AW16 has hit the rails in menswear and the months ahead promise really good things. Here's Rob's top five of what's new and exciting in the basement this season.
Roll up, roll up! Summer is here and our Creighton's Chocolaterie project is in full swing; the ground floor mezzanine decked out in vintage fairground paraphernalia, shelves lined with Creighton's latest collection of circus-inspired confectionery. We asked founder Lucy to name her hero products.
Prize Goldfish: Back to the days when you could win your pet by throwing an oversized ball into a too-small hoop.
Ginger Beer Bar: A chocolate bar laced with the taste of sticky summer days and wrapped in a sleeve inspired by
fairground balloon sellers.
Unicorn Food: A Hambledon exclusive, because unicorns need chocolate too!
Magic Unicorn Lollies: Another one-of-a-kind design made especially for the event, and they look pretty!
Retro Popcorn Bar: Comes in a special retro popcorn bag which is reminiscent of 1950s American movie drive-ins. Also reminds me of the final scene in Grease when they are dancing around the fairground!
Cactus Lolly: When the British summer isn’t quite as hot as it should be, fill your life with cacti and pretend you live in Texas.
Granny Gnashers: Our most loved joke creation.
Glazed Donut: No trip to the fair is complete without an obligatory sugary donut.
If the hearts, thumbs up and smiley faces are anything to go by then jolly pictures of our partywares are a good thing. And anything dog-related is even better. In fact, it doesn’t get any better than a real-live dog, all big eyes and wagging tail. Thumbs up, smiley faces, heart, heart, heart.
We hear you. And so it occurred to us that there might actually be one thing better than a cute dog and that's a lot of cute dogs having a party.
So Jack and Jackson came over and Burt and Wyatt were coaxed downstairs from Lucy’s flat over the shop, and we got our party on, Meri Meri style. Up went the banners, on went the party hats, the superhero masks and unicorn horns and out came the doggy biscuits. Entertainment in the form of party plates and cups, perfect for knocking over and chewing on. Hold down that heart button.
There’s this great new place in cyberspace we’re hanging out these days. Trouva, which translates as ‘a lucky find’, is an online community of the UK’s best bricks and mortar independents; a place to shop an edited selection of all our wares in one place.
It's a best of the best situation. We shopkeepers search high and low to fill our stores with “just the good stuff," as we like to say here at The Hambledon, and the talented Trouva team whittle the wares down and bring all the really good stuff together on their website.
So here we are, with a nice new shopfront, a sort of virtual home from home, right next door to lots of lovely people doing their own independent thing. It’s a good place to be. Even better now we’ve just been nominated for Best Gift & Lifestyle Boutique in their first ever Trouva Boutique Awards. Wish us luck. And come and say hello. Over here.
It's all the Fun of the Fair this summer in our Project Space with our favourite chocolatiers Creightons popping up with lots of circus inspired chocolate treats.
Mother and daughter, Lucy and Andrea are taking a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic collection based on the sights, sounds and tastes of the fairground: ginger beer, sarsaparilla and stick of rock chocolate bars; lollies celebrating hook-a-duck, prize fish, carousel horses and glazed doughnuts. And we have some Hambledon exclusives including glittery Unicorn Food (because everyone has a unicorn to feed), pink and aqua unicorn lollies, and a popcorn chocolate bar in super lovely vintage bag.
The Creightons Chocolate Shop is open Friday 1st July 2016 – Sunday 28th August.
It's time for Summer adornment and we are absolutely all about jewellery this season. There's New York luxe from Swedish born Annika Inez's label By Boe, Danish minimalism from Copenhagen's Pernille Corydon, English charm from Mirabelle and some good old London kitsch from Weathered Penny. Prices start from £15 so it's all good.
We've got all sorts of stuff for the boss/captain/sheriff in your life. Check out magazines, books, gifts, cards and superhero masks. And hurry. Father's Day is on 19th June.
We are unbelievably excited to have stumbled across Antenne Books, an independent distributor of very independent magazines. And print is most definitely where it's at. These are beautiful, intriguing, weird, funny and refreshingly analogue. Titles include, and yes, we're aware this is a niche market, MacGuffin (a craft and design magazine focussing on a single object each issue), Put a Egg on It (biannual art and literary zine celebrating food), Puss Puss (high end fashion and felines), Four & Sons (where dogs and culture collide) and Clutch from Japan (like an old school mail order catalogue but very cultish according to Rob). And there are loads more. Ditch WH Smith now and head to The Hambledon.
Orslow, our latest addition to the basement, is a homage to Japanese design, quality and construction. Which is no surprise as designer Ichiro Nakatsu is meticulous about combining traditional techniques with contemporary style. Ichiro built his career in the world-famous denim production centre in Kojima Okayama. He started Orslow in 2005, naming it to reflect the slower (clever, huh), careful way he made jeans, rebelling against the frenzied pace of modern fashion production.
His passion for denim started at an early age with a pair of dark overalls given to him by his mother. Wearing them everyday, he was fascinated by their fade and, as he puts it, the “ colour and texture of worn clothes; and the atmosphere they exude.” He began making his own jeans at home by taking apart old clothes and mirroring their construction.
The same careful craftsmanship is applied today and all the sewing machines in his atelier are in full use - from 1940's vintage models to the latest digital machines. Most of his collections reflect his casual take on traditional workwear and military garments from the 19th and 20th century. Contemporary clothes for those that love that extra bit of attention to detail.