Hats off to our first arrival of the new season - Levi’s Made & Crafted - who have managed to get us all excited about the prospect of rugging up come the cooler months. This is the way we like winter to look, all cosy and colourful. Think American trucker gets washed up on a cold Nordic shore where they love to brighten things up with a serious dose of colour. We’re loving the check flannel shirting, chunky knits and primary palette, and once again, the quality and attention to detail are excellent.
If there’s a dress we could all imagine pulling out of our wardrobe fifteen years from now, it would surely be a Goat number. The epitome of timeless classic, these dresses make elegance effortless. The clean lines, beautiful tailoring and luxurious fabrics do all the work you need of them. And this season is no excepetion. The celebrated anywhere/everywhere Lola shift is back in a lovely, delicate needle cord. Then there's Pandora, fitted at the waist with a flared sleave, and Purdy, all sophisticated babydoll in wool crepe. What we're really falling for though are the colours, the gorgeous colours. Deep blackberry purple, vintage gold, blush pink and soft grey. Hook, line and sinker.
While we always love new arrivals, pre collections can often prove a little tricky to contemplate. But with no end to the decidedly unseasonal weather in sight, yesterday's delivery of the Made in Heaven AW12 pre collection was met with much excitement, slight relief even. Not at all out of place. Simply gorgeous and perfectly now.
Forget confectionery, this is the kind of treat you really want to find in a biscuit tin. Utterly original, beautifully understated and nicely priced bling from our new collections by Depeapa and Paper and Chain. Irresistible.
Welcome to Winchester, YMC. Don't you fit perfectly in our project space with the charming mix of oddities and beautifully straightforward clothing you're displaying. We're quite certain you'll make plenty of new friends here thanks to your latest offering of re-imagined classics. Recall summer days gone by, knee-length silhouettes, preppy chinos, blazers, crisp cotton, pretty broderie anglaise and leather sandals. Yes, YMC we like your style, please make yourself right at home.
Takeovers tend to be unwelcome affairs, but we couldn't be more happy about this one. Yesterday we flung our doors wide open to favourite Brit label YMC, plied them with tea and biscuits and let them do their wonderful YMC thing to our first floor project space. For the next month we'll be wearing their clothes and playing their music, and to offer a bit of background on it all we had a nice chat with Design Director and Partner, Fraser Moss.
YMC takeover The Hambledon. What can we expect?
Winchester can expect a little of what YMC has to offer in its home town of London. Old oddities from all over the world mixed with a clean, fresh approach to clothing.
Tell us a bit about the SS12 collection?
The men's is clean cut with a sporty take on Ivy League to it, whereas the women's offers delicate details, cropped hem lines and a touch of the English Riviera.
How does each collection evolve and how do you marry the menswear and womenswear collections?
The YMC collection evolves naturally. We like to keep moving and hopefully keep things fresh and exciting. The colour palette, prints and fabrics stay true throughout the mens and womens collections.
If you could only keep two pieces, one for a boy and one for a girl, which would you choose and why?
From SS12 I'd keep the cotton knit Boating Blazer for men because it is a staple smart and casual item which is extremely versatile. For women's, it would have to be the beautifully simple lace embroidered skirt just for being so pretty and timeless.
What inspires you?
I'm constantly looking for inspiration wherever I am. I often find what I need in the most obscure places from old comic books, poster art and a seemingly never ending source of vintage detailing which can be worked into a modern design.
Tell us a bit about the mix we're playing and what part music plays at YMC?
My job can be pretty mentally intense at times and my obsession with music is what keeps me sane. Growing up the two were so tightly entwined that if you were into clothes you were naturally into music, from Mod to Goth to Punk etc....it's part of by my DNA.
Who would you most like to see wearing your designs?
Intelligent, modern thinking people. Someone that isn't influenced by things that we are 'told' to wear.
How did you get started as a designer?
Growing up in Wales there were limited resources so to be stylish and fashionable you had to be very canny which involved a lot of secondhand clothing and various alterations. I feel that I have always had this in me and it was an inevitable route but I had to do it the hard way as I am self taught.
What do you like most about your job?
Being able to create.
And having a shop?
The shop has been an interesting learning curve and has helped me from a design point of view by giving me more of an understanding of the correct balance between creating an interesting yet commercial item. In the past I may have been a bit too left field!
What's next for YMC?
Our first catwalk show at Mens London fashion Week in June which is a really exciting project for YMC. Photo: Noble Pauper
Favourite French label Paul & Joe Sister return to womenswear this week with their wonderfully eclectic style. Gorgeous floral prints get thrown together with broderie anglaise and a touch of tweed. And somehow it all just works.
We're always amazed by just how fabulous Marilyn Moore's frocks look on so many people. And we're quite certain that her SS12 collection is going to deliver the same high standard. From light cotton daytime options in bright primaries (including the Miki, of course!) through to super luxe silk pieces in gorgeous pearly pinks, soft greys and gold, we challenge you not to find something that suits.
Queene and Belle deliver their wardrobe treasures for SS12 this week. It's as covetable and collectable as ever with their beautiful handstitched detailing, luxury yarns spun in Scotland and cool, eclectic styling. Pretty vintage lace hangs alongside nautical stripes, cotton broderie anglaise and embellished knits.
Launched in 2009, we're loving how Chinti & Parker is growing up. First it was the perfect t-shirt, then gorgeous cashmere and now we're presented with a collection of beautiful blouses, skirts and dresses with which to complete their signature look. Breton stripes with bright acid pockets. Trails of stars and spots over safe grey or navy. Tomboy collars on pretty polka dot blouses. It's simple with a twist, classic but updated and understated yet fun./>