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.
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.
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.
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.
It was all hammers, scissors, allen keys and helpful amounts of Fruitellas as we put together our BeckSondergaard project this week. Huge thanks due to Kam and Karina, who flew all the way from Denmark with their bag of hooks and washi tape and gave the space a little flavour of Copenhagen with special bunting and mid-century furniture. Hambledon Projects is now awash with beautiful, beautiful scarves and bags, including our first ever world exclusive, available only from us. I know! We're a bit gobsmacked.
Just when we thought we couldn't possibly find an excuse to fall in love with Marilyn Moore all over again, she goes and ramps up the fit. With dresses cinching, pleating and draping in even more of the right places (we didn't think it possible), little jackets cut to perfection and the softest cashmere cable knit cardis hugging at the waist.
This season Just in Case gets edited down to its very essence. A tiny, neat collection that could be straight out of Cecil Beaton's scrapbook. Three full skirts, two classic cardis, one wool dress and the plushiest coat we ever did see. All the right balance of 30s print, monochrome, glorious florals, digital photography and dreamy colors. All the signature stuff we've come to love.
Sigh. It's time to hoik out the hoisery. Not that we really mind. No endless hitching and general discomfort here. Just Wolford, the finest hoisery going, as endorsed by Lucy who has roadtested a lot of tights through the seasons and converted us all into Wolford wearers. The perfectly fitting Velvet 50 is our staple winter black but such is our new found love of hoisery you're likely to see us stepping out this season in spots and a Vivienne Westwood-esque check, not to mention metallic and hot pink numbers.
We could talk about Breathless, a lovely low rise velvet skinny in rose and cement. Or perhaps we should mention the beautiful silk seafoam print top and tails shirt. Or the classic surfer check shirt. All mint green, putty and blush pink, softening the move into winter. But no, what we're really busting to tell you about is one, single, truly special, slightly mad silver leather jacket that's sitting all by itself up on the womenswear rails. It's a little bit Bowie, a little bit Erté, but really you just need to see it to know why we had to. Sorry.