Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Full English

Waiting in line to order breakfast at my local cafe, the man in front ordered, 'The Full English'.

Drawing inspiration from those words, I added them to my sketch of a Gentleman dressed in the English fashion. He is wearing locally sourced product; chalkstripe flannel suiting from Fox Bros in Somerset, Hackett Jermyn St shirt, London made silk tie and carrying a Brigg umbrella.



Poached eggs on toast please!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A Fish Tale



The other day, my brother and his two sons who were over from the States, happened to invite me to join them for a day’s fly fishing on the River Test in Hampshire. In the past I have been hunting and shooting but I shall be honest, I have never tried my hand at fishing. 

Of course, of great concern to me was what I should wear. In the end, I opted for a blue gingham shirt, nicely frayed at the collar, a threadbare olive lambs wool V neck pullover, khaki needle cord trousers and an old Barbour jacket that I had bought in Portobello market second hand years ago, after all I didn't want to look like the new boy on the block. 



I was particularly fond of the Barbour because it had knitted cuffs, which stopped the rain dribbling down to my elbows, a detail I think Barbour have since dispensed with (bring it back I say!) For a day in the country I took that most essential accessory - my gun dog Muffin, although she would run a mile at the sound of shooting being more adept at photo shoots.


The Test is a beautiful and crystal clear river that meanders through unspoilt water meadows not unlike a Constable painting. My first attempts at casting very quickly found me out to be a townie despite all my efforts at dressing the part.  But eventually after six hours of clumsy and awkward casting I finally caught a silverback trout. 


I was asked if I would like to take it home for supper but I demurred and slipped it back into the river. Travelling back to London with a very damp dog in the back of my now incredibly muddy Range Rover, I began to feel rather hungry and thought how delicious that trout might have been grilled, with new potatoes and petit pois. As it was, I settled for beans on toast in front of the television and watched News at Ten.

What can I say? I'm a man of simple pleasures.

 Jeremy Hackett

Regent Tweet


Last Saturday I was invited by the Regent St Association to give a speech at their Regent Tweet event that took place in the impressive Apple store on Regent Street. I had been asked to speak about Hackett to an audience of international bloggers, a daunting prospect I must admit, for they are not my usual audience. But in this modern day, I have begun to appreciate the doors an online audience can open.

 
To begin, I had the Hackett logo projected onto a screen behind me. For a bit of fun, I had asked our design department to take a bite out of the bowler hat to mimic the Apple logo.


(I hope Apple appreciate the humour!)

My closing words to the assembled bloggers were ‘What you post online should always be first class’. And with that, I hope to see us here at Hackett moving forward with my delightful audience of bloggers into the digital age.

 Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 12 May 2014

beComing


The other day I made a quick visit to Milan on the invitation of a longstanding friend of mine, Giansandro Cantori who owns a very smart lifestyle magazine called beSpoke for the launch of his beHouse concept. 



A Maserati had been arranged to pick me up from the airport, a handsome new four door model which smelt as though it had only just left the showroom. Settling into the reassuringly firm leather passenger seat, I noticed that the dashboard was clear of the usual array of dials giving a pleasing sense of simplicity and modernity with only a touchscreen visible. With that said, in contrast with the streamlined dashboard was a clock that looked as though it was better suited to be sitting on Grandma's mantelpiece. 


The Maserati eased me smoothly into the courtyard of the hotel Carlton Baglioni, a discreet hostelry behind scented jasmine hedges and boasting a 19th century mansion, with a faded and rendered facade in ochre and only a short walk to our shop on Via Manzoni. The beHouse reception was held at a townhouse in the old part of Milan and featured some of the best examples of Italian craftsmanship from bespoke shoes, handmade shirts, tailoring from Naples, (those masters of the shirt sleeve shoulder) to furnishings, perfumes and a barber. I chatted to two guys wearing matching Kilts (promoting their company, In Kilt) made from no nonsense denim and worn with industrial looking boots and workmanlike socks rolled over just so you could say they were in kilter. 

Giansandro invited me to try a wet shave, something I have never been tempted to before but the barber looked competent and experienced so I thought I’d give it a go. As I sat in the vintage chair and hot towels were applied followed by an ample brushing of almond shaving soap, I relaxed into my chair as the razor passed smoothly over my chin. I noticed their products neatly arranged and all beautifully packaged in red and cream striped boxes and made a mental note to visit their shop in Via G Morone.



Established in 1904, I wondered why I had not heard of Antica Barbiera Colla before. Tucked away off Via Manzoni, it's a traditional barber shop and the walls are plastered with photographs of famous clients. I purchased some products but was surprised they made no cologne; I was assured that it would soon be added. I managed to squeeze in a couple of magazine interviews before being whisked off to the airport by Maserati, apologies to Aston Martin but when in Italy...

Jeremy Hackett

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dubai British Polo Day



The other week I was back in the Middle East, firstly to Doha for a Hackett shop opening and then on to Dubai for British Polo Day. It was an impressive opening, which included the presence of The British Ambassador, Nicholas Hopton who wondered whether I remembered him as we had met many years ago at our first shop in Fulham and he reminded me that he had modelled for Hackett's first advertising campaign. It made me think that in future when submitting a CV that included Eton, Oxford and the Guards whether Hackett would now join that illustrious list as it obviously worked for Mr Hopton!



Whilst Doha is not on the same scale as Dubai it still boasts some extraordinary skyscrapers, a building that had the appearance of a bullet was particularly striking. Although Doha is a relatively new city it is not all about skyscrapers and every effort has been made to create an environment that acknowledges it's heritage and despite the fact that the old souk is a mere eight years old they have managed to instil the magic of Arabia, the police dressed in traditional robes on Arab stallions all adding to the mystique. The next morning I flew Qatar Airlines to Dubai and discovered that I had been upgraded to first class and sitting  in the lounge feeling very privileged I noticed four couples quaffing Champagne, well it was 8.30am, the ladies were all carrying large hat boxes so presumably they were off to watch the Dubai Gold Cup taking place the next day. The group became increasingly merry and whilst we waited on the  Tarmac for them to arrive, which they did eventually, I couldn't help but think how typically British.

No sooner than I had arrived in Dubai than I was whisked off to the Polo by Range Rover the main sponsor of BPD. It was my second visit to the Dubai Polo Club and it was as beautifully arranged day as I last remember. I was introduced to HH Sheik Shakboot Bin Nahyan al Nahyan who invited me to join him at the Abu Dhabi Polo next year, it's now in the diary. With a fair amount of Brits in attendance it was good to see so many young men dressed in Hackett. I was asked to present a prize for the best dressed Gentleman I chose a chap who was dressed head to toe in Hackett (well, not quite head to toe I think his shoes were by Harry's) Off to Barcelona in the morning for an event at our new shop there. I shall try and visit a shop in the old port where they make hand made espadrilles.

Jeremy Hackett

Friday, 4 April 2014

Turning Back The Years


Reading a glowing review in the Times the other day about Justin Timberlake's recent gig in London, I couldn't help but notice that in the accompanying photograph, his dinner jacket featured turn-back cuffs. A style that was popular in the early 1960s  amongst the more raffish of British society. 




The review suggested that Timberlake is in the mould of Frank Sinatra so I wonder whether he knows that Sinatra's tailor, Cyril Castle was one of the tailors who was instrumental in making this feature popular. 

I have added turn- back cuffs to many of my suits over the years because for me, it is a way of making an otherwise dull grey suit that little bit more individual. Like Timberlake, I have turned back cuffs on my dinner jacket - I  just wish I could sing as well.

Jeremy Hackett