Each year Victoria's dad makes a special trip to Winchester to hang our beautiful shopfront garland; a masterpiece of fresh greenery, ribbons and lights. Observing from inside the shop, or the bottom of the ladder, it's always looked quite a feat. But we're assured it's straightforward, especially on a smaller scale, so this year we took notes from the master of the swag...
1. Arm yourself with secateurs, gloves and a ball of dark green twine.
2. Gather greenery. Ivy is a good option for bulking it out.
3. Cut a length of twine to fit the area you will hang the garland across, plus a bit extra for tying it up.
4. Start with the ivy to provide a good base and tie sections along the length of twine, leaving a section of bare twine at each end for tying up the garland.
5. Next intersperse your other sprigs along the length of the garland. Lay them out first to ensure you get an even spread of colour, then attach using twine.
6. Tie ribbons along the length for some extra colour, and then you're ready to hang.
7. Finish by weaving a string of lights in and out, and ta dah, you've got a swag to be smug about.
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.
Here it is. Just a small selection of our favourites from the show. In store we'll be playing an extended version. 4.5 hours extended. Tammy Wynette, eat your heart out and Rob, grab your earplugs.
1. It's My Life - Connie Britton
2. Rose Colored Glasses - John Conlee
3. Old Numbers - Catlin Rose
4. You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter) - Ashley Monroe duet with Blake Shelton
5. If I Didn't Know Better (Nashville Cast Version) - Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen
6. Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette
7. Papa Writes to Johnny (Nashville Cast Version) - Charles Esten
8. Undermine (Acoustic Version) - Hayden Panettiere & Charles Esten
9. Wrong Song - Connie Britton & Hayden Panettiere
10. Postcards from Mexico (feat. Michiel Huisman) - Connie Britton
11. She Cranks My Tractor - Dustin Lynch
12. Get Your Buzz On - The Cadilac Black
13. Looking For A Place To Shine (feat. Clare Bowen) - Nashville Cast
14. Slideshow - Charles Easton
15. Hey Ho (feat. Lennon Stella and Maisy Stella) - Nashville Cast
16. Back Home (Nashville Cast Version) - Charles Esten
17. Emmylou - First Aid Kit
18. No One Will Ever Love You - Connie Britton & Charles Esten
Rob only has himself to blame for this. The day he came into work and told Lucy about a new series that he thought she'd like. That series was Nashville and Rob was right. Soon we were all hooked on the struggles of fading country superstar Rayna James and her rising teen rival Juliette Barnes. "What would Rayna do / say / wear?" is a daily mantra in these parts, and such is our obsession we thought we'd have some fun and dedicate this week to all things Nashville, the place, the people and most importantly, the music. Thank yous to Rob, Rayna and Rhett (for the technical efforts behind our Nashville playlist on Mixcloud). And thank you too to our other much admired authority on the theme, Nashville residents Imogen + Willie.
Heads up Nashville converts, here's your chance to go all out Western style.
We've got three pairs of Edwin Nashvilles up for keeps.
Crafted from 14oz unwashed red listed selvage detailing, these are the jeans of cowboys, a traditional straight cut, high rise with a donut button fly, designed to be worn turned up to show the red selvage detailing.
For your chance to win, simply follow us on Twitter and direct message us the answer to the following question:
In the Grand Ole Oprey, how big is the famous stage circle from the Ryman Auditorium?
You wouldn't expect anything less from party planning dream team Lucy and Lindsey. Posies of pink carnations and sprigs of rosemary. Rickety garden chairs and vintage votives. Potted prawns and rhubarb meringue. Even a mighty fine Victoria sponge baked by Rob. Yes, womenswear's grand marble table played host to a surprise dinner party fit for a very special person indeed - our gorgeous Olivia, off to study law no less, to whom we wish only the very, very best.
Borgen, The Killing, The Bridge. We have been hitching a ride on the whole Danish thing. But shed any notions of bleak dockyards, creepy killers and slightly matted jumpers, we were in a very different, fashiony, cool and colourful Copenhagen. Day 1: Gallery Fashion Show and we discover a super gorgeous knitwear brand and have a lovely appointment with Stella Nova in their beautiful showroom. Day 2: New homeware show in old cattle market and we're very excited about brand spanking new Scandi things about to be delivered to sunny Winchester. And then much wandering about in the Meat Packing district. Go to Mother for pizza (very good). Visit vintage shop Affaer (very good but they don't take cards).
Our much missed VM extraordinaire Laura was back in town last Friday. Her visit just happended to coincide with a window change so we put her to work. Cue lots of big laughs, much tea drinking and one beautifully decked out festive window.
Tis a special day indeed and one of our most cherished traditions (besides morning coffee and afternoon tea); the hanging of our beautiful swag by Victoria's dad completes our festive makeover and marks the start of Christmas proper.