Welcome to the November edition of The Register, where this month we will sadly not be dusting off our camp collar floral shirts in search of warmer climes but rather will be fully embracing the oncoming onslaught of cold weather, rising fuel prices and wintry humbuginess! Actually, we've been looking forward to winter for quite some time, around about mid-July in fact when Autumn seemed to kick in here in the UK. Sure enough, the elements are beginning to give us some excuses to don some big knits and even bigger coats. There's nothing quite like resurfacing one's winter wardrobe and rediscovering the warm comforting pieces you seem to perennially forget about. Entertaining indoors is back on too! Summer soirees are great fun but entertaining in your own home in winter simply boasts a more convivial, celebratory ambience that demands hearty repasts and cracking out those special reds you've been cellaring all this time.
Anyhow, enough blathering on. As they like to say in Game of Thrones, "winter is coming," so here are some things to look forward to!
Pipe up for smoking jackets
Dressing up in winter can often mean donning elegant eveningwear - a favourite pastime of ours - especially when it comes to the formal dinners, galas, awards and myriad other events that seem to populate one's calendar from now until Christmas. And while traditional black tie is the go-to option, certain events (certainly the more laidback ones) provide a great opportunity to wear a velvet smoking jacket. However, in winter, there is no better place to slip on a velvet smoking jacket than in the comfort of your own home, especially when entertaining (or even not entertaining - take a leaf out of Oscar Wilde's style book and wrap up in a smoking jacket on the sofa with a good read!)
NAVY VELVET COTTON
BURGUNDY VELVET COTTON
RACING GREEN VELVET
That rich velvet pile combined with the ornate brocading and rakish swoop of the shawl lapel are just divine and give the soiree a greater sense of occasion and conviviality. And if you can't wear something lavish in your own home, where can you wear it?! This season at Favourbrook we have a number of beautiful smoking jacket options for you to luxuriate in. To learn more, we wrote about why we love them right here so dive in and become an acolyte to one of our favourite pieces of winter tailoring!
Frozen adventures in the digital tundra
One of our favourite things to do when the weather draws in and the light outside barely makes a dent on our collective retinas is to get comfy and become absorbed in a good book. But of course, nobody owns books these days (or perhaps you are stockpiling your library by the fireplace just in case fuel prices go through the roof?) so we have discovered two absolutely fantastic winter-related digital reads that have been specifically designed to be devoured on a laptop. First up is the New York Times with "Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek" by John Branch, which is an interactive and completely immersive tale of a terrifying avalanche that occurred in Washington's Cascades in 2011. While the story itself is just brilliant and harrowing in equal measure, the NYT have made the experience feel like you are in some ways the investigative journalist discovering the facts in real time. It's everything that a long-read digital feature should be.
Hot on its frozen heels is "The White Darkness" by David Grann writing for the New Yorker. Grann's subject is one Henry Worsley (pictured above by Sebastian Copeland), who in 2015 attempted to do what his hero Ernest Shackleton couldn't and cross the continent of Antarctica solo by foot. Grann's writing is delicious, the story so moreish, the agonies of endurance so palpable. It portrays the "biblical terrors" of the South Pole and a single-minded Herculean human being's attempt to confront and defeat them. For a story based in the frozen continent, your palms will be sweating the entire time you're reading it.
From Kyoto to Favourbrook - why we love the kimono jacket
There's a lot to love about our Autumn/Winter womenswear collection, from the slinky silk dresses to the opulent velvet coats, but there's one piece that never fails to draw "ooos" and "ahhhhs" from our customers and that is the kimono coat which we have crafted in two styles this season. First of all, it's a stunning daywear or eveningwear piece depending on how you style it. Cut in a beautiful silk chiffon and decorated with a delicate floral motif, and a French embroidered lace hem, the full-length olive kimono coat features three-quarter length sleeves and dewberry satin lapels and cuffs. Accents of dewberry contrasted against the olive chiffon bring to life the rose pattern throughout. In contrast, our Carrick style features accents of pink contrasted against the navy chiffon.
KIMONO COAT OLIVE STANLEY
KIMONO COAT BLUE
The kimono was traditionally worn as an undergarment by Japanese aristocracy as early as the 16th century, then was adopted by commoners as an outerwear garment, unlined in the summer months and lined in the winter. They are worn wrapped left side over right and secured with a sash called an obi. The kimono has always been a canvas for symbolism, whether to show class standing or garner luck, good health and longevity. We hope our kimono jacket can provide all three along with a solid dose of modern style! We think its perfect for entertaining at home since it adds a sensual element of glamour without seeming like you're trying too hard.
Some bright sparks for dark days
If the winter weather won't induce a spirited glint in your eye then why not just put one on your finger instead? "Dark days mean big bright gemstones" is a quote we just completely made up but nevertheless we think it stands. So with our fragile argument for opulence fully laid out, and the conclusion being an unequivocal "yes! Why not!?" then let us kindly invite you to one of our St. James's neighbours, Christie's, who will be hosting "Jewels Online: The Geneva Edit" from November 2 until the 11th. The auction features some absolute bank-busters alongside a host of less eye-watering pieces by the likes of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Adler, Harry Winston, along with an Aladdin's loot of Belle Epoque finds and gleaming antiquities. Even if you're not in the market for something sparkly, the online brochure is well worth drooling over!