No gimmicks or surprises here. Just more immaculately constructed classics from MHL.
This season we're seeing a picture of traditional rural England, all ruddy cheeks and hardy knits.
Margaret’s girl feels very outdoorsy but in a Balmoral fashion. Relaxed slacks and gently pleated knee length skirts are paired with cotton shirts and thick jumpers. Colour is a particular highlight. The staple greys and navys giving way to cornfield yellows, burnt reds and washed out pinks. We even have stripes and a spot of fairisle.
Meanwhile the boys are facing the elements in a navy wool melton hooded jacket and working the land in a heavy duty khaki wool rib sweater and brushed twill utility pant.
Cotton socks. Cashmere socks. Stripey socks. Fairisle socks. Socks for him. Socks for her. Great quality socks from Pantherella. You won't poke your toe through these any time soon.
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.
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.
Samantha Sung and The Jacksons are like old friends to us, but this season we suddenly realised they were meant to be together, so.....
Audrey, meet Lexi, a classic knee-high with a crepe sole. Your perfect match for smart, daytime wear.
Lexi, meet Audrey. You'll soon be devoted to her perfect tailoring and wearability, day and night.
Sabrina and Laudine meet Tatty. In no way tatty and in fact, one ever so elgegant stiletto, and most definitely your equal when it comes to party going.
Tatty, meet Sabrina and Laudine, both supremely smart like yourself, but eminently more comfortable in their beautiful print stretch cotton.
You're all going to get along famously.
Peter Jensen has us totally captivated. Each collection, while quite different from the last, always carries a distinct quirkiness inspired by his chosen muse for the season, typically some wonderfully wayward famous or infamous female who captures his imagination. In the past it's been Sissy Spacek, identity-teasing New York artist Cindy Sherman and disgraced Olympic ice-skater Tonya Harding.
This time it was Thelma Speirs, the idiosyncratic DJ and milliner who has done work for Jean Paul Gaultier, Madonna and Karl Lagerfeld, among others. The result is a steer towards sixties 'lady' dressing - structured knee-length dresses with lurex, cropped plaid jackets and print blouses. And for a more dressed down look, an oversized knit branding a fox's head. It has us thinking we can totally channel some Thelma.