“I don’t NEED to know what the suits are made of”, commented one female (presumed) journalist on the stairs above The Lincoln Room, deep within The Savoy Hotel, “Well I do, replied her colleague, “I have to write about this stuff!”. Given you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that as men we really do care about what we wear, and whilst certain quarters of the fashion press still think of men’s fashion needs in the third person, with men to be passively shopped for and “kept on trend”, luckily the greater part of the audience for the E.Tautz presentation on Wednesday looked to be much more likeminded, sharing an expectation that we were about to see beautiful menswear and to be educated about it by Patrick Grant.
No London Fashion Week is complete without a visit to the peerless Showroom Next Door. Run with charming hospitality and a killer eye for beautiful, individual clothing by the Dover Street Market-connected Touba Distribution. The selections available during the most recent Fashion Week, in February were particularly strong. Now in a new location, though still within refined Mayfair, a visit to the Showroom combines the exclusivity of a salon with the informality of the best of boutique shopping.
I like to have a theme when putting clothes together for a new season of the year and this autumn is no different. I’ve been trying to pin a name to the items I’ve been buying, ‘Academic’ was close. Annie Hall era Woody Allen is an influence but that didn’t quite describe what I had in mind (although the Walden print T-shirt by superlative bookish T-shirt dons Out of Print definitely fits with the Academia slant). I’m definitely not saying Preppy (though that’s an influence I will always hold dear) as I’m feeling quite English and, anyway, I’ve read far too much Bret Easton Ellis to have any illusions about Ivy League education.
The word I really want to use is jacquard. One of those strange fashion words I am familiar with, probably having spent too much time browsing mail order catalogues and reading my mum’s magazines as a child, it has a sense of naff midle-Englishness about it, a bit like an old sit com. Bouclé is a similar word, as is the colour fawn.
But I digress from the point of this post; I spotted a young man yesterday wearing the most beautiful sweater as he stood before me in the queue at the local organic store. With a vibrant pattern of reds, oranges, rusts and deep blues and a highly textured knitted texture, what was most enviable about it was that it was the perfect cover up for a summer evening. The slightly open weave allowed for breeze whilst the weight and quality of the knit – I’d guess at a combination of cotton and silk – suggested warmth but without any sense of heaviness, after all he was wearing shorts and deck shoes so this was no winter warmer. And as I gazed enviously at his knit I realised that I’d seen a number of sweaters with similar patterned qualities around recently. To my mind this means a street trend.
This is the time of year when fashion sites declare “It’s Spring!” and there’s all sorts of enticement to get you dropping layers. And I’m normally first out of the gate where this is concerned. But lets face it, with snow at Easter not unknown we’re all going to be freezing our bollocks off for some time to come. And with this in mind here is a rare, wooly, winter-themed post from me.
During a recent Cotswolds jaunt I was tipped off to visit the woolen mill/shop in the village of Filkins. Inside you can find blankets galore, many of which sell at places like Liberty at great markups. So, I wandered round the shop draped in a variety of lovely woolen blankets and rugs until I happened across the hunting socks. Thick chunky socks worn just-visible under dirty-suede hiking boots or LLBean blucher moccasins have been one of the highlights of my winter so far. I chose the thickest socks in lilac with yellow and a brick-red with beige.