Smythson stories: how the Mara diary is made*

Making of a Smythson diary Mara midnight

“Our Featherweight paper is the same paper that’s used for bank notes. It’s extremely thin but durable enough to be written on without the ink showing through.”

I’m being taken on a personal tour of Smythson’s Hertfordshire bookbinding workshops, where its famous diaries are produced, from printed page to hand-finished leather covers. My guide is pointing out each artisanal technique while I take in the familiar sky blue paper hue that serves as a permanent presence throughout the premises. (more…)

Introducing CristaSeya

CristaSeya Edition 5

Introducing a new way of producing fashion collections. In ‘editions’ rather than ‘collections’. With all editions available all the time. This is the thinking behind CristaSeya, a new-ish name I discovered on Instagram that I’m still getting my head around.

The shapes are generous and utilitarian – wide-legged martial arts pants, giant tee and tunic shapes with huge sleeves you can roll up. Plus drawstring fastenings with fat rope-like draw-cords and extremely expensive-looking but relaxed (and very oversized) felted tailoring.

The ‘transversal lifestyle’ brand has just been profiled by New York Times T Magazine and is helmed by former stylists Cristina Casini and Keiko Seya, who revel in finding the best suppliers for each type of thing they want to sell (be that Italian cashmere, Japanese wooden combs or Tibetan Yak blankets). It’s a very appealing aesthetic and sensibility and in the UK is currently only available in what happens to be my three fave shops – Dover Street Market, Mouki Mou and Hostem.

That’s about all I know about them so far, oh, other than that they’ve been nominated to represent France for the International Woolmark Prize…

CristaSeya Edition 5
CristaSeya Edition 5
CristaSeya Edition 5
CristaSeya Edition 5
CristaSeya Edition 5
CristaSeya Edition 5

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: CristaSeya

How it’s made: Chanel Mademoiselle Prive glyptic watch

Making of the Chanel Mademoiselle Prive Coromandel Glyptic watch

I know a lot of people don’t bother with watches but I still love them, both as functional objects and as beautiful accessories. Weirdly, I’ve seen hardly anyone with an Apple Watch. I’m intrigued to know what they’re like but so far I’m in the dark.

Meanwhile, the luxury watch houses are going all out, and I really do mean all out, to create stunning feats of artistic wonder with their top-end timepieces. Chanel has done it recently with its Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel Glyptic watch. These one-off watches are crafted by hand in limited numbers using astonishing techniques (spoiler alert: they retail from £175,000). (more…)


Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…


MarquesAlmeida LVMH Prize

Exciting news of the week was the announcement of Marques’Almeida as the winner of the LVMH prize. I love what these guys have done, consistently refining their raw-edged aesthetic and building their business at a steady pace. (more…)