In the early 30s in Milan, the Necchi family, rich industrialists and makers of sewing machines, commissioned a fabulous deco mansion, purpose built for partying. This is where we will be spending AW16 in spirit, celebrating all things opulent, decadent and fun.
Luxey homewares appear in muted tones and burnished golds; gifts, bath and beauty come beautifully packaged; womenswear features heavy silk blouses and fake fur coats; and in menswear, the finest Italian suiting and knitwear.
Watch this space for more. And if you watch anything else make it I am Love starring Tilda Swinton. Villa Necchi is the beautiful backdrop and Swinton is all time fabulous. More of our crushing over on pinterest here.
We've always taken denim very seriously at The Hambledon. But probably never more so than right now with Edwin making a big entrance for AW16; returning to menswear, debuting in womenswear, plus they're taking over our Winchester window and giving jeans away.
And it's serious because Edwin is the denim man's (and gal's!) denim, the stuff that gets denim fans really excited. We've got a resident buff here in Rob, whose substantial collection of jeans in varying degrees of distress basically begins and ends with Edwin.
The company was founded after WWII by Mr Tsunemi who was determined to match US denim production in Japan. He played boggle with the word 'denim' to come up with Edwin and by 1961 had created his first pair of jeans. By 1963 Edwin had produced the world’s heaviest ring-spun 16oz denim, creating a pair of jeans that could stand up by themselves and featured the rainbow selvedge which is still in use today. Throughout the 70s and 80s the company pioneered 'old wash' and 'stone wash' techniques which properly revolutionised the industry worldwide and cemented the reputation they continue to earn today.
Edwin have been a longtime favourite in the basement, their regular tapered ED55 the fit of choice for many of Winchester's menfolk. This season it's here in red listed 14oz, alongside the slim tapered ED80 in black and the brand new ED45 which, for want of a better description, is a carrot leg, sure to win many fans.
And Edwin's fans won't be confined to the basement this season. We've been keeping a close eye on the women's collection for a while and now is the right time for some serious Japanese denim on the first floor. We're starting out with the EW70, a classic skinny leg in a red listed selvedge; EW60, a classic straight leg with a relaxed fit through the hip and thigh; EW30, a great boyfriend fit in night blue denim; plus the cropped, wide leg EW25.
Swing by the Winchester store and you'll see them all in our Edwin window. Snap 'em (in the window or on the shop floor), instagram them (following us and tagging #edwin and #hambledon) and you could win a pair for yourself. We've got a men's and women's pair up for grabs. Simple.
It's been a huge pleasure having Creighton's Chocolaterie in our project space this summer, not least because we've got to hang out (and sample the range, and decorate chocolate unicorns) with the lovely Lucy, founder of Creighton's. We took the opportunity to ask her to compile her wishlist of Hambledon wares.
1. Paris Candle £22.50 | 2. Cat Pouch £9 | 3. Little People Big Dream Frida Kahlo £9.99 | 4. Lion Headdress £13 | 5. Multicoloured Festoon Lights £39.95 | 6. The Gourmand No7 £12 | 7. Gold Glitter Alphabet Bunting £2.25 | 8. Fart Whistle £1.25
Stella Nova has been a first floor favourite for a good few years now so we're delighted to be collaborating with them on a window takeover and competition this season. To mark the occasion we talked to founder Trine Skoller about her work, inspiration and life at the helm of Stella Nova.
Describe your typical working day?
It can vary a lot depending on where in the process I am. Sometimes I travel to seek new inspiration or to visit suppliers, sometimes I am drawing the collection and other times we are preparing for sales meetings and PR events.
Who or what couldn't you work without?
My lovely Stella Team.
What do you like most about what you do?
I feel very privileged to do exactly the thing in life that I like the most – to be creative and to create is something that is very satisfying. Every day is a new challenge and that is something I like.
Who or what inspires you?
Everything can be an inspiration and it is difficult to seek inspiration in a specific way, meaning that the more you look for it the less you feel inspired. For me, inspiration can be from reading a book, watching a movie, travelling etc. It is not possible to pin out where and from what exactly it comes from.
Who would you most like to see wearing a Stella Nova design?
I don’t have any specific wish, but I think that there are many women who are inspiring. For me it is important that it is a woman with a strong personality.
What has been your proudest Stella Nova moment to date?
Luckily I often feel proud and that is what gives me the energy to keep developing the Stella Nova universe.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
Not to listen to my own intuition.
What would you like to do in the future?
The same as I do today and many other things.
And finally, tell us a bit about your favourite pieces from the AW16 collection?
The collection is amongst others inspired by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I very much like the prints of the collection and I think the scattered floral artwork is one of the key prints and in a nice way reminds me of a modern take on Frida Kahlo.
We have a collaboration with a Peruvian association where women hand knit the most beautiful alpaca knitwear. These styles are also very close to my heart, and I have been so lucky to visit them several times and I feel happy to see, that our collaboration makes a big difference for them.
The Stella Nova AW16 collection is now available in store.
It's fair to say we've grown very fond of working with Creighton’s Chocolaterie over the past few years. They're a small, family-run business, headed up by mother and daughter team, Andrea and Lucy, who are just lovely. Most of all though we love that they know how to have fun, especially in the serious wold of artisan chocolate. Currently providing much jollyness and temptation in our project space, we asked Lucy to pick some of her favourite moments creating “chocolate with a sense of humour” from the Creighton’s Instagram feed.
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.