Every man needs good stationery.
There is something solid, dependable and reliable about it. No need for a full battery, internet connection or storage space for this stuff.
It’s simplicity is its strength - just think about the millions of dollars NASA spent on developing a pen to work in space, when the Russians just used a pencil.
Good stationery is also a source of great creativity. Just look at the selection on Sir Paul Smith’s desk in his new Design Museum exhibition or his collaborations with Rhodia - all driven by a passion for traditional writing and scribbling of ideas that technology can’t truly replicate:
So, I do love sharing new and inspirational finds, especially as gift ideas, this time from The Journal Shop:
And finally, my Christmas gift inspiration:
A beautiful Midori wood inlay ruler
If stationery is good enough for Sir Paul on his Desert Island, it’s good enough for me!
Being a Belfast lad, born and bred, I have strong early memories.
From the corner shop near my Grandmothers house, to the solders patrolling the streets, there are a number of stand out images from my past, but none were so strong as the Harland & Wolff cranes, Samson and Goliath:
Their imposing, but positive, yellow presence permeated the city and into my memories. So, imagine my delight when I came across Harland & Wolff apparel.
Inspired by the originality and craftmanship of the original shipyard, Dennis Bree and Tim McAllister set up the company which celebrates the heritage of this historic space.
As a result, they have concentrated on working with local craftspeople to lovingly create a focused range of high quality products.
My picks from the collection. Well, lets start with a S&G hook T-shirt:
A beautiful, soon to launch, yard shirt:
But the best of the lot (and already on my Christmas list), a pair of limited edition H&W Rivet cufflinks:
So wonderful I almost didn’t want to post the link!
Update: That beautiful yard shirt is now on sale, but only 20 of them have been made, so get in quick!
As early visitors to my blog will know, I am a big fan of Steve McQueen.
He had a natural, every man, approach to dressing well. Picking the brands and clothes that met his lifestyle needs, rather than the trademarks that paid his way (unlike most celebs today).
One of his most iconic outfits came from Bullitt:
The jacket was a bespoke wool herringbone tweed creation by Theadora van Runkle, the costume designer for the film.
It was a soft cut, 3 roll 2 button design - like those from Boglioli and Caruso, with suede elbow patches. So, it has more of a modern day, unstructured Italian feel, rather than the American preppy heritage it originates from.
Worn with a shirt and tie, this could have been a staid outfit; however, thanks to the beautiful pairing of cashmere rollneck, charcoal trousers and suede chukkas it was the perfect outfit for his action led character.
It was recently announced that the original jacket was going up for auction (again) at Bonhams this January:
However, when this was originally auctioned in July 2013, it achieved a selling price of $720, 000, but the sale never completed - hence the second attempt via Bonhams.
With the original being quite a bit out of reach for you and me, how can we replicate this great outfit?
For the jacket, you can trawl eBay like I have done unsuccessfully for the last few months, but vintage tweed can be quite hit and miss for quality and fit.
Therefore, I would start with this nice Magee Brown and Black Herringbone Jacket:
Next, the rollneck jumper is a little more difficult, due to the thickness and colour match. So, have a look at this Bullett inspired Merino Wool rollneck from Sunspel:
The trousers are a bit easier; go for a classic pair of Incotex slim fit brushed cotton blend pair from Mr Porter:
Finally, pick up an authentic pair of the Sanders Joel boots worn by McQueen in the film:
At £180, they are a tad more affordable than that iconic jacket!