craft

On my radar: Abask, your new design destination



Abask interiors

Heads-up: there’s a fab new e-commerce platform getting a lot of attention right now.

As fashion and beauty online retail have become saturated, as well as an overall fatigue with trends in consuming, it makes sense that some are shifting interests to interiors, a somewhat slower pace of taste signalling – for now.

Abask is the brainchild of Matchesfashion co-founder Tom Chapman and former ecommerce director Nicolas Pickaerts. Its premise is room-themed edits of lovingly-crafted artisanal pieces – whether new, vintage or antique. I’m all about the Study, where desk-destined Murano glass paperweights sit alongside Carl Auböck brass knick-knacks and exquisite vintage fountain pens.

Heading up the buy is the brilliant Bryony Sheridan, former buying manager for Liberty home and interiors. (Remember my stationery post here?). Following in the footsteps of The Garnered, The New Craftsmen, and perhaps, CoutureLab before them, the site champions a thoughtful ethos of buying from the heart and the hand and pushing back against the flexing and fast flipping culture we’ve seen in fashion recently.

Crucially, storytelling content is a big part of the Abask sell. Videos, photography and interviews will help cement the value of products, an essential component when selling online. And of course, anything that invites us into the minds of creatives is a hit with me. Step this way for Creatives and Their Workspaces (below) and the shopping lists of stylish tastemakers
Gio Ponti Abask

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Abask; Gio Ponti
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On artisan sneakers and the repair and re-wear movement



Drake's Doek sneaker

While I was picking up Mr DRG’s birthday present from Drake’s last month (excellent service if I may say so), I was instantly attracted to these Doek canvas sneakers (above). In an array of primary colours, these Japanese beauties (particularly the blue) have the elegant almond toe and easy demeanour of a 60s Vans, but with a slightly chunkier sole and a cork footbed. (more…)



Trend report: Connolly AW22



Connolly aw22

How soon is too soon to talk about AW22 tweed winter coats and handknit sweaters? I’m writing this during a June heatwave but by the time I finish, we could well be buried in a freak ice storm. This is London, anything could happen.

This is the AW22 collection from Connolly which I was fortunate enough to witness up close at the Clifford Street store a couple of weeks ago. God, it was heaven. Connolly is a unique store anyway, in a quiet 1719 townhouse selling fashion (by which I mean impeccably crafted clothes) alongside art, homewares and luxury leather goods in a welcoming home-from-home setting. The clothes are designed by Marc Audibet with knitwear designed by Lorraine Acornley, who I know from her previous work with Begg & Co. (more…)



Everyone’s talking about Balenciaga couture



Balenciaga Couture Fall 21

The highlight of couture week has been Balenciaga couture Fall 21. A tribute to the absolute essence of Balenciaga, it was both austere and grandiose, and I think it’s fair to say, surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Having kind of tuned out recent Balenciaga ready-to-wear collections (too hype-y, too meme-y!), I was enthralled by this first Balenciaga couture collection in 53 years. The minimalist silhouettes, (what a fab trench!), the space-age headgear, the jeans and tee treatment and the baublicious jewels. What looked like a crocodile skin skirt and trousers were in fact made from tiny pieced-together squares of leather. There were shades of Margiela (one of Demna Gvasalia’s most respected designers), McQueen and – to my eye – Raf’s Dior. (more…)