You must know by now that we love a seasonal theme. For Summer 16 we are feeling very inspired by the prospect of hot holidays. But we have a particular yearning for the Aegean and all things Greek. We're dreaming of whitewashed churches, windmills, blue sea and olive groves.
Floaty cotton kaftans, pretty dresses, fine voile tops and Greek sandals. This is Talitha Getty and Bianca Jagger hanging out in Morocco, minus the troublesome private life, of course. Masscob, Ottod'ame, Rose & Rose, Rabens Saloner, 0039 Italy, Des Petits Hauts and Bellerose will show you the way.
Hurray. Hurrah. Pearl Glassware is back in stock. And the salad bowl and the small clear bowl, absent from Western Europe for 4 long months, have finally arrived. Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry are not wrong. Pearl glassware is practical and pretty, perfect for all our Summer entertaining and ideal for our internationally optioned TV shows.
Sandy Suffield, member of the extended Hambledon clan and real life actual sister, has been designing for us since the very early days. And it is high time she had a big shout out for all her lovely work, and not just for us. She has worked for some stellar clients (including Apple, Wagamama, Penguin, Time Out) so we feel pretty blessed to have her in the family.
Check out our beautiful new vouchers and cards. And the new quarterly which will be available in store any minute. And have a look at www.sandysuffield.com. She's good, she is.
We have been fans of James Brown (not that one, the brilliant printmaker one) for a long time. A while ago we commissioned him to make a Winchester poster, we had an exhibition in the Project Space of his prints and he did a great talk on his work. And now we're big fans of Pressed and Folded, a brand new card and stationery venture, from James and his lovely textile designer missus, Malissa.
Describe a typical working day?
Malissa works from her home studio I go to my studio, so although we work together we have separate spaces and work on our individual projects too as well as Pressed and Folded. I think Malissa is a lot better at sitting down, focusing and getting on with the job in hand, I tend to flit about a bit, going from one job to another. Some would say 'unfocused and easily distracted', I prefer 'multi tasking polymath’.
What do you like most about what you do?
The fact that we love doing what we do, and that we are doing this for ourselves and are in complete control of the fun we can have with Pressed and Folded. We can take it in any direction we choose, creating products we love and having fun doing it.
Who/what couldn't you work without?
A The corny answer to that question would be... ‘Each other.’
The real answer would also be each other. Pressed and Folded is very much a team effort. Without the ‘Pressed’ it would just be... ‘Folded’.
What provides the inspiration for the Pressed and Folded collections?
Anything from an exhibition, to a piece vintage of fabric. Malissa has been designing womenswear prints for many years but designing cards has allowed her to be much freer with colour and pattern. We are not designing our cards for occasions and so don’t have many limitations.
How have you found working together on these collections?
At the moment we design separately, but welcome each others opinion when designing. We like the fact that there are two distinct styles creating diversity within the range.
Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?
Of course we are most proud of our new baby, Pressed and Folded, we've been planning it for a while and since launching at Top Drawer in January our cards have been very well received. Its all very exciting indeed and the hard work has paid off.
What are your plans for the future with Pressed and Folded?
We have few ideas in the pipeline including gift wrap, notebooks and some textile products.
What is Pressed and Folded's guilty pleasure?
Absolute 90’s Radio is great to pack cards to. I’m early 90’s baggy and Malissa is late 90’s R n’ B.
Finally, could you tell us about any of your favourite places/hidden gems in the area you live/work in?
We live in Leyton on one side of the Olympic Park and I work the other side in Hackney Wick, so my commute is a nice walk or cycle through the park or along the River Lea. Hackney Wick is a great place to work and has a brilliantly unique community, although I fear the end is nigh, The bulldozers are coming over the hill and the estate agents are circling above like vultures.
Leyton is changing for the better though, thanks to the Olympics and its proximity to Stratford.
We’ve had lots of great new places opening recently to eat and drink (for very important business meetings of course!).
(Marmelo, Yardarm and Deenys)
Leyton is great for green space too, Olympic Park, Victoria Park, Hackney Marshes, Epping Forest.
Menswear brands for Spring/ Summer 2016 at The Hambledon:
AnonymousIsm, Arpenteur, Baracuta, Barena, Beams +, Buzz Rickson's, Carhartt, Champion, Champion by Todd Snyder, Converse, Edwin, Engineered Garments, Engineered Garments Workaday, Filson, Gitman Vintage, Grenson, Hawksmill, Howlin', Iron Heart, La Paz, L.V.C., Merz b. Schwanen, Moscot, Norse Projects, Novesta, Oliver Spencer, Orslow, Our Legacy, Patagonia, Portuguese Flannel, Rains, Red Wing, Sunspel, Tanner, Trickers, Universal Works, Woolrich
Well done for showing your other half how wonderful they are, but now it's time to shower your mum with treats and prizes so she knows just how great she is. A few tips. Anything edible is always welcome. You can never have enough lotions and potions for the bathroom. Faux flowers show your love all year round. Book and notebooks with a thoughtful inscription are double winners. And all jewellery is a girl's best friend.
If, like us, you're dreaming of the first days of spring, the Rifle Paper Co. are here to help you put that into words. We've always been a big fan of this lovely brand and this latest collection is no exception. They have gone big on botanicals and so have we. With bold, tapestry-like floral illustrations on everything from notebooks to planners to prints, this is the stationery to keep those winter blues at bay.
Rob's been in New York (and he had to fly early to avoid the crazy snowstorm and we're not jealous, nope. Not at all). He's been scouting international menswear for us at the Liberty Fair, Capsule and the Man Show. And checking out US showrooms for Engineered Garments, Gitman and Universal Works. He has also been having a very nice time wandering the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Williamsburg. Sister Sandy's friends Emma and Roger provided top B&B in Carroll Gardens. The New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder (result in overtime went Oklahoma's way 122-128) was the sporting highlight; Shuto Okayasu's private view at the Nepenthes store the cultural highlight and walking the High Line the horticultural highlight. David Keyte at Universal Works and all the girls at Meri Meri (in the city for the gift fair) were excellent dinner dates. A good time was had by all.
We are delighted to introduce Anne Rasmussen, Custommade's Head Designer. She took time out of her extremely busy schedule to chat to us about working for one of Denmark's leading womenswear brands, collaborating with The Hambledon and living life the Scandinavian way. Tak.
We always like to tell a story for the season. What is the inspiration behind the SS16 Custommade collection?
SS2016 takes its starting point in little travel histories. A girl travels and discovers new refined universes. Curious, she travels with her camera, enjoying both spring's brighter days and nights as well as traveling mentally. The colors are based on the graphic base palette. With the grey and dark blue tones, and along with a lot of white, gorgeous accent colors are sprinkled into the collection and adjusted to each month of delivery. The collection is flirtational girly with lace details and ruffles while still with a focus on the long graphic lengths and lines that completes the collection. The prints are original vintage prints.
And your favourite piece(s) in the collection?
That´s a hard one. I love our lace and knitwear in this collection and particularly the Jasmina jacket (pictured left) is so cool!
How would you describe a Custommade woman?
A typical Custommade woman is a modern-minded, cosmopolitan woman who craves simple sophistication.
What can our customers expect from the Custommade project at The Hambledon?
They can expect a full Custommade experience with styles that they can feel comfortable and chic in. The silhouettes are feminine but also simple and easy to wear. As always we focus on the high quality in our fabrics. Easy to wear and easy to love is the best way to describe the look and feel of Custommade.
We're a bit obsessed with Danish style. How would you define it? How can we be more Danish?
The street style is simple and sophisticated including when it comes to the use of colors. But Danish women can be creative (especially during the summer). In general I actually think that Danish women put a lot of effort into looking effortlessly chic.
Describe a typical day at Custommade HQ
A typical day consists of finding inspiration, drawing patterns - and when we are further in the process me and my design team spends a lot of time on fitting the prototypes - and getting all the details in place.
What do you most like about what you do?
I love the creative process and seek inspiration from many different places - from patterns, cuts, poems - and girls on the streets of Copenhagen and Paris. Nothing beats the feeling of having created a collection that women across the world find beautiful.
Who/what couldn't you live without?
That´s easy! My three children and my husband.
What has been your proudest Custommade moment?
There have been many - but in 2014 we won the renowned Guldknappen award by the women's magazine ALT for Damerne. The award is given to a Danish fashion brand, that has been extraordinary in creating success, and a brand that the Danish woman can relate to. That was a proud moment!
What's your favourite Danish crime drama? And your favourite Danish swear word. And your top insider tip for a trip to Copenhagen.
I like many of the Danish crime dramas - but some of my favorites are Drabet and Borgen. The swear word I use the most is “sgu” (I guess it´s damn in English) - it´s not even a real swear word anymore. Copenhagen is really one of the best cities in the world when it comes to eating well - so prioritize in order to visit some of the many delicious restaurants. And visit Torvehallerne - Copenhagen´s delicious farmers' market, offering tons of organic, sustainable and locally-sourced food fare. There are also free samples of certain items, so even if you don't have a lot of money you can still enjoy some local flavor.
Custommade will be taking over the Project Space in our Winchester store 6th February - 6th March 2016