We love a handbag and a bag with a split personality suits us even better. French designers Craie have created the perfect bag for every occassion; sparkly on the outside and plain on the inside. Or do you want to reverse that? How about two colour options? In case you can't understand what our vacillating brains are on about, watch the helpful little video below.
Our favourite sock makers have taken Ancient Greece and Japanese Kimonos as their inspiration this season, but only they could go via Nicholas Party, Jean Arp and David Hockney. The result is their trademark block patterns and impressionistic style dyed on to high quality Egyptian cotton yarn which is then spun into super fine and comfortable socks. Your feet will never have been so well dressed.
Every season we like to have a theme, or a couple of themes, on which to hang our womenswear collections. We spotted a bit of a gamine Parisian thing going on for Autumn Winter 15 and we've called it Paris Metro.
Here's our take on French chic. It's all about oversize knits, cocoon coats, ladylike blouses, matelots and a boyfriend jean. We're loving Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jean Seberg for that insouciant boy/girl androgyny thing and we're loving Simone de Beauvoir for a bit of intellectual rigour. It's all about looking as if you really haven't tried.
Get the look with Des Petits Hauts, Bellerose, Sessun and Mads Norgaard.
Our annual, exclusive collaboration with Tricker's has just arrived in store. Based on the classic Tricker's shoe, coincidentally called Robert (although our Rob assures me this has nothing to do with his choice of style), we have two options. Check out burgundy calf upper with natural welt or espresso calf with self coloured welt (a cleaner finish). Both have dainite sole units. Both have choice of three laces. Both have blind eyelets (no metal rings). Both are £370. And both are limited edition. So hurry on over.
Tricker's Shoes have been handmade in Northampton for 180 years and the company is still run, five generations later, by the Baltrop family. They have one 'Quality Standard' so every shoe undergoes the same rigorous production process of 250 separate operations from start to finish.
Our lovely friends at Hudson (thank you Claire, Madeleine, Sandra and Bronagh) have been working their shoe shop magic on the womenswear floor. We've marshalled the old decorating ladder and the chip board and the Hudson Project is now live. And we have just about every kind of boot for every kind of occasion. Old favourites biker Tatham, riding boot Wistow and preppie loafer Stanford are making a comeback. But we're introducing lots of new including Apisi, a grey velvet cowboy (howdy); Azi, a winter white cowboy (likewise, howdy); Bisque, a leather hi top and Crispin, a chunky heeled and pointy toed dressing up boot.
And don't forget the competition. Sign up to our mailing lists and you could win an overnight stay at Cowley Manor (with dinner and spa treatments), a pair of Hudson boots and £50 to spend at The Hambledon.
Hudson is celebrating its 25th Year so we're very pleased to be part of the party.
Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia's founder, got his start as a climber in 1953 as a 14-year-old member of the Southern California Falconry Club, which trained hawks and falcons for hunting. He was taught how to rappel down the cliffs to the falcon aeries. He soon started hopping freight trains to Stoney Point and eventually learned to climb. From there he moved on to the big walls of Yosemite..
In Yosemite, multi-day ascents required hundreds of placements of soft iron pitons which were placed once, then left in the rock. In 1957 Chouinard decided to make his own reusable hardware. He went to a junkyard and bought a used coal-fired forge, a 138-pound anvil, and started teaching himself how to blacksmith..
In the 60’s Chouinard began his business by forging and selling steel pitons to sustain his climbing. He could forge two of his in an hour, and sold them for $1.50 each. Since most of his tools were portable, he’d load up his car and travel the California coast from Big Sur to San Diego, surfing and forging pitons. By 1965, there was enough demand for Chouinard's gear that he couldn't keep making it by hand. He had to start using tools, dies and machinery. He began redesigning and improving almost every climbing tool, to make them stronger, lighter, simpler, and more functional.
In 1970, Chouinard Equipment had become the largest supplier/manufacturer of climbing gear in the North America. But as climbing became more popular, it also remained concentrated on the same routes. The fragile cracks had to endure repeated hammering of pitons, both placement and removal of pitons caused severe disfiguring of the rock face.
After an ascent of the degraded Nose route on El Capitan which had been pristine a few summers earlier, Chouinard decided to phase out of the piton business. In 1972, pitons were discontinued and an editorial was written for the catalog advocating “Clean Climbing” the use of aluminum chocks and slings instead of chrome- molybdenum steel pitons. Within a few months of the catalog's mailing, the piton business had atrophied; chocks sold faster than they could be made. It was at this point that he began to see a correlation between the environment and business.
Clothing became part of the Chouinard Equipment catalog with the introduction of Rugby shirts to be used for climbing. The soft goods line expanded to include polyurethane anoraks and bivouac sacks from Scotland, boiled-wool gloves and mittens from Austria, and hand-knit reversible "schizo" hats from Boulder. Chouinard believed that clothing must be as efficient as climbing equipment: an alpinist on a bivouac needs to stay warm when it is cold and feel comfortable when it is warm. In 1973, the name Patagonia was founded. The name was chosen because of Chouinard’s love of the region, it would broaden the appeal beyond climbing and it can be pronounced in every language.
Patagonia A/W15 is now available in our Winchester store.
Anonymousism, Apenteur, Baracuta, Barena, Beams Plus, Buzz Rickson's, Carhartt, Champion by Todd Snyder, Christys', Converse, Edwin, Engineered Garments, Engineered Garments Workaday, Fidelity, Filson, Gitman Bros, Grenson, Hawksmill Denim Co., Hestra, Howlin', Iron heart, L.V.C., Merz b. Schwanen, Moray Cashmere, Moscot, Norse Projects, Oliver Spencer, Our Legacy, Patagonia, Portuguese Flannel, Redwing, Sunspel, Tanner Goods, Tellason, Trickers, Universal Works and Woolrich.