Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Loving the glove-in


FAR BE it for me challenge the Entente cordiale between ourselves and our French cousins, I mean I have quaffed and slurped countless bottles and magnums of the nation’s finest wines, cheeses and other culinary delights, even being known to court the old madam Francais along the way, but the gloves are definitely off this winter.

Many people may well confuse this tussle or Choc de la journée as a sporting one, Fred Perry the English tennis tiger and Lacoste 'the crocodile', but this battle has nothing to do with the two week summer sport, but the fashion houses latest releases and it really is nip and tuck to decide who comes out on top.

Starting across the English Channel or la Manche then and of course I had to carry out extensive research which I sad to say has resulted in the drowning of my last man servant Hubert just along the Strait of Dover retrieving a stranded bottle of Louis XII RC 43.8, so at least it wasn’t a complete waste, although it did mean I had to shuffle the staff around to insure the continued supply of Foie Gras and champagne.

So despite Hubert’s best efforts to ruin the trip I managed to make it to dry land and began trawling bars and restaurants and of course several nefarious contacts I have in gay Paris.

At the heart of this fashion tussle is tradition, something I like to feel I have as I undertook the old family tradition of dropping my well-tailored trousers, to reveal my Sunspel boxer shorts in the middle of the Champs Elysées to sing my family song ‘Why was she born so beautiful’.
The Gendemarie are well versed in this family tradition, so a night in the cells was avoided and further revelry had. So Bon Chance to them I say.

So tradition is the staple of the Lacoste Live wool and leather gloves. They are knitted in the traditional style, sporting the iconic crocodile on the top of the right glove. Ribbed wrists ensure comfort and warmth as the old winter months close in, with the fleece lining making them a superbly suitable selection.
OK so enough of the alliteration, the gloves have a leather palm, in the black or noir gloves coming in red, while in the asphalite (grey) the palm is a contrast tan colour.


You may feel you are really rolling back the year with the Fred Perry entries, which are ribbed fingerless gloves coming in grey or mahogany.

The Merino cotton and wool mix glover are also a touch of tradition, with the ribbed glove finished off with an embroidered laurel logo in both hand by the wrists. On the mahogany gloves the logo is gold, on the grey it is in French blue, ironically.








Maybe that is the thing about this particular battle, they are ironically both as good as each other and make a welcome edition to a winter wardrobe.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Who is the daddy?


WHAT A BUSY morning it has been at Skylon Manor, after several large rhesus negatives on the croquet lawn, followed by a round keel and haul with Hubert in the new Olympic sized swimming pool we have just had sunk in the French quarter of the garden, along with setting the hounds on the blighter after he spilt my mid-morning livener of champagne cocktails. 

The drink itself is made in litre batches comprising one part petrol, two bottles of the widow and some 100 per cent proof white rum smuggled in from Jamaica up the arse of an Argentine Criollo mare, courtesy of my old friend The Colonel.
The livener, as per usual made me go blind for an hour, something my father always said distinguished it from other heart-starters, and having awoke on the bonnet of the Bentley, which had somehow carried into a cake shop in the nearby village of Mayfair, I suddenly felt a chill in the air.
Time for some winter jackets I thought and with my father in my mind I wondered abut the daddy of all coats?
I first cast my eye over the Marshall Artist vintage M-65 coats, which are parka style, with a superb two-tone grey body with electric blue arms. This is a cracker jack of a jacket, and provides superb waterproofing and wind resistance.
The high neck and string fasteners remind me of last season’s Heritage Research parkas and the jacket come in a beige arm muted navy blue body finish as well. Their nautical Vintage that comes in yellow has some superb touches, and has a simpler front than the others preferring three hooks to seal the front of the coat. All the jackets have hoods and really well priced.
The Woolrich Arctic parkas are your classic full-length fur hood trimmed jacket, button and zip through, these have two large pockets on the front and are in olive or navy. It is funny how certain things, such as opening the ballroom French windows and firing a few shots at the gardeners after three cheeky bottles of Chateau Margaux.
The new Kasson range of jackets from Penfield are also very fetching, similar in body shape to the MA coats they boast four front pockets, zip and fastener with built in hoods. They come in burgundy and navy, while the Camo number went down well with me, I am interested in some woodland John Rambo style hunting to shake Hubert up a bit now the evenings are closing in and the sky begins to bruise in the late afternoon.






So with these fine garments around, it seems harsh to pick the best one or the ‘daddy’ as I stated earlier, but not on the grounds of any form of superiority more of a historic stand point surely the CP Company duck down navy jacket (based on the iconic Mille Miglia) which still to this day gives me butterflies.
The revered goggle hood, waterproof coat provides class, comfort and just says it all really. Named after the Italian wide road race, which due to being blind drunk every year, I have failed to not only wake up on time, but even make it to Northolt to take my private jet to the start line. Maybe that will be this year’s resolution? Who knows, and surely that will be a story for another time?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Stepping out










I CLEARLY remember saying to Hillary and Tenzing as we traversed the Khumba Icefall during a cocktail and cheese party climb up Everest of the importance of good footwear, for all occasions.
I am not sure that Hillary paid too much attention to me, he had necked at least very frozen Mojitos by that time and although he had famously climbed the muntain first, or second depending on how you look at it. Going back to rescue a bottle of grenadine to prepare tequila sunrises once they had reached the summit, cost him dear, but the old boy shied away from that in an books on the climb.
I did feel slightly miffed that my efforts to provide top quality beverages for the entire climb, even sacrificing a bag of salt, specifically carried by Hubert for Magharittas, to defrost some climbers fingers, did not end with a piece of the climb being named after me. So it was the Hillary Step, was born.
Taking the best step though was always something I prided myself on and the new range of Volta footwear would have been ideal to cut a rug on that famous olld hillside in Nepal, or anywhere come to that.
The Special pack Jacquard Low, which comes in Atuami brown. The shoe is a fitting place to start with its beautiful cross stitch detailing on the side, along with the famous zig zag sole patterning, using premium rubber, the Gumlite. The shoe combines superb craftsmanship, using premium leather, which are also used on the laces.
Although more of a lightweight boot the classic comes in a new series of colours, mid green and blue.
The cae up boot, which has delicious stitck detailing, with Ton-sur-ton intalian buffalo leather combined with a felt back to the boot. The Vibram Voltage sole in a soft white makes the perfect finish.
Rounding out the range comes the platform red calf Mendocina boot, which is simply a taller boot than the classic, with six eyelets, and a larger heal felt section. Am edged sole ensures the boot is usuable for light hiking or walking, but they also look superb and you may just fancy trekking around the golf club bar with them instead.
The boot comes with butter-sift Italian purple cowhide leather, but I get Hubert to ensure they are support soft by licking them on a dialy basis for several hours, well I pay him minimum wage so he bloody well has to earn it.
I must say that I was also taken with the sporty boot look of the Adidas quilt cracan light bone boot. The hiking boot which has sheep fur lining and a wonderful quilted top half in beige, black lower and edged rubber sole. Clip fastening and laces ensure the boot remains steadfast, even when kicking Hubert late at night in the dark of the wine cellar at Skylon Manor.
One extra touch that I brought along for one of our recent rides up the hill for cocktails and some ice bear sherpa shooting was the Pendleton motor robe
These superbly crafted ‘Steamer rugs’ come sin three authentic tartans and measure 52’x66’. Pure virgin wool really is the only way to protect your rear and coming with a leather carrier, handle and shoulder strap, coming in green, muir and charcoal, also provide a great way to slide back down to base camp for some Apres Ski later around the roaring harth.
Well why not?  

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A head for heights, sorry, hats



HATS seem to have played an important part in the Skylon family lineage, be it the Coochoo red Indian tribes headdress that was bestowed on my father after an evening of cards and rum below deck on HMS Fearless after a particularly difficult rum running episode to the New York Port Harbour, during the prohibition. 
The headdress was given to to my father by one of the Kennedy clan.
It ended up in flames, so I believe, as my father played jumping bases, as it was originally named, from the Statue of Liberty. 
It has been alleged that feathers were so high proof from the drinking that the statue’s famous torch ignited, but that’s another story and potentially damaging, legally, to our ‘special friendship’.
I clearly remember another night of excess, in fact I barely remember any other type of night, when I was accosted by Interpol after removing the Crown of Dauphin Louis Antoine used by Charles X.
Now I think I was harshly judged on this, I was naked, it was cold and the Seine is not the place to be swimming without any form of motorised assistance, even after five bottles of Legacy rum.
Was a shame to waste the last bottle, but once I’d climbed back up the Mont de Pont Neuf, my old pal the Duke of Ellesanebastian used one as a Molotov to throw at the local Gendarmerie and my legeal defcne Charles Xavier, got me off on a £2million bail. 

What a hoot, as was using the hat worn by the Maharaja of Jaipur as a disguise during a wild goose shoot. The heat from my Mauser caused havoc with the silk, I was very lucky there I can tell you.
The leap from the roof of the Place of Versailles into one of the pools to douse the flames was not as far as suggested in Bill Clinton’s book on ‘Gun fun with alcohol’.
I get a similar feeling of irreverence having looked upon the new Stetson Hatteras range of hats which use silk and linen and definitely support that old saying ‘If you want to get ahead … ‘
The newsboy style of these caps, which come in a variety of finishes including herringbone, (lightbrown, grey and waxed brown).
The linen caps have the same features and come in grey, tan, denim, which has a nice beige tip to the peak and indigo.
All boasting a nice leather tab on the back, these lightweight hats are distinctive and stylish, with hand-crafted tradition and all cut in 8/4 pattern.















It’s so nice to see quality like this, along with new labels such as Holland Esquire, Marshall Artist, and the delicious Made & Crafted range from Levis all dovetailing together for a sublime autumn winter look.

















Now, where has that Mahan head piece gone? I really must sort the south wing of the Manor out before the second test firing of Bloodhound gets underway at the weekend. 

Ready for Weekender








HEY HO pop pickers, mmm maybe that’s not the best introduction to use at present, but you get my drift. I have just hot footed it, well first class, via British Airways, the Onedin Line and Von Ryan’s Express from Chicago having watched the New World hopefuls take ‘one hell of a beating’ in the Ryder Cup.
Having quaffed several scooners of sherry in the during the three day golfing bonanza, and thoroughly enjoyed giving a bit of the old tea party spirit back to the youngsters over the pond I was struck by one thing, a terrible drive from that grumpy chap Woods. I thrashed my man servant soundly for failing to catch the ball and protect me, the foul jelly that he is.
Apart from that the trip was uneventful, although, always thinking about penning a few words for my newest interest ‘blogging’, I was stunned to see John Terry out of prison and patrolling the greens of Medinha sporting his best golfing kit.
As I watched I suddenly spotted a seamless link between said footballer and one of the latest labels to grace Stuarts, Weekend Offender.
Having kicked Hubert (Man Servant) several times laughing at this particularly good wheeze, well Terry is a Weekend Offender extraodinaire.
Not usually the attire of golfing I have fallen for the parkas introduced by this cult label, and the names are befitting of the designs with the camouflage hooded Rebels coat sporting button front fastening, three pockets, chest and front.
Superbly crafted, with beautiful detailing these jackets are standout, including those buttons with green edging. Very nice. Reminds me of a cocktail I once drank in Bangkok whilst out with the famous female ping ping artisté Missy Mayflower, it's a png story involving, said Missy, a gallons of cocktails called the Armed Warrior, a lion and a high speed motorboat, but that's for another time.
The Nightmare red putty jacket is again on the parka line, with bell pockets, a two tone coluring, similar to the Tiger pelt I have lining the entrance hall to Skylon Manor, although a slightly brighter red if I am honest.
The hood on the coat, which is zip and button front, is drawstring adjustable and is waxed cotton. The beige colouring is at the bottom of the coat and the lining features a tube map, a nice touch and maintaining the footballing link the label espouses. Not that I know much about that particular working class game, politics and land grabbing being one of the only time I really come into to contact with the oi polloi.
All part of the ‘Category A’ range I found the terrace legend, prison cell a nice twist on some quality ‘streetwise’ garment. I did have some ex-convicts one work for the Skylon family once, they did a bit of gardening and excavating in a land grab deal a long lost relative sorted out, you may have heard of it a place called Australia?