New to menswear we have another of New York's finest. Both the genetics and aesthetics bare a close resemblance to basement favourite, Engineered Garments, but when it's as good as this, more is definitely a welcome thing.
Like Engineered, Post Overalls is led by a Japanese designer and based in Hell's Kitchen in close proximity to some of America's finest garment manufacturers. Takeshi Ohfuchi developed his obsession with workwear from America's golden era of production as a teenager; wanting to wear the 'real stuff' from the American movies he grew up watching back in Japan. Today he is dedicated to producing the same 'real stuff', replicating every stitch and every button while subtly tweaking a design here and there to fit the character and frame of today's slightly rumpled modern man.
Highlights from our first buy include the royal traveller waistcoat in navy wool melton and the triple-stitched, bar-tacked engineer's jacket, available in navy wool melton and tabacco duck canvas.
Daiki Suzuki's Engineered Garment's continues its artful reconstruction of 20th Century American workwear. This season's showpiece - a field parka constucted from NyCo ripstop, a fabric which features heavily in the uniforms of the US military. Then there's the four button Baker blazer and updated CPO shirt made from the same navy wool melton that goes into the iconic NYPD uniform. Also hard at work is the Andover suit - a grey wool flannel blazer and cynch-back pant which must be worn with the chambray workshirt and an obligatory tie. Not that we mind. This is the kind of uniform we don't mind wearing.
It's a classic tale. Italian family-run factory manufacturing clothes for everyone else spots a little gap for their own range of failsafe dresses. The kind of dress that you pull out of the wardrobe when your room is strewn with clothes and nothing else seems to work. The kind of dress you don't have to think about or even iron because the super comfortable jersey clings only in the right places and instantly looks great. It's 2(4)1, at your service.
Cash Ca. For great cashmere basics in lovely colours, you simply can't beat them. They wash and wear like no other, and the round neck cardigan wins every time.
It's official. Life will never be one long, glamourous beach party. Not even if you're Collette Dinnigan and live in Sydney. Yes, our favourite Australian designer has gone back to work in smart silk and tailored shapes with her AW/12 collection. That's not to say we've lost the intricacy we love her for. The silk dress, skirt and blouse carry a series of bold and colourful prints, while the beautiful crochet pieces return, heavier yet perfect for prettying up the winter months.
There's a lovely story behind how Colenimo came to be this season's star newcomer to womenswear. It all began with a recommendaton by our favourite style guru, Miss Moss which led Victoria and Lucy to designer Aya Nakagawa's brilliant Hackney flat/studio/workshop. There they placed an order in hushed voices while Aya's new baby slept through the appointment. Luckily, there wasn't need for excess noise for the clothes were simply exquisite.
Aya is passionate about detail and garment construction (everything is UK made) and it clearly shows. Meanwhile the aesthetic is firmly rooted in the early 20th century, as she puts it "a fictionalised take on the wardrobe a traditional country lady" mixing traditional fabrics and vintage quirks. So off we go riding in a beautiful velvet collared shirt, taking tea in a luxurious knit and full tartan skirt, and dressing for dinner in a beautiful silk crepe dress and cape.
Continuning on theme this week, we have another unassuming basement hero - US heritage brand Red Wing. Founded by a Charles Beckmann from Red Wing, Minnesota, the company has a long standing reputation for making heavy duty work boots, excellent for mining, logging, farming and alike. They even kitted out US soldiers in both world wars, and as you might expect, have gained a major cult following in all these years. But we admire their lack of song and dance. They just continue to make seriously good boots, like the iconic 875 workboot, lightweight chukka and 8 inch 879 muleskinner we'll be going to work with this season.
John Smedley is like the grand old master of the basement labels. Older than the hills and quietly going about business from season to season, the label very much defines the production values we've come to expect from our brands. They've been turning out their excellent knitwear from the same premises in Derbyshire since 1784, employing a long lineage of local families whose years of experience and craftsmanship would be hard to match. Indeed, Rob insists there isn't a finer merino knit going. They wash and wear like all good wardobe basics should.
New this season, the Belvoir rollneck, joins old favourites the Cavendish cardi, Bower v-neck and the Hunter crewneck. And alongside the navy and charcoal, appears a great new colour called 'soot'.
There was a small space to fill on the womenswear rails, reserved for something a bit unique, slightly rock but everyday kind of wearable. Turns out that space was made for Leon & Harper. Slotting right in, the Parisian label is our favourite new go to for great jerseys and lovely, cosy oversized jumpers.
Hats, people, hats! Beautifully made, beautifully priced hats courtesy of Christys'. Cute cloches, tomboyish trilbys and the ever sohisticated 'Safari', all wool felt and plenty of ribbon. And just a taste of the wonderful things to come later in the season.