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

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Boat Race Print

Around this time last year I hosted a lunch at the London Rowing Club on the day of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. As sponsors of The London Rowing Club, the club had very generously lent me one of their rooms at the boat house. I spent some time wandering about admiring all the silver ware and trophies the club had won over the years, and examining the paintings and Spy cartoons of past members all immaculately turned out in rowing blazers and flannels. 

I spotted a large painting over a fireplace that had been painted by Cosmo Clark, RA in 1956 to celebrate the club's centenary and I was very taken with it, so much so that I commissioned it to be photographed and passed the images onto our design department with the brief that they should turn the photographs into a print and apply it to casual short sleeve shirts, swimming shorts and silk pocket squares. 

With prints being all the rage at the moment it seemed the right time to introduce our exclusive London Rowing Club range. Again, I shall be at the Boat Race this year but given that the weather is usually pretty cold I doubt that I shall be wearing the shirt or shorts just yet but I will certainly be sporting the pocket square. 

Jeremy Hackett

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Very Quiet One

It's an awfully long time since I posted anything and when I had lunch the other day with Tom Stubbs, the fashion editor of  the FT How to Spend it Magazine, and explained to him that I had a blog that I updated maybe two or three times a month he was aghast that it was so little. I then added that I hadn't posted anything for several months siting being too busy, when in fact it is probably more like laziness. So if I have any readers left, out of guilt I thought I better put pen to paper or rather fingers to keyboard. 

I have just returned from a Hackett shop opening in Singapore, which went exceedingly well. Flying back by Malaysian Airways I was the only passenger in 1st class, I wondered if it had anything to do with the missing aircraft. Having watched all  the films I wanted on the way over I delved into a book on the life of the Author William S Burroughs and whilst his lifestyle appears to have been extremely hedonistic, when it came to dressing his choice of clothing was austere. I noted that he mostly wore dark three piece suits with English style striped Jermyn St shirts and discreet polka dot ties. Owing to his long narrow feet he had his shoes made at Lobb in St James's, I started to like him a lot more.

In future when asked by journalists who I rate as a stylish dresser, I shall add William S Burroughs to my list as he clearly was a distinguished looking man about town. Although disappointingly reading on further, I see that friends tried to encourage him to become more "with it" by buying him flared trousers and high heeled boots leading one journalist to comment upon meeting him that he was wearing 'seemingly too tight trousers for a man of his age.' I shall make every effort not to succumb to the advice of my friends. 

Jeremy Hackett

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Quiet One

I had a call from our Sloane Street shop advising me that Jose Mourinho would be making a visit to do a little bit of Christmas shopping and would I look after him. Well of course I was more than happy to help out. Jose slipped into the shop quietly, decked out head to toe in navy blue. A man after my own heart. For those of you who read my blog you will know that navy blue is my favourite colour.

I began by showing him around pointing out various items of clothing that I thought would appeal to him. "How about a parka outerwear jacket" I said, pulling one off the rack in red, perfect to wear on the touchline. He nodded and said "I'll try it in navy blue." What about a heavy knit pullover? "Does it come in navy blue." "Naturally" I replied. I was beginning to warm to this theme and proceeded to show him almost anything in navy. Just when I thought I was on a roll he raised an eyebrow and asked me if the navy knitted vest came in grey which happily it did. I knew that he had children so I showed him our kids department his eyes alighted on a picture of my Sussex Spaniel and as I know very little about football I realised that we had found common ground in dogs. He chose some presents for his son and it goes without saying they were in navy blue.

I decided to leave him to browse around on his own as he is a man who knows exactly what he wants and my sales patter was having little effect. In fact it may have been detrimental. After he had settled up, he slipped quietly out of the shop wishing everyone a Happy Christmas as he left. I shall be going to the Chelsea v Liverpool match after Christmas and shall have no problem spotting Jose as he will no doubt be head to toe in navy blue. Come on you Blues!

Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers


Muffin and Jeremy