If ever a collection was to prompt the drawing of breath and the dropping of jaws in womenswear, it would surely be this one. Queene & Belle for AW12 is quite simply exquisite. The signature stars are out in force again, falling over gorgeous cashmere cardigans and woven into beautiful cotton shirting. The impossibly pretty lace dress returns with subtle refinements and we're especially loving the new command of colour; a palette perfectly placed somewhere between subtle and bold and best exemplified in one utterly stunning wrap.
The subject is Edwin so pay attention now because it means talking denim and it can get technical. All ounces and rinses. But if you're a denim man then this is your territory and Edwin are your jeans. To start with (and very important if you're a denim man), they've got great heritage. We love how Mr Tsunemi was responsible for taking American style denim production to Japan in the 60s and pioneering 'old wash' and stone wash techniques in the 70s and 80s.
Second (and this is where it does get technical), they turn out a superb pair of jeans. This autumn, the classic straight leg ED47 returns in a red listed 14oz dry denim as well as a new primo rinse wash. It's also our first season carrying the tapered ED55, again in red listed14oz primo wash denim. Sorry if we lost you there. We'll finish on a more straightforward note, but with equal enthusiasm, saying Edwin also do great knitwear. The cable knit made from recycled yarns is well worthy of some attention too.
Just as we're finding our way back into our winter uniform (jeans, boots and jumpers), James go and deliver a mighty handy second instalment. Twiggy looking sleek in black and a smoke velvetine. And Hunter as flattering as can be in a black needle cord. Everyday A/W dressing made easy.
Like many of the menswear brands we most admire, Reigning Champ keep it simple and do one thing really, really well. In their case, it's perfecting classic jerseywear. Their sweatshirts and sweatpants are crafted from 25oz heavyweight Canadian fleece and handfinished by a small team of inhouse sewers with flatlock seams and their signature zigzag stitching. Rob's rarely been without his grey marl classic sweat of late but the final seal of approval for us has to be the fact that another of our much admired brands - Engineered Garments - always turn to Reigning Champ to make their sweatshirts. Got to be good.
Mike Perry, designer, artist and all round good drawer, has a new book and a new exhibition. We're thinking you might not be able to make the trip to his Brooklyn base for the show 'Wondering around Wandering' so we wanted to have a little Hambledon moment in celebration of his work. Born in Kansas, trained in Minneapolis, he has worked for everybody you have ever heard of. He is all about cutting and sticking and mixing paint and drawing by hand. Check out the reams of Astrobright paper in his studio. This is a man who loves neon.
YMC has come of age with their AW offerings. The aesthetic is altogether smarter, yet we're pleased to see we've not lost the label's bold takes on shape, colour and texture. It's the geography teacher and the librarian, not out of place taking a walk down Shoreditch High Street, warding off winter in colour and in style.
The girls are wearing silk pussy bow blouses, beautifully fitted wool dresses, cropped knits and a peter pan collar coat, all in a lovely, unwintry primary palette. Following on are the guys wearing heavy textures and rich hues; weighty cashmere blend knits, beautiful tactile shirting, thick cord chinos and smart wool trousers.
Woolrich is a company made of steadfast stuff. In the 19th Century they saw the confederates through the Civil War with blankets and uniforms. And they're still going strong today with straightforward designs and uncompromising quality. They make clothes you'll come to depend upon.
With the label's first outing in womenswear, Victoria and Lucy were won over by their original blanket-style pieces. A series of heavy duty knits and boiled wool jackets centre around one supremely gorgeous cape. The lovely toggles, buttons and collars smarten up appearences on a crispy autumn walk.
Meanwhile Rob's second season is the most perfetly complete collection you'll find in the basement. The starting point is the parka, the piece for which Woolrich have become most well known. Tokihito Yoshida's re-engineered arctic parka and grey wool field jacket set a high standard, which continues with classic wool blazers, cashmere blend roll necks and subtly checked brushed cotton shirts.
This is what happens when you take stock of a large number of vintage French discothèque posters (courtesy of our friend Sharon from Old Albion) and develop a new obsession with colour blocking. Welcome to Autumn / Winter 2012 at The Hambledon.
Maybe, just maybe, we'd become a little bit blasé about Bloch. Our love affair with the perfect ballet pump has been a long one, after all. But all of a sudden the lust is back. In amongst our staple classics, there's a new suede number with a fake fur lining, taking comfort to a whole new level. And then there's a heel, possibly the prettiest and most comfortable heel we've sunk our feet into for a long time.
How thrilled and excited are we to feature in Vogue's list of the '100 Best Shops Outside London'?!