Posts tagged shopping

A while back I did a couple of posts that thinly disguised my hatred for the PLAGUE OF PLAID that had infested menswear. OK, that sounds a bit pompous and high-fallutin’. I still stand firm. Well, sort off… I’ve been drawn as of late to the geometrically patterned chemise but I’m leaning towards gingham as opposed to plaid. Thus, I don’t feel such a hypocrite.

Its that slight feeling of spring in the air that gets one thinking about the summer ahead — lovely rumpled shirts, sleeves rolled up past elbow, collar undone in a lopsided fashion. I do give good shirt, I must say. So its rather worrying that I live so close FRENCH TROTTERS on rue Vielle du Temple. Its one of those little local shops that has been garnering a lot of interest in magazines such as Monocle. Cool, lifestyle-y and low-key. A shop for men. No loud music. Something cool and hum-inducing on the sound system. But not too cool. Cute assistants – eye candy a prerequisite to a good shop session; oils up an otherwise reluctant carte bleue. Its pretty much all a guy needs in one space.

They stock brands such as Oliver Spencer, Margaret Howell, ACNE, A.P.C., Universal Works and Visvim. Great menswear staples. Good selection of accessories and shoes. Sweet little nothings like The Hill Side squared-off neckties — these really do perk up a “Look”. And luxe perfume brand Byredo. Smell Bal d’Afrique or Gipsy Water and DIE. So you see why this is so disconcerting. I don’t shop much and when I do I’m quick and precise. Go in for the kill. I never try anything on. I just need to check the lengths of sleeves –I’m over 6ft tall. And the width of shirts and jackets — my fondess for a tipple or two has left me, shall we say, portly, round the abdominal region. Hey ho, I’ll die satisfied, I guess!

image: The Selby

Anyway, back to plaid, sorry, gingham. I’ve always loved chef’s whites. I like all things culinary, really. But CHEFS ARE COOL. The slouchy trews, the aprons, white shirts. Its a utilitarian look that’s soft around the edges. Perfect. And this summer I’m drawn toward pattern. Not stripes. Bit off those. And definitely not Plaid. But gingham… Its simplicity and monochromatic nature make it such a winner. And not too micro, either.  2cm squares are about the right proportion. Present but not in your face. I’m gonna be rocking a few of those come summer. The blue and white Oliver Spencer  just bristles with the promise of a great summer to come. What fun we shall have, my dear, what fun.

image: Garance Dore

image: The Sartorialist



The Willow Shoreditch

92 Hoxton Street

London N1 6LP

orders & enquiries: 020 7739 3009 / 020 7613 2587

OK, I might be a little bit biased here but one of my dearest friends has just opened his first shop in Hoxton, London, and what a beauty it is. Blooming marvellous, to use a cliché. Picture this: an urban East End setting, a bit rough round the edges, to say the least, and then amongst all this the most perfect florist and tea shop. The locals are abuzz. They’ve been literally gagging for something like this. Smart move or what? The opening theme of The Willow Shoreditch is “School Lab”, so the well edited selection of flowers are arranged artfully in oversized Pyrex beakers and test tubes. There’s a great selection of homemade cakes, salads and sandwiches. The coffee’s quite good, too. None of that watery Starbucks nonsense. You can also browse a selection of found objects and customised beakers & test tubes that make lovely gifts or that finishing touch to your coffee table if you’re feeling downright selfish. Love it.

Ooh, and there’s a beautiful mural by the talented Mr. Greg Lewis,who’s hard at work on his graduation collection at Central Saint Martins. The boy’s already started taking commissions for Paris-based fashion houses.

Oh, and did I mention furniture and interior designer, Rupert Blanchard of Styling & Salvage? Especially brilliant is his signature higgledy-piggledy display cabinet created out of vintage drawers. Plug, plug! Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? LFN

Oooh er, what’s this I spy with my not so little eye? There’s a new shop opening in Hoxton Street at the end of the week – The Willow Shoreditch. Promises to be a modern florist cum petit café cum emporium of delectable bits and bobs pour chez vous. Will post pics later. The interior has been designed by the super-hip and very lovely Rupert Blanchard. Clever boy, he is, our Rupe. Looking good from what I’ve spied so far_



Just reading up on Ophelia and came across this in Wikipedia on Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude, in her monologue (There is a willow grows aslant the brook), reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch broke and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned.” I wonder if I made a subconscious link between this post and the previous – The willow tree and drowning? Not on your nellie, T.D. Will drag you out ma self!


Jil Sander for Uniqlo

Model_ Iselin Steiro
Photographer_ David Sims
Joe McKenna

Went to the Uniqlo store this afternoon to check out the new collaboration with Jil Sander for spring-summer 2010: +J. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t the mad frenzy that usually follows these sort of launches: Kate Moss for Topshop, the H&M link-ups. It was, well, quite civilzed. I kind of liked that. Clearly displayed product. Light, airy store. You got the feeling that anyone who made it to the store was there because they were genuinely curious or just happened to be there. Perfect.

Now for the clothes. This was the first drop so the whole collection wasn’t in-store just yet. What was there I liked a lot. It seemed more Jil than the first outing, more confident, more streamlined without getting too high-brow. Lots of immaculately cut tailoring and sportswear-inspired pieces in technical fabrics. Nothing to scare the horses but the essence of Jil Sander has always been about subtlety and the absolute.

There were loads of fine details and I got the sense that on closer inspection a lot of the clothes would reveal clever, luxe touches. I was really impressed with the seam finishes. A standout piece for me was a cropped woman’s blazer in a cobalt-y nylon that had the feel of a silk duchesse. The sleeves were slightly curved in that über masculine way. It would look so chic paired with anything really. Winner.

I walked away with a perfect, perfect shirt in what I can best describe as overdyed techno chambray but in actual fact it was 100% cotton. I just know I’m going to wear and wear that shirt. It’s going to look great with my new black Kenzo blazer and washed out grey jeans. Sharp.

My only reservation would be that I’d like to see more modern decorative treatments, especially in the womenswear. Yes, I know its Uniqlo but it all veers a little bit too much towards the minimal. Expressive gestures a la Jil wouldn’t go amiss…

Oh, my shirt only cost £29.99. Will definitely be stocking up on some more pieces. Bargain. In fact, nothing in the entire range costs more than a 100 quid. We like!

Also like the logo: U + J

Click here to go to the_

Women Management blog for a piece on the shoot

+J Uniqlo website and

press release

Off to see what all the fuss is about later on today. Read a piece in the paper the other day that Jil’s new collection for the Japanese brand is being launched today. Wasn’t too keen on the debut range. The new collection’s meant to have more of a sartorial bent. Let’s see…

I must say,  the Christmas windows have been a tad bit disappointing in the City of Lights. Galleries Lafayette: Le Shocking!! I mean, super tacky. Worth the trawl through the scrum to make it to the food hall, though! Yumm!

Anyway, I just had lunch with a darling friend of mine – my second lunch of the day; all I seem to be doing is eat, eat, eat!

Anyway, she’s done the most beautiful window artwork for Monsieur Red Soles. Simple and playful and yes, very festive. Very talented, this friend of mine. Finally! A window worth looking at. It seems to be doing the trick and pulling the punters in. Very lovely shop and the Louboutin cobblers further down in the arcade is a very sweet touch. Great to see a brand with personality.

Anyway, seems like I’m finally going to be able to leave Paris. Booked on a morning flight. Bloody Eurostar!!! Merde!

(Sing along to the tune of Beyonce’s “If I Were A boy”.)

If I were a girl, without any delay,

I’d get AddLee down to Bond Street

Jump out in front of Miu Miu

And lust after this beautiful coat…


If I were a girl, I know how I’d wear this coat

I’d team it with my Loubies,

My lanvin blouse

and Marni skirrrrrrt, oh, yay!


I’d reach for my purse

Bet you know how it hurts

When you lose the one you wanted

To Cheryl, Pixie, Kelly [heaven forbid] or Alexa

And saw it plastered all over Heat…

[Oh, noooooooo, ooooh, noooo-0-ooo oh!]


If I were a girl…