Friday, 20 August 2010

It's Just Not Crick-kit: Vintage & Modern Cricket Clothes

Passing the Oval tube station the other day, I couldn't help but notice the crowds of supporters, mostly men, making their way to the Oval cricket ground. Despite cricket joining a long list of sports that I have never played, I do like the kit. Sadly, what is worn today is far removed from when I was a child and when cricket was played on a black and white television - a time when it was mandatory to play in whites.

Players wore white or cream woollen flannel trousers which were double pleated with side adjusters. Surprisingly, there is still a mill in Somerset that makes this illustrious cloth - Fox Bros in Wellington. They have manufactured flannel for centuries, and I have recently commissioned them to make Hackett a small run of this traditional cricket white material for a range in our next designer menswear Summer season.

Worn with cricket flannels were hand knitted long-sleeved or sleeveless cable pullovers in ecru, with the club colours trimming the V-neck. Underneath were lightweight off-white flannel shirts. The striped three button flannel blazer was reserved for the team photograph, or worn during tea.

Classic cricket whites in this team picture by Herry Lawford

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Designer Luggage: The Case for Globe-Trotter

I'm off on holiday to West Wittering in Sussex for a few days - actually it's more of a working holiday, as I'm combining it with our summer brochure photo shoot.

Packing for my sojourn is easy: I just throw a few polo shirts, linen shirts, shorts and boat shoes into my well-worn canvas holdall and I'm done, adding at the last minute a waterproof jacket (because it may rain) and a couple of sweaters (because it's bound to be cold). Oh, and swimwear too, which will no doubt remain in my bag as the water will be freezing.

But when it comes to packing for a business trip halfway across the world, it is a different matter entirely, as I need to take my suits, jackets, proper shoes and numerous shirts and ties with me - invariably I find that I pack too much kit.

Fortunately, I own a couple of large and battered Globe-Trotter trunks which pretty much accommodate my entire wardrobe. I have always admired the Globe-Trotter range as it is solid, reliable and well-made holiday luggage. The cases are constructed from a vulcanised board which is so tough it's reputed that the lid of the case can withstand the weight of an elephant's foot!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Cowes Week 2010: Boating Clothing for Smart Yachting

It's been a long time since I visited Cowes but I have fond memories of this small coastal town on the Isle of Wight. At the time of my last visit, I was a guest of the Royal Yacht Squadron, who generously put me up at their club overlooking the sea. I felt very privileged because I wasn't a member - or ever likely to be.

Some of the action from Cowes Week 2008, courtesy of Flickr user 'Murky1'

The invitation had come about because Hackett was involved in sponsorship of a sailing class of boats called Etchells which are extremely sleek, fast and manoeuvrable. Being a bit of a landlubber, I contented myself with surveying the sailing from the safety of dry land, where one yacht in particular stood out - it was the magnificent boat belonging to Donald Gosling, with its navy blue hull exuding a sense of restrained luxury.