It is just me or is Christmas getting earlier? Four festive film channels aired on the first of November and I am already weary of Monty and Mabel and penguin hash tags. Call me cynical, but that Penguin has already sold out at JL and is now going on EBay for £500. I certainly don’t want a bit of Monty in my Christmas.
But what I do want is more of the Pentreath & Hall’s of this world. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas now in Bloomsbury, and next Thursday 4th December seems just the right time for the festive shopping evening.
The beauty of Pentreath & Hall is the deeply discerning aesthetic of the team behind it. Together, architectural designer Ben and artist Bridie have created one of the most keenly watched stores in the London decoration world.
The Christmas shop is now open and where else can you buy crackers lovingly handmade in Dorset covered in Judd Street Papers or wrappings based on stone floor and marble patterns by the great 18th century designer Batty Langley, and re-imagined by Pentreath & Hall? Bridie Hall’s handmade candles are now available in gift boxes with a new Covert fragrance that evokes the green smells of the forest, of pine branches and mossy banks. The shop has the best collection of decoupage in the country and toys – well, there are musical spinning wheels, vintage locomotives and that Educated Monkey must be one of the funniest ways to learn your times tables.
For those unable to visit the shop there is an excellent website and deliveries of handsomely wrapped brown paper parcels are made worldwide.
Pentreath & Hall
17 Rugby Street
London WC1N 3QT
The fashionable home has come of age. Fashionable brands branch out into homes and interiors take inspiration from the catwalks. This collaborative spirit is catching and is shared amongst like-minded brands.
Latest creative collisions include Barbara Hulanicki for Graham & Brown, Louis Vuitton and Cassina, Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little and the many fashioner designers who bring their style to The Rug Company.
Now here is another match tailored in heaven courtesy of two leading ladies of the cloth.
Interiors and fashion collide in a capsule collection that sees Katherine Hooker’s beautifully cut jackets handmade in de Le Cuona’s beautifully woven fabrics. Only the finest fabrics are used to make these tailored, timeless pieces.
Bernie de Le Cuona’s name is synonymous with unique fabric such as her signature gutsy raw linens, fine wool paisley, couture cashmere and silky velvet. Katherine Hooker is a British company that has been hitting the nail on the head of luxe-minimal for eleven years. Both have shared desire for uniqueness and an appreciation of artisan authenticity.
This exciting new collaboration is launched at a tailor-made shopping and cocktail party at de Le Cuona’s new outpost on the Pimlico Road, from 6-8pm on Tuesday 2 December.
You can even order a custom Katherine Hooker de Le Cuona couture jacket in time for Christmas and explore de Le Cuona’s Autumn Winter Crocodile and Cashmere accessories collection.
Call 020 7730 0944 to book a place.
de Le Cuona
44 Pimlico Road
CoolBrands pinpoint brands doing engaging and cool stuff, regardless of their size or marketing purse - with cool being a bit of a leveller. The result is an eclectic mix of everyday and luxury brands from the big hitters that still retain clarity of vision to smaller or niche brands that are shaking things up things. From Apple to Aveda to Salty Dog and to my boys delight, Rapha. Goodness he is a cool rider.
This year big new arrivals in the top twenty included Instagram, which jumped into tenth place and proved that photos have replaced 140 characters when it comes to cool, with Twitter falling out of the top twenty!
I wondered where interiors figure in the list so I asked Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive, The Centre for Brand Analysis and Chairman, UK Superbrands & CoolBrands Councils;
‘They aren’t one of the better performing sectors. The majority of the brands in this space tend to be niche and don't have the same recognition among the influencers and members of the public as the big tech, fashion and beauty brands among others. There are a few real strong performers but their rank tends to be fairly volatile compared to certain other brands in other categories where consistency is more evident.’
Shame really as both classic and contemporary interiors can be judged cool. Who were the new judges this year I asked? As well as the great British audience, new council members included musicians Ella Eyre and Labrinth, blogger Emily Johnson, digital entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, model Jodie Kidd and actor Jonathan Bailey. Perhaps we could add a Tom Dixon or an Alice Rawlinson.
I am very pleased that Alternative Flooring is a CoolBrand for the second year running and it is still the only exclusively flooring brand to make the cut. This brand looks at flooring differently and brings real passion, personality and character to this market, making carpet cool. Other interior CoolBrands include Heal’s, Little Greene, The French House, Ligne Roset, Poggenpohl, C P Hart, and I am happy to say the New Craftsmen.
Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring
Yes cool is subjective, but many interior companies would tick the six factors that determine coolness - style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness. I want interiors to come in from the cold and I for one, will be nominating a few more cool design brands in forthcoming years.