Welcome to our December issue of Calendar. As the festive season is well and truly upon us, we’re bringing you all the inspiring content and stories you need to spark joy and get you in the mood for the holiday season. Our shopping edits showcase spirit-lifting party-dressing gems – all with sustainable credentials – as well as covetable, consciously-made loungewear, for all your post-party wardrobing requirements. Meanwhile, our Fashion Features Director Emma Sells talks to the trailblazing designer Kevin Germanier about his oh-so fabulous brand Germanier, and how he’s reinventing the concept of hi-octane glamour one upcycled sequin at a time! Sarah Bailey takes a look at Iain R Webb’s new book ‘Rebel Stylist’ celebrating the original street style fashion stylist Caroline Baker, and shows how her approach to upcycling and embracing vintage feels relevant today; as well as an exclusive interview with Eva Kruse CEO of Pangaia. And if, like us, you’re wondering how to approach the party season with a sustainable mindset, Stacey Duguid talks us through how to dazzle and own the room without buying anything new. For those cosy moments of snuggling on the sofa, Beauty Director Anna-Marie Solowij shares an edit of the best eco-conscious candles out there, while on the Travel front Susan Ward Davies has rounded up the best eco ski resorts out there (in other words, everything you need to make your December a sparkling and joyous affair). Have all the fun and wishing you happy holidays from the Calendar team!
Arts & Culture
“Make a statement, originate, don’t imitate, make your own i-D,” was Caroline Baker’s rallying cry in the debut issue of the iconic magazine title. The maverick stylist, who has inspired generations of readers to express themselves through what they wear (from her radical, era-defining work at Nova, Cosmopolitan, i-D and beyond), is the subject of a new book Rebel Stylist: Caroline Baker – The Woman Who Invented Street Fashion, by Iain R. Webb, the fashion academic, writer and curator.
In this lovingly researched volume, Webb makes the case that Baker’s iconoclastic sensibility and DIY aesthetic set the blueprint for the role of the creative, collaborative fashion director/image-maker as we understand it today. In fact, it is impossible to imagine the influential careers and impact of, say, Katie Grand or Dazed’s current editor-in-chief, Ib Kamara, without acknowledging the groundwork that Baker laid.
Baker began her career at a time when a stylist’s contribution was not necessarily even credited in the creation of an image, but thanks to her daring imagination and courage to do things differently, she ended up working at the side of designers like Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett and creating some of the best-known and deliberately provocative advertising campaigns of the 1980s with Oliviero Toscani for Benetton. Tellingly, perhaps, her story is relatively unknown.
Sartorially, December is a month of duality. On one hand, pre-Christmas celebrations mean that glamour is the order of the season. In the in-between moments, a far more laid back approach takes hold. You’ll find a sparkly lineup from us soon but, until then, loungewear season is well and truly upon us.
Signalled by buttery fabrics, accommodating styles and stylish-yet-effortless silhouettes, this category should never be underestimated. In fact, loungewear is as deserving of consideration and curation as every other wardrobe sector – and can be styled to suit almost every festive scenario. Full of elevated hoodies, track pants and jersey essentials, our Calendar edit of timeless loungewear pieces will set you up for the (restful) season ahead…
Germanier’s high-octane aesthetic is a world away from the muted shades and sensible shapes of the stereotypical sustainable label. Instead, the Paris brand’s technicolour mini dresses, encrusted OTT tailoring and beaded handbags are fuelled by pure, joyful glamour. “I think there’s often a misconception,” says Kevin Germanier, the 29-year-old designer behind the label. “Whenever someone is thinking about sustainability or upcycling or leftover waste, people think it’s going to be boho or a kind of organic-looking brand, but it can still be super glamorous and fun. It can still be dazzling, colourful, sexy and young.”
Inspired by a combination of the internet, old copies of Vogue and his lifelong love of gaming, Germanier’s more-is-more approach grew out of a need for a fantastical outlet from the conservative Swiss world that he was raised in. “My village is very proper, nobody’s taking any risks, everyone is wearing black or navy,” he says. “But I grew up watching John Galliano for Dior; my favourite designer is [Swiss couturier] Robert Piguet, and I like anything dazzling, like a Swarovski crystal sequin bead – it just attracts me and fascinates me, basically.”
Thursday wisdom this week comes courtesy of iconic London designer and original sustainable fashion activist Katharine Hamnett. Taken from an interview with Calendar fashion director Emma Sells, these powerful words epitomise why it’s so rewarding to curate a wardrobe of clothes with longevity.
Founded in 1979, the designer’s eponymous label is the brains behind many iconic fashion moments – most notably, her Choose Love slogan styles, which remain some of the most recognisable t-shirts around. And she’s determined to continue her making design-meets-activist creations.
The Sparkle Edit
While the party season is looking a little more toned down right now and all out revelry might be off the table , there’s still a collective desire to inject some razzle dazzle into proceedings. But we’re not talking about wear-once party pieces – our idea of sparkly December-wear has far more longevity. Guaranteed to spark joy (in you and everyone else) for years to come, we’re firm believers in the philosophy that festive occasions are always improved by sparkle. From vintage beaded bags you’ll fill with essentials and wear to every special occasion, to vintage turbans and glitter-tastic stockings, each piece is a sustainable gem you’ll treasure.
When I first met Portia Hart, a 30-something Brit from Bury St Edmunds, six years ago, I was fascinated (and a little envious) of her plans for Blue Apple Beach, the 10 bedroom, chic-shack-style hotel/ beach club she had just opened on Tierra Bomba island, off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. Six years on her little empire now includes a sustainable hotel shop, another beach club, a second hotel (the Townhouse in Cartagena), and the not-for-profit Green Apple Foundation, all of which have created around 300 much-needed local jobs.
Just as impressive are all the sustainability and recycling initiatives she has launched, such as converting used cooking oil into biofuel, diverting waste from landfill, building a recycling centre out of discarded bottles and coconuts, and upcycling glass waste. The hotels are not carbon neutral but they are aiming for BCorp certification as 70% of their water is re-used for irrigation, they run on solar power, and recycle 95% of their waste.
Object of Desire
Raised by a family of antiques collectors, with shops in Camden Passage, it’s no surprise that Susan Caplan has a masterful eye for design. She began specialising in jewellery in 2008 and, since then, has curated special vintage pieces in her London showroom and supplied to some of the city’s most exclusive stores. Caplan’s 1980s vintage D’Orlan ring is yet more proof of her time-honed knowhow. Eye-poppingly colourful, it’s set with faux turquoise, coral and pearl and round-cut Swarovski crystals, while the 22ct gold leaf-shaped band provides joyful extra detail. Worn alone, it’s guaranteed to be a wonderful statement. Worn layered with complimentary gold bands, it’s bound to be a maximalist triumph. The only stipulation? It definitely deserves regular outings…
This party season, I won’t be panic-shopping my way through department stores in search of something shiny and new. No, I’ve spent too many years doing that. The sheer dopamine-induced joy once felt as I purchased a party outfit to be worn for one night only has long gone. So, this December, you’ll find me floating around London’s chicest bars and restaurants wearing a long, black, vintage velvet cape. Think Scottish Widows advertising campaign meets Blackadder. It’s quite a look, don’t you know…
Dubbed the ‘Depop of homeware’, Narchie – the freshly launched app that combines pre-loved homeware with social-style shopping – is already gaining momentum. It seems vintage fanatics and interior lovers have been patiently waiting for their perfect platform to emerge. The woman who’s made it happen is Narchie founder Harriet Wetton who, after launching her own PR agency in her early twenties, set her sights on a new challenge earlier this year. It was the success of second-hand fashion apps, coupled with her enthusiasm for new makers and independent sellers, that laid the groundwork for Narchie. “I was really frustrated by the time-consuming process of searching for unusual pieces on sites like Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace, and decided there was a need for a creative and inspiring platform where decor enthusiasts could buy, sell and connect,” says Weston. “There are so many amazing creatives and artisans in the homeware space yet so few people know about them.” Launched last month, the app features an impressive list of artisans – with furniture courtesy of @bammbammshop and glassware from @secondabode already on our list of bookmarks. With endlessly scrollable moodboard-style images and sustainable, second-hand pieces galore, you’ll want to shop, sell and connect with like-minded homeware fans from the get-go. We can’t think of a better way to while away the festive in-between days… HB.
The Candle Edit
With Christmas fast approaching and last-minute gifting upon us – not to mention the current climate meaning we’ll likely be spending more of the festive season at home – Calendar’s clean candle edit couldn’t have come at a better time. They’re all made of alternatives to paraffin wax, or recycled wax, have natural wicks and come in reusable or recyclable jars. It’s time to get hygge-y…
On the face of it skiing looks like a wholesome, back-to-nature pastime but once you factor in trees cut down and land bulldozed to make ski runs, planes full of skiers plying backwards and forwards, fossil-fuel-powered lifts, and energy-guzzling snow cannons blasting out the artificial snow used more and more to supplement the (melting) real thing, it is a grim picture.
The skiing industry has known for some time that it can’t survive global warming without action: the season will get shorter and shorter unless drastic measures are taken, and skiers – and resorts – need to be fighting against – not contributing to – the problem.
As of this weekend, the French have tightened up entry rules for Brits, and holidays there are off the cards. There are still plenty of ski destinations we can go to but before travelling always check gov.uk, for updates on each country’s entry requirements.
Object of Desire
The mark of a wonderfully covetable perfume is when it’s difficult to decide whether the scent or the bottle is more beautiful. Georgette is Vyrao’s take on a classic rose fragrance, and it excels on both levels – the cult perfume brand, founded by Yasmin Sewell, combines enchanting scents with a unique aroma-focused take on wellbeing. The bottle is as dressing-table-ready as it is gift-worthy. The scent, with Turkish rose oil, violet leaf absolute, sandalwood and patchouli, will wrap you up like a warming blanket of beautiful fragrance. Energised with Herkimer diamond crystal by healer Louise Mita, and created to promote self love, it’s a pleasing last-minute gift that stretches far beyond scent.
For December’s Lover Forever guest, we were thrilled to speak to model and style creator Mouchette Bell, who mixes vintage finds with the classic pieces she has acquired over the years with aplomb. As her friend Stephen Jones, the milliner, says: “Mouchette could style herself with a paper bag!” Here is how she wears party-season sparkle:
“I’ve had my gold Dries Van Noten skirt for at least 20 years. Gold is one of my favourite colours, and I am a bit of a romantic, so the fact that every now and then a little gold star drops off this skirt and leaves a little piece of heaven in its wake is something that I find charming. I love to wear this skirt with my Chanel riding boots (another investment piece).”
Be In The Now
Festive feeling comes courtesy of the iconic Carrie Fisher ✨ “I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another.”
Merry Christmas from The Calendar Magazine! Wishing you a happy and fabulous festive season 🎄
Be In The Now
Bearing in mind Andrea Love’s brilliantly innovative wool animations, it’s no surprise she’s amassed a cult following of more than 900k followers. The self-taught creative painstakingly films her stop-motion videos from her studio basement in Port Townsend, Washington, with fantastically detailed results – and this wooly river scene is a serene masterpiece. The perfect post-Christmas nature boost.
Be In The Now
Few items provide more opportunity to marvel at opulent detail than a Fabergé egg. And now, a new exhibition at the V&A is allowing visitors to do just that. Showcasing Carl Fabergé, the Russian designer behind the creations, and his exquisite work, ‘Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution’ is a high-shine must-see with extravagance guaranteed.
Displaying more than 200 objects that exemplify Fabergé’s craftsmanship, the V&A’s focus is not on the designer’s best-known work for Russian Imperial royalty. Rather, it’s his London branch (the only location outside of Russia) that is celebrated. From British royalty and aristocrats to American heiresses, exiled Russian Grand Dukes and Maharajas, each Fabergé customer came away with a masterpiece – and it’s these ornate gifts that form the display. Tiaras, sculptures and clocks all feature, but the infamous eggs are the true star. Prepare to be enthralled…
‘Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution’ runs until 8 May, 2022
It’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone who has supported, contributed and been part of our Calendar journey this year. It’s been a wild ride and we couldn’t have done it without you. This is just the beginning and we’ve got a whole host of exciting plans ahead for 2022. Looking forward to sharing our next chapter with all of you and thank you!