Founded in New York in 2009, KBL (Kind of Bohemian Lifestyle - but I think we'll have to forgive them a dreadful acronym) is the latest eyewear brand to hit The Hambledon. Launched by Adam and Kara Mendelsohn whose collective experience includes stints at Oliver Peoples, Mykita and Thakoon, this is a brand that knows its fashion and sunglasses onions. Featuring Italian acetate, milled Japanese construction and a cute Empire State Building on some of the arms, these are beautifully made and effortlessly stylish. And just in time for sunny holidays.
We wanted to write a provenance all about the history of Ban-do. But then we went and found this on their website and it was way more fun and a whole lot more entertaining than waffling on about the Founder (who incidentally is Jen Gotch, who incidentally everyone at The Hambledon thinks is brilliant).
'Oh hey. We're Ban.do. Let's be BFFs. We can stay up late watching 80s rom coms and eating pizzas with everything on it (except anchovies, grooosss!). Cool. Now that it's settled we should probably tell you a bit more about us. We're a gift, tech, stationery and fashion accessories company designed by a pretty spectacular group of girls in sunny Los Angeles. We love bright colours, irreverent patterns, quirky sayings and kittens. OMG we love kittens so much. Forever inspired by Champagned soaked, all night dance parties, we are serious about fun and so thrilled you are here.'
Enough said. Get your Ban-do here.
Engineered Garments' Workaday makes a very welcome return to the basement for SS15. This is Daiki Suzuki's seasonless collection of everyday staples, which maintain pattern, construction and quality season after season. Expect to see old favourites: the utility jacket, 19th Century shirt, crossover pocket tee and Bedford fatigues. The Hambledon is one of very, very few (we think only two) UK stockists, so this is well worth a trip to sunny Winchester.
Didn't we have a luvverly time the day Meri Meri came to The Hambledon and made party crowns. It was a crafting extravaganza purpose built for half term fun. Everyone made full and free use of lashings of ric rac tape, fluffy pom poms, and glittery letters. The crown jewels have nothing on these beauties. Huge thanks to Nat and Katie who glued and ribboned like troopers at Cowley and Meredithe and Emma for their sterling efforts in Winchester. Long may you all reign.
Blah blah baking, yes, we are all still enthralled - but not with the Village Hall aesthetic of Bake Off. It's summer and we're opting for a more elegant take on the bake. Neither twee nor retro, it's altogether something more beautiful. Colours bright and blush side by side. Seasonal fruits and edible flowers. Swirls of buttercream and dustings of icing sugar. Vintage platters and stylish cakestands. See Linda Lomelino and The Violet Bakery Cookbook for cues, Bitossi bake moulds for practicals and Chiviarini for lashings of jam.
Roll up. Roll up. Meredithe (childhood nick name Meri Meri, it's all becoming clear) and her team of wonder workers have installed a Party Project Extravaganza. We thought we knew the range but this is a crazy new world of Silly Circus, Charms, Ombre and Happy Birthday paper paraphernalia. And a mad planet of tattoos, garlands and super brand new and fabulous jewellery. And we have a secret stash of helium to fill the balloons in the patented Balloon-a-Dashery. Hurry on down. And for those of you who really want to embrace the fun filled life that is Meri Meri, there will be crafting workshops (Thursday 28 May 11-3 at Cowley, Saturday 30 May 11-4 in Winchester). No need to book. Just show up in a cheery mood, ready to get glittery.
How excited were we to have the lovely Emily Quinton here in store for two wonderful days of work-shopping, book-signing, snap-snapping, chit-chatting fun. For once staring at your phone during a talk wasn't frowned upon as she imparted upon us all the tricks of the Instagraming trade. The app Emily uses to edit, yup, we know it. The lighting Emily likes to use, yup, we know it. Go on, test us!
We drank elderflower cordial, we ate rosewater and pistachio biscuits (courtesy of LP), we laughed, we listened, we styled, we captured, we #'d, we shared and most importantly we had a jolly good time. Thank you Emily!