What to wear when it’s spring, sunny but chilly in the shade? I default to merino knits that are lightweight but warm and don’t pill up like fluffy cashmere. And denim of course, but I’m looking beyond just jeans to all the clever shapes that have emerged in stiff deep indigo, or gentle chambray blue.
Some of my best merino wool finds come from the men’s department, especially Reiss, whose menswear is brilliant right now, while Paul Smith menswear has lovely extra fine merinos is gorgeous colour palettes. J.W. Anderson is another find, and Vivienne Westwood’s knits are all-year perennials. I can’t not mention my favourite Sibling sweater right now, featuring Madonna in the ‘Borderline’ days. Hell yes please to that.
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…
Last Monday I was invited to a special breakfast at Paul Smith’s Covent Garden HQ at the painful hour of 7am. I might have attempted it but I had to be at the WIRED Retail conference on the other side of town that morning. *WEEPS AND WAILS* But here’s why it was special. Following breakfast and a meet-n-greet, the invited attendees were led by Sir Paul himself on an #Instameet tour of Covent Garden, ending at the Paul Smith store in Floral Street. (more…)
It seems everyone is jumping on the unisex/androgyny/ambi-sex bandwagon lately, but one of the brands that does it best is Paul Smith. Perhaps it’s not immediately obvious, I just think his menswear – the colours, shapes, prints – swings both ways. (more…)
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, featuring the brands currently buzzing on on my radar…
1. PAULA GERBASE HEADS TO JOHN LOBB
This is rather exciting news for John Lobb. The British shoemaker, owned by Hermes, has appointed Paula Gerbase as artistic director. I don’t know the full story but I’m guessing the brand wants to expand beyond footwear (Berluti-style), and hiring a buzzy young luxury designer is a good way to do it. (more…)
As much as we all love a Pilotto print or a Kane curveball, for day-to-day most editors I know are happiest in a Margaret Howell sweater or the perennial favourite ‘crisp white shirt’. These we got this morning (in *gasp* – a new, bigger venue) with corduroy tailoring and full skirts, accessorised with calf length socks and midi heels… (more…)
Sophisticated, clean-cut pieces in an electric colour palette and tessellated prints at Preen – accompanied by David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Forbidden Colours. And look at that neon light installation…
Like me, Mr DRG likes nothing more than a bit of fantasy online shopping – oh the hours he spends on Mr Porter! So I asked him to make himself useful and compile a men’s edit for me here. I think he’s done a damn good job…
Leather and stainless steel hip flask, Dunhill
Just the the thing for a gent in need of a little tie-straightener on the long winter nights
Plaid bomber jacket, PS by Paul Smith
Smithy comes up with a great wool bomber that gives a nod to Brando in On The Waterfront – and crucially, there’s no superfluous branding to mess it up
Muirfield 8 piece cap, Lock & Co.
Every autumn I buy a new cap and this year I plumped for a dark grey one of these from Lock & Co, the oldest shop in the UK. What else could you want in a cap?
Grey hurling sweater, Inis Meain
An excellent jumper from the Aran Islands that’ll last for years and go with pretty much anything – it’s only a matter of time before one of these arrives for me at DRG Towers
Ilkley black Scotch Grain brogue, Tricker’s
Unlike Crockett & Jones, Tricker’s always take several weeks to break in, but once done are comfortable as anything. No other company nails the proportions and shaping of a country brogue quite as well as Tricker’s do, and like any good quality Northampton shoe, you’ll be returning these to the factory many times for resoling
Coyote-trimmed down-filled Arctic parka, Woolrich
As a lad I was rather taken by the parkas worn by Rock Hudson and Patrick McGoohan in Ice Station Zebra, and this is a fine contemporary take on things. Perfect for a December evening, as DRG herself will attest, having bought a black one last year