We have been fans of James Brown (not that one, the brilliant printmaker one) for a long time. A while ago we commissioned him to make a Winchester poster, we had an exhibition in the Project Space of his prints and he did a great talk on his work. And now we're big fans of Pressed and Folded, a brand new card and stationery venture, from James and his lovely textile designer missus, Malissa.
Describe a typical working day?
Malissa works from her home studio I go to my studio, so although we work together we have separate spaces and work on our individual projects too as well as Pressed and Folded. I think Malissa is a lot better at sitting down, focusing and getting on with the job in hand, I tend to flit about a bit, going from one job to another. Some would say 'unfocused and easily distracted', I prefer 'multi tasking polymath’.
What do you like most about what you do?
The fact that we love doing what we do, and that we are doing this for ourselves and are in complete control of the fun we can have with Pressed and Folded. We can take it in any direction we choose, creating products we love and having fun doing it.
Who/what couldn't you work without?
A The corny answer to that question would be... ‘Each other.’
The real answer would also be each other. Pressed and Folded is very much a team effort. Without the ‘Pressed’ it would just be... ‘Folded’.
What provides the inspiration for the Pressed and Folded collections?
Anything from an exhibition, to a piece vintage of fabric. Malissa has been designing womenswear prints for many years but designing cards has allowed her to be much freer with colour and pattern. We are not designing our cards for occasions and so don’t have many limitations.
How have you found working together on these collections?
At the moment we design separately, but welcome each others opinion when designing. We like the fact that there are two distinct styles creating diversity within the range.
Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?
Of course we are most proud of our new baby, Pressed and Folded, we've been planning it for a while and since launching at Top Drawer in January our cards have been very well received. Its all very exciting indeed and the hard work has paid off.
What are your plans for the future with Pressed and Folded?
We have few ideas in the pipeline including gift wrap, notebooks and some textile products.
What is Pressed and Folded's guilty pleasure?
Absolute 90’s Radio is great to pack cards to. I’m early 90’s baggy and Malissa is late 90’s R n’ B.
Finally, could you tell us about any of your favourite places/hidden gems in the area you live/work in?
We live in Leyton on one side of the Olympic Park and I work the other side in Hackney Wick, so my commute is a nice walk or cycle through the park or along the River Lea. Hackney Wick is a great place to work and has a brilliantly unique community, although I fear the end is nigh, The bulldozers are coming over the hill and the estate agents are circling above like vultures.
Leyton is changing for the better though, thanks to the Olympics and its proximity to Stratford.
We’ve had lots of great new places opening recently to eat and drink (for very important business meetings of course!).
(Marmelo, Yardarm and Deenys)
Leyton is great for green space too, Olympic Park, Victoria Park, Hackney Marshes, Epping Forest.
We are delighted to introduce Anne Rasmussen, Custommade's Head Designer. She took time out of her extremely busy schedule to chat to us about working for one of Denmark's leading womenswear brands, collaborating with The Hambledon and living life the Scandinavian way. Tak.
We always like to tell a story for the season. What is the inspiration behind the SS16 Custommade collection?
SS2016 takes its starting point in little travel histories. A girl travels and discovers new refined universes. Curious, she travels with her camera, enjoying both spring's brighter days and nights as well as traveling mentally. The colors are based on the graphic base palette. With the grey and dark blue tones, and along with a lot of white, gorgeous accent colors are sprinkled into the collection and adjusted to each month of delivery. The collection is flirtational girly with lace details and ruffles while still with a focus on the long graphic lengths and lines that completes the collection. The prints are original vintage prints.
And your favourite piece(s) in the collection?
That´s a hard one. I love our lace and knitwear in this collection and particularly the Jasmina jacket (pictured left) is so cool!
How would you describe a Custommade woman?
A typical Custommade woman is a modern-minded, cosmopolitan woman who craves simple sophistication.
What can our customers expect from the Custommade project at The Hambledon?
They can expect a full Custommade experience with styles that they can feel comfortable and chic in. The silhouettes are feminine but also simple and easy to wear. As always we focus on the high quality in our fabrics. Easy to wear and easy to love is the best way to describe the look and feel of Custommade.
We're a bit obsessed with Danish style. How would you define it? How can we be more Danish?
The street style is simple and sophisticated including when it comes to the use of colors. But Danish women can be creative (especially during the summer). In general I actually think that Danish women put a lot of effort into looking effortlessly chic.
Describe a typical day at Custommade HQ
A typical day consists of finding inspiration, drawing patterns - and when we are further in the process me and my design team spends a lot of time on fitting the prototypes - and getting all the details in place.
What do you most like about what you do?
I love the creative process and seek inspiration from many different places - from patterns, cuts, poems - and girls on the streets of Copenhagen and Paris. Nothing beats the feeling of having created a collection that women across the world find beautiful.
Who/what couldn't you live without?
That´s easy! My three children and my husband.
What has been your proudest Custommade moment?
There have been many - but in 2014 we won the renowned Guldknappen award by the women's magazine ALT for Damerne. The award is given to a Danish fashion brand, that has been extraordinary in creating success, and a brand that the Danish woman can relate to. That was a proud moment!
What's your favourite Danish crime drama? And your favourite Danish swear word. And your top insider tip for a trip to Copenhagen.
I like many of the Danish crime dramas - but some of my favorites are Drabet and Borgen. The swear word I use the most is “sgu” (I guess it´s damn in English) - it´s not even a real swear word anymore. Copenhagen is really one of the best cities in the world when it comes to eating well - so prioritize in order to visit some of the many delicious restaurants. And visit Torvehallerne - Copenhagen´s delicious farmers' market, offering tons of organic, sustainable and locally-sourced food fare. There are also free samples of certain items, so even if you don't have a lot of money you can still enjoy some local flavor.
Custommade will be taking over the Project Space in our Winchester store 6th February - 6th March 2016
Well, imagine how pleased we were when Caroline asked if she could feature us in 91 Magazine. Imagine how pleased we were when she asked if she could include us in her book. And imagine how very delighted we were to be on the cover of 'The Shopkeeper's Home', fresh from the publishers this week. We asked Caroline to give us the inside track on writing a book, and what she thinks of shopping.
What gave you the idea for The Shopkeepers Home?
Well shopping and interiors are two of my greatest passions, and I started running a feature in 91 Magazine where we shot a shop interior and the owner's home, and I really loved how it was working. I'd been in discussions with my publisher, Jacqui Small, for a while, and it came to me that this would translate really well into a book, and would totally indulge my love of shopping and interiors!
How do the European, American and Australian stores differ from the British shops featured in the book?
All the shops that are featured are independent shops - many of them stocking lots of products from local designers and makers, so I think there is definitely a sense of location running through most of the shops. The UK ones feel quite 'British' and quirky, the US ones have a feeling of Americana about them - you can spot things like a 'California' pennant or a stars and stripes flag, or American style vintage signage for example. The European ones are very cool and stylish. But they all tie together in the sense that I feel they represent my style in some way - I love vintage but I like to mix it with contemporary design, and I love crafting and handmade things too.
Are you an enthusiastic shopper? What do you like buying?
I LOVE shopping! Anywhere we travel to, either in the UK or abroad, I will always be keeping my eyes peeled for great shops, and have usually done a bit of research beforehand. To be honest, you could quite possibly put me in any shop in the world and I will find something that I want to buy!! I am trying to be a little more restrained of late as I do want to simplify things in our home a little, so I'm trying to only buy things I really really love, but it is hard, I'm a total magpie, always looking for lovely things!
How does making a book differ from writing a blog or putting together a magazine?
A book is obviously a much bigger task. The word count can initially be quite scary, but I decided the best way to approach it was in little bitesize chunks, especially as I was having to work around my new baby! I kind of treated each little section as if I was writing a magazine feature, although the writing style is different. The voice I use on my blog is very different to the voice I use for magazine features and again for the book.
Describe your typical working day?
As I say, I currently have to work around my 15 month old daughter. At the moment she has a nap after lunch so this is when I have a chance to do any project work or writing I need to get done. I generally answer emails once she is in bed at 7pm. She now goes to a childminder two days a week which has made things a lot easier as I can put my full attention on my work for those days. In terms of what I do, it is really varied. Sometimes I am writing features for Mollie Makes magazine, sometimes I am working on things for my book publisher (I also do picture research projects for them), sometimes I am blogging. I love how varied my job is, and I never get bored of it! .
What do you like most about what you do?
The variety is great, as I mentioned above, but it is also the fact that every day I get to write, blog or research things that I am really passionate about. I get to work with so many great and inspiring people too. Work is an absolute joy to me and I'm so happy that I made the leap from being in employment to being freelance and doing what I love every day.
Who or what couldn't you work without?
I think I would be lost without my iPhone. It helps me to keep on top of things all the time. Sometimes if I'm out pushing the buggy I'll also be checking emails, I'm surprised I haven't walked into any lampposts!!
What's your guilty pleasure?
Like a lot of people, it is probably chocolate! I eat way too much of it! Being a busy mum I often just grab a bar of chocolate to keep me going which is really bad! I love fancy chocolate, but I am just as happy with a bar of galaxy or a bag of giant buttons if I'm honest!! ;)
There are some secret projects in the pipeline as well as planning where I am going with 91 Magazine in 2016. I've had to take a break from it while I focussed on the book and becoming a mum for the first time, so I hope to make a plan to take it forward next year. We're also in the process of buying a new house which is a massive redecoration project that is probably going to take years, so there will be lots of material for the blog there!
We are delighted to welcome brand new British denim brand Hawksmill to the basement. Based in Brighton, manufactured on vintage Union Special machines, using exclusive Cone Mills selvedge cloth and drawing inspiration from European and American workwear, this is set to get the denim heads hearts racing. We asked founder, CEO and designer Fraser Trewick to tell us a bit about the Hawksmill story.
I've known you since your days with Nudie and I know indigo runs though you veins, was this the main reason to go and start up by yourself ?
I've alway had an interest in denim since I was a teenager. In the 80s it was a big thing to buy vintage Levis, and I soon noticed that some of the jeans I was buying were of far superior quality to others. With a little research I discovered that these were the jeans that were made before the age of mass production. They tended to have a capital E on the red tab and were made from selvedge fabric. That was when my love affair with denim began and it's alway been an aspiration to create my own label. Myself and my partner Anthony Smith have had this planned for sometime and just felt that now was the right time to introduce our ideas to the market.
Was it always the intention to go out and work with Cone mills ? How did that come about ?
Before I began Hawksmill I worked for a while with a denim factory in Bristol Tennessee. As part of the project I was lucky enough to visit the Cone Mills White Oak plant in North Carolina. It's the last place left in the US manufacturing selvedge denim and is currently celebrating its 110 anniversary. For me it's where everything started and seemed an obvious choice when selecting fabrics for Hawksmill.
When you designed the cuts did you find inspiration from those much loved favourites that we all have in our wardrobes?
Of course when putting together the jeans we would take inspiration from vintage pieces, but this was more in terms of construction. The fits were created from scratch and were a long time in development. The main aim was to offer something for everyone. Hence, we created 5 classic fits which we felt would appeal to a wide audience.
Do you think the man in the street has a better take on how a pair of jeans should be compared to 10 years ago? If so why do you think this is?
The main reason has to be the internet. Now knowledge which was once difficult to accumulate from specialist dealers and books is widely available on the web. This is a hugely positive thing, and a lot more people understand the work that goes into a premium pair of jeans. Without this growing audience Hawksmill Denim Co would not be able to exist.
Tell us 3 important things that you've learned about starting a denim brand?
1. You're only as good as the people you work with.
2. Never compromise on quality.
3. Focus on what you're doing and don't worry about what anyone else is up to.
The Hawksmill A/W15 collection is now available in our Winchester store.
Daughter of Tony Lonsdale, the man behind the legendary Jean Machine stores, and denim model Chekkie Maskell, Chloe Lonsdale has jeans in her genes. She re-launched her godfather's denim label Made in Heaven in 2005 and we've long since been fans. Here's what life looks like as a mother of four at the helm of a major global denim force (who've just delivered another gorgeous collection for SS15); super busy, satisfying and all shades of blue!
Lemlem has just landed in womenswear, all bright and breezy, and way more than just another collection of beautiful threads. The label was founded in 2007 by former model and WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Liya Kebede, with the aim of inspiring economic independence for women in her native Ethiopia and preserving the traditional art of cotton weaving. Here we take a look behind the scenes for a serious dose of colour and sunshine.
What was the original inspiration behind Studio Nicholson?
To create an advanced contemporary womenswear brand based on a menswear silhouette.
Describe your typical working day.
Before lunch I devote my time to business matters, after lunch is all about the design and development.
Who or what couldn't you work without?
Beth Hackett, my Global Brand Director and Japanese Brown Rice Tea.
What do you like most about what you do?
Selecting fabric - it's at the core of everything I do.
Who or what inspires you?
Japan. I visit at least once a year and it also happens to be our biggest single market.
Who would you most like to see wearing a Studio Nicholson design?
Which pieces from the AW14 collection have made their way into your wardrobe?
The Flynn pant - a great pleat-front cropped wool and cashmere trouser - and the Irving Skirt - the simplest silk slip skirt that works with everything.
What has been your proudest Studio Nicholson moment to date?
Being called a 'Womenswear Hero' in Monocle.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
Patience gets you everywhere and to expect nothing.
What would you like to do in the future?
Open our first bricks and mortar store in London and launch menswear.
And finally, what is team Studio Nicholson's guilty pleasure?
Novelty stationery from Japan!
The Studio Nicholson Pre SS15 collection is now available in store.
We were sold on Imogen Owen's pretty papery goods from the start. But then Victoria and Lucy bumped into her at a trade show and spent a hilarious appointment discussing expletives on greetings cards, and our love for the letterpress artist was sealed. So much so we just had to have a snoop behind the scenes at Imogen Owen HQ.
When Paul Lowe's Hambledon wish list appeared in our inbox we were super thrilled. We had always hoped he was as lovely and jolly as his book and blog make him out to be, and it turns out, he really is. Here is his pick of our festive treats, and guess what, they are just as jolly as he is.
1. Toy Shop Advent Calendar £5.95 | 2. Pop Star Decorations £5.95 | 3. Lump of Coal Cachette £24.95 | 4. Wrapped Up Multi Gift Tags £5.50 | 5. Pop Party Hats £7 | 6. Mulled Wine Syrup £5
He's one of the world's leading interiors bloggers. A man hooked on hue whose gorgeous book, Bright Bazaar, is our turn-to for colour inspiration. Ever so pleased to have Will Taylor, aka Mr Bazaar, here, making some bold and bright picks from our wares.