Cathrine Lundgren-Andersen and Peter Kjær-Andersen had spent their careers working in the fast-paced fashion and advertising industries so when they founded their family run business back in 2009 they resolved to work in completely the opposite way; focussing on just one thing and setting their sights on perfection; a fisherman's sweater that would outshine all others.
Gathering the best details from maritime knitting history and adding new ones, theirs is a fully fashioned knit inspired by an old navy sweater. This means the stitches are increased and decreased to form the shape, all seams linked together meaning no sloppy cut and sew. The wool too is as neat as it comes, 100% new worsted with uniform length fibres combed so that they all face the same way. To top it off the construction is symmetrical so no worry of wearing it back to front.
Yes, we think they've nailed it. Fisherman's sweater perfection.
It's not every season we can shout about a mainland exclusive. And it's Engineered Garments' hard to come by Workaday line no less. Primarily designed for the Japanese market, it's a collection of exceptionally made basics; seasonless and timeless clothes, designed to be worn through and through. Thermal hoodies, selvedge denim, Oxford shirts, khaki pants and five-pocket cords - the pattern and construction of each piece remains the same season after season, ensuring they earn their place as enduring classics. Daiki Suzuki's utility jacket has already become somewhat iconic in the menswear world. Get yours now.
Oh to be five years old again. When a tutu was your wardrobe staple and it was ok to tear aroud acting out your ballerina fantasies to your heart's content. If you mourn those days then this for you. Bilitis Dix-Sept Ans. A Japanese label who make exquisite, grown-up versions of our daydream outfits; part ballerina, part Paris street style; full net skirts, heavy lace blouses, gathered yoke wool coats and angora sweaters; the imaginings of designers Yuko Seshimo and George Hoshi who dreamed up the line around Bilitis, an imaginary 17-year-old French girl. Five, seventeen, whatever age, they are indeed the kind of clothes dreams are made of. Timeless and ever so beautiful.
Season after season Collette Dinnigan has kept us hooked with her signature lace and immaculate embroidery. Lucy and Victoria grabbed five minutes with the Australian designer at a recent buying appointment for a brief heads up on the super pretty, jet-set world of Collette.
Where and when are you most productive?
In the design room with my team.
What do you like most about what you do?
That no day is the same. I love that about my job.
Who or what inspires you?
Women inspire me. Unpretentious women who work tirelessly for others without any expectation of recognition. In turn, these women remind me how important it is to help others and our environment.
What project, collection or collaboration are you most proud of?
The realisation of my book is something I am incredibly proud of. It is set to be released in October of this year, and has been years in the making.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
To learn to trust my instinct.
What would you like to do in the future?
More interior design.
What is the Collette Dinnigan team's guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and heels.
Lastly, you've a day to spend at leisure in your favourite city. Where would you be and what would you do?
Sitting in Paris, enjoying a leisurely lunch, watching people pass by, followed by an afternoon of shopping.
Innocent bystanders assualted by paper balls. Cherryade explosions on the Cathedral Green. Industrial quantities of chocolate cake. Traffic diversions around Michael's tripod. Silly amounts of coffee and sweets. Paper scrunching and cushion throwing. Serious camera faces and fits of giggles. This is what happens when we shoot a lookbook.
We look forward to news of Peter Jensen's latest madcap muse almost as much as the arrival of his beauiful creations. This season the Danish designer chose lottery winner and Smith's cover star Vivian Nicholson as his leading lady. Intriguing indeed.
In 1961 the cake factory worker was aged 22. Borrowing £5 from her mum, she and her husband put it on the Littlewoods pools and won the equivalent of £5 million. Initially announcing she would ‘spend, spend, spend!’, within five years the money had indeed been squandered, paving the way for a best-selling autobiography and later a stint as a strip club singer covering 'Hey Big Spender'.
‘I was having a hard time working out who should be the muse for this season and then I found the 12" of The Smiths,’ Jensen says. ‘I looked at my drawings and something clicked. My work looked like Viv, like the 60s, it was a perfect match.’
The result is the 60s meets a good measure of Jensen. At one end of the rail a diamond jacquard shift dress, cropped jacket and neat silk crepe blouse, and at the other, a daschund emblazoned knit dress and a sweatshirt sporting Viv's infamous words - spend, spend, spend.
Ah, the gallery wall. Having a moment right now, and when done right, all the ability to transform an uninspired room. The key words here being 'when done right'. Proceed with caution and have a read of these pointers for getting it just so.
1. Rather than sticking to one form, round up photos, art, even momentoes for a more individual and intriguing ensemble - comic strips, children’s scribbles, concert tickets - it should all mean something to you.
2. Using the same frame for each piece can be dramatic, but usually only works if you're displaying just photographs. If you're mixing art and photos then choose frames that complement the individual pieces.
3. If all of your pieces are identical in size a grid pattern layout is extremely dramatic. If your collection has a variety of different objects, frame sizes and frame styles then an asymmetrical arrangement is your best option. The trick to laying out an asymmetrical arrangement is to have a common axis which the pieces are lined up on.
4. The arrangement should read as one unit so keep the frames close to one another. Somewhere between the width of the frame and 5” will ensure the composition is pulled together.
5. Before hammering into your wall, mock up your gallery on the wall using craft paper and washii tape.
6. When you're happy with the layout, start in the center of the composition and hang that piece first. The center should hang at around 5’ off the ground at eye level. Then, piece by piece hang the other pieces moving from the center outwards.
7. Stand back and admire your handywork.
He's our greetings card supremo all the way from LA. Graphic designer, fine artist and all round bon viveur. He loves bananas, poopheads, coconuts and burritos, and when he's not at work in his design studio he can be found serving up Hawaiian style shaved ice at the coolest parties in town courtesy of his new project on the side, Lono's Sweet Shop. This is Ashkahn life.
If you love a meringue you gotta love these girls. Trained chefs Alex and Stacey who met working in a restaurant and bonded over their love of all things sweet. Especially meringues. Now they've built a super lovely business out of their sweet teeth, culinary know-how and some serious Willy Wonka flair, dedicating this book to everyone who dreams of leaving their 9-5.
It's seriously pretty stuff and manages to dispel all fear of tackling this notoriously tricky pud. To start there are the fail-proof techniques and tips (half a teaspoon of vinegar for chewiness), the most divine recipes (hello pretzel chocolate marshmallow meringue tart) and stuff to do with your left over yolks (make passion fruit curd and vanilla custard). The thing we're most excited about though, beetroot and chocolate barbie cake! Check it out.
We're smartening up our game in menswear in the later months of AW13. It's decontructed tailoring all the way. Beautifully cut tweed jackets. Heavy wool pants and twill chinos. Clean-cut, unfussy shirting. Brogues, brogues and more brogues. Teamed with interesting scarves and spectacles.