Welcome to our November issue of Calendar. With COP26 at the top of the agenda this month, we’ll be keeping a close eye on events as they unfold, bringing you content to inspire and show you all the ways you can pivot to a more sustainable approach and make a positive impact. And as the nights start to draw in and the temperature drops, it’s officially ‘coat weather’. We’ve put together an edit of our favourite cover ups from classic forever pieces, brands with conscious credentials, through to brilliant rental options and vintage gems you’ll treasure for years to come. Our Fashion Features Editor @evjsells has exclusive interviews with designer and innovative trailblazer @priya.ahluwalia1 and the Creative Director of Raey for MatchesFashion @rachelproud. Meanwhile, @thesarahbailey1 kicks off our newly launched Calendar Profile series talking to the legendary @anyahindmarch on her game-changing ‘Return To Nature’ collection of biodegradable bags inspired by @arizona_muse and in support of Muse’s new @dirt.charity, the foundation for the regeneration of the earth. We’re all on a voyage of discovery right now when it comes to our shopping habits, so we are excited to share wisdom from @laurencochrane, fashion journalist and author of ‘The Ten’, on the radical shift in her approach to her own wardrobe. On the Beauty front, our Beauty Director @annasolwij brings you her favourite conscious beauty brands that deliver and Travel Editor @swdavies reviews the best UK- based regenerative farming stays, plus an off-the-grid safari lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. And as the festive season approaches, we’ve put together an inspirational gift guide focusing on the joy of shopping with a sustainable mindset. P.S. If you haven’t already signed up to receive our soon-to-be launched newsletter, then head to the link in bio now! Happy November and here’s to being in the now. Anne-Marie Curtis, Editor-in-Chief, Calendar.
Brand We Love
Seeing as Paloma Wool began as an experimental project, its cult fanbase and subsequent skyrocketing success could come as a surprise if it weren’t for the brand’s founder, Paloma Lanna. Born into a fashion family (her parents ran Nice Things, one of Spain’s most famous clothing brands, in the 1980s), Lanna’s creative grounding is clear. She now splits her time between co-running Nice Things with her mother, and channeling her singular vision into Paloma Wool. Known for its unique, homespun aesthetic, the brand certainly doesn’t churn out seasonal styles for the sake of it. Rather, Lanna sees her creations as art – only allowing a piece to make it into a collection if it meets her creative vision. Made locally, often with sustainable fibres and low-impact dyes, the Barcelona based designer’s aesthetic is one that appeals to many. From swirly psychedelic knits, to clingy dresses that encourage wearers to feel carefree, Paloma Wool’s energy is simultaneously laid back and knowingly striking. HB.
Undoubtedly, the best part of winter is the opportunity to wear fabulous coats that comes with the onset of chilly weather. Gone are the days when a lightweight trench or an oversized blazer will do – November calls for an outwear selection with substance. Cosy textures and oversized shapes are the order of the day and, in our experience, the more classic and versatile, the better.
Here, you’ll find a preview of our winter coat edit – filled with the most stylish, sustainable pieces on our radar this season. However, to discover the full line-up, and to shop from the edit, head to our link in bio to read more on our freshly-launched website. We’ll meet you there… HB.
Image courtesy of @jollyvision
Fashion is, at its core, about the new. Its entire MO is getting you, as a consumer, to buy stuff as often as possible. That’s why we have seasons, where a fresh new batch of clothes are unveiled first at fashion weeks, and then bright and shiny IRL in stores and on apps. Outside of high fashion, drops of the new come more often than that. Supreme drops new pieces every Thursday, while high street stores like Zara restock every other week.
Until the pandemic hit, I was, as a fashion journalist, a paid-up member of this system. In a lot of ways I still am – I write about trends, I go to fashion weeks – but I definitely buy less. Before 2020, I might invest in several pieces of designer-level new each season, topping that up with high-street flotsam and jetsam without a second thought, often when I had nothing better to do, like when I was early for a meeting, or bored, scrolling on a weekday afternoon. As the calls about the damage that disposable fashion does to the environment became louder over the past couple of years, I felt guilty but I didn’t stop. The buzz of buying a little something new felt like one I deserved, even if it was fleeting.
That changed in spring 2020. After the usual busy start to the year, with several fashion weeks, I was – like everyone else – at home, with only a walk a day as an outing. I was still writing about fashion but the idea of wardrobe replenishment for myself felt faintly ridiculous. Why would I want a new blouse, I reasoned, when it would only be seen by my boyfriend and the cat? Sure, there were Zoom calls, but I couldn’t get the hang of dressing up to look at people in squares on my laptop. I always felt a bit daft sitting there in an ironed shirt and lipstick once the call ended, a clothes horse of washing just out of shot, silently judging…
Mid-way through COP26, we’re taking the time to reflect on the powerful words the conference has brought us so far. . Pivoting to a more sustainable future is the only way forward – it’s time to fashion the future.
“Success is possible because we have the platform for action.” – Patricia Espinosa C., Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change
“In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a terrible decline. In yours, you could and should witness a wonderful recovery.” – David Attenborough
“We are not just victims to this crisis, we have been resilient beacons of hope. Pacific youth have rallied behind the cry ‘We are not drowning, we are fighting’. This is our warrior cry to the world. We are not drowning, we are fighting. This is my message from Earth to COP.” – Brianna Fruean
“Climate justice is intersectional by nature. If our solutions aren’t intersectional, we won’t solve the climate crisis.” – Kevin J. Patel
“Nothing will change without you” – Yrsa Daley-Ward
“This is the Decisive Decade and if we do not act decisively, we know the consequences” – Stella McCartney.
Who doesn’t love a treehouse? The bird’s-eye views, the sense of adventure, the story-book vibes… And this one is more fanciful than most: a sculptured steel structure that towers 10 metres over the wildlife-rich floodplains of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. With the design inspired by a painting of the local baobab tree by Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef, the treehouse has three floors: climb to the top deck to spy on the hippos, elephants and giraffes (even lions and leopards if you’re lucky) wandering below, and sleep in the open-air bed under a velvety, star-strewn sky…
The future, according to Anya Hindmarch – relentlessly creative businesswoman with wit and queen of the British handbag – is all about farming. “It’s about our ability to provide, but also our soil health, the health of our land and crops. We’ve seen the tech boom; I think the next boom is going to be farming. And female farmers are going to be the coolest thing.”
It’s late-ish on a Friday afternoon and Hindmarch, who’s chatting to me via Zoom (dressed in a vintage Dries Van Noten duster coat, with a newly cut blunt fringe just brushing the top of her specs), is still at the office putting the final touches to her latest game-changing project ‘Return To Nature’, a capsule collection of biodegradable handbags, inspired by one exceptionally cool female farmer: Arizona Muse, the model and founder of soil-health charity DIRT (who relocated to Ibiza earlier this year with her young family to practice regenerative agriculture there).
The health of our soil is at the heart of Hindmarch’s ‘Return To Nature’ collection, which has been designed to be capable of degrading naturally – from earth, to cow, to bag, to earth and on again in a model of perfect circularity. The capsule consists of three styles: a bucket bag, a tote (in two sizes), and a cross-body bag – available in rich shades of tan and chocolate leather. There is no hardware, there are no linings (which renders the aesthetic all very French Vogue, 1970s, au-naturel chic, by the way). In the forever-fashion stakes, they are keepers.
Chillie London’s serendipitous beginnings are proof that, when networking goes well, it can lead to great things. The networking in question wasn’t planned, though – it all happened on the school run. Founders Natalie Hartley, a magazine stylist who’s worked for the likes of Elle and Sunday Times Style, and Lydia McNeill, a personal shopper, soon discovered that they had just as much in common as their school-aged daughters. Both lovers of secondhand, within a month of meeting, they’d founded their pre-loved clothing business, Chillie London. Stocked with everything from evocative vintage pieces to almost-new secondhand gems, their collaborative eye for style has resulted in a stellar collection. The simple raison d’être? Source and style, re-wear and re-style. With a concept store space at Pichi on Ladbroke Grove, you’ll want to dig through Chillie London’s selection at the earliest opportunity. HB
Picture by @_serenabrown
Beauty Brand We Love
Back in 1987, when Australian hairdresser Dennis Paphitis added natural plant oils to the products he used in his Melbourne hair salon, he inadvertently anticipated one of the biggest shifts in the beauty industry that continues to resonate strongly today. Now, Aesop’s vast product range retains its founding principles, featuring natural ingredients, effective formulations and reductive packaging and is sold online and via a global network of creatively inspired stores that international architects and interior designers clamour to work on, setting the tone for modern eco retail.
Most people will know Aesop from its Resurrection Hand Wash, a feature of hipster restaurant bathrooms, which has since migrated into design-savvy homes across the world and, more recently, Covid-era handbags in the form of hand sanitiser. Though the hand-care products are brand staples – those scrunched up, utilitarian aluminium tubes of Aromatique Hand Balm in their off-shade colour packs have a cult following – it is Aesop’s skincare that is striking a chord with consumers looking for honesty and efficacy from their products. In a market that is increasingly saturated with pious (and, at times, pompous) messaging, Aesop’s verbal and visual clarity of purpose continues to cut through; no wonder it’s on every wannabe green brand’s inspo’ mood board.
Artist of the Month
The thrilling multi-disciplinary work of Lubaina Himid takes centre stage at Tate Modern this month in the largest solo exhibition of the artist’s career to date, spanning 40 years of extraordinary output. A key figure in the Black British Arts movement, Himid was the first woman of colour to win The Turner prize in 2017, also the oldest recipient of the award (after the upper age cap of 50 was removed). With a background in theatre design, the artist and cultural activist creates immersive and often highly exuberant work – sometimes incorporating found objects, sometimes using sound – to create a space in which to discuss the black experience, women’s creativity and what it means to be alive with her audience…
Be In The Now
Finishing the week with these wise words, courtesy of @marineserre_official – style will always be individual.
Given Colville’s fashion prowess, it seems only natural that the brand’s homeware offering should live up to its stylish reputation. Founded by Lucinda Chambers, former fashion director of British Vogue, and Molly Molloy, former design director at Marni, in 2018, Colville’s brilliantly bold aesthetic is as distinctive as it is cheering. And it’s a combination of joy and style that translates seamlessly into the world of interiors. In the brand’s AW21 collection, there are vibrant, colour-saturated woolen blankets, woven at a historic mill in Italy, that are tactile enough to be cosy, and so brilliantly bold you’ll want to drape them over every available surface. Another star of the collection is the spherical vases that, upon first glance, look like swirly marbles – until you compare them to the size of the flowers within and realise that their scale is wholly more impressive. Complete with a collection of tasselled handmade-in-Mexico cushion, and vivid hand-spun mohair rugs, it’s a line-up you’re guaranteed to covet. HB.
Animation by @gus_and_stella
Calendar Gift Guide
When the festive season rolls around, it’s only a matter of time before gifting panic ensues. Pinning down a genuinely surprising, brilliantly personal gift for a loved one can be tricky but, happily, our inaugural gift guide is here to take the stress out of the situation.
From luxurious splurgy indulgences to thoughtful stocking fillers, each is a guaranteed crowd pleaser – and each has a fitting sustainable twist. Expect keep-forever jewellery gems, cheering homeware and collectable reads that will delight every unwrapper…
Object of Desire
Few fashion processes are more mesmerising than watching a Maison Michel milliner at work. With a hand-crafted approach that’s endured for more than 80 years, detail is what makes the brand’s hats so covetable. Crafted by hand in a Parisian atelier, Maison Michel’s navy breton style is a true vintage-inspired classic. Soft wool-felt covers the exterior like a blankety coating in the perfect shade of inky blue, with the smartly peaked brim and braided trim accent make a luxurious finishing touch. Its timeless design will sit atop every cold weather-ready outfit – and each time you pull it on, you’ll be reminded of the skilled ateliers who created it. HB.
How do you set about making an already established and much-loved label more responsible? It’s a question Rachael Proud and her team have been asking themselves repeatedly over the past two years, carefully doing their homework and talking to sustainability experts in a bid to make Raey, Matches Fashion’s in-house brand, altogether less environmentally impactful. Advised to pick one big thing to focus on and start from there, they’re working on drastically reducing their use of virgin fibres, swapping them out for recycled fabric where possible, organic materials where not, and making use of the rolls of fabric left over from former collections. It’s just the start, and they’re at pains not to make any big claims about what they’re doing. “We’re trying to be really honest; we don’t want to say eco or sustainable or any of those words,” says Proud…
Be In The Now
Pre-weekend inspiration comes courtesy of florist and still-life photographer @doan_ly, whose dreamy artworks are where realism meets fantastical compositions. Based in the US, Ly transforms single blooms into vivid floral displays that are guaranteed to be uplifting. Happy Friday.
Among all the festivals this summer, one was a little different. Called Groundswell but quickly dubbed the Glastonbury of farming, it was a two-day event in Hertfordshire, set over several fields and seven stages, where 3,500 regenerative farmers, rewilders and assorted environmentalists gathered to discuss the likes of cover crops, no-dig gardening and slow-food production. One of the speakers was 31-year-old Calixta Killander, who founded Flourish in 2017, to regenerate her 16 acres of Cambridgeshire land by growing rare vegetables for some of the top London chefs. Business is, appropriately, flourishing, which shows that even on a small scale you can make a difference – and make a profit. Another speaker was George Eustice, the environment secretary, who shortly afterwards announced the Sustainable Farming Incentive, kicking off in spring 2022, which will pay people £70 per hectare for improving the quality of their soil.
Why are they doing this? Well, regenerative farming is said to be one of the most effective ways to save the planet. It is all about soil health, and means using methods that improve the land rather than deplete it. The alarming, much-quoted statistic that we only have 60 harvests left before the world runs out of topsoil (essential to grow just about anything), may be hotly disputed as scaremongering, but it has really made people think…
Rather than simply reflecting on the past half-decade, Mulberry has chosen to celebrate its 50th year by looking to the future. Following collaborations with designers Priya Ahluwalia and Richard Malone, the latest instalment of its birthday series, Mulberry Editions, is an innovative gem. Made using the world’s lowest carbon leather, and crafted in Mulberry’s carbon-neutral Somerset factories, the Soft Amberley satchels are a circular wardrobe essential with longevity in every sense. The secret behind the brand’s eco-conscious leather? Everything is hyper-local – created, from farm to finished product, in the UK and Ireland – which results in a low-impact, high-quality end product. Available in four colours and accented with subtle gold details, each is a small-scale masterpiece you’ll love forever. HB.
Be In The Now
We’re taking note of these thought-provoking words from one of London’s buzziest designers, Conner Ives, as told to Calendar fashion features director Emma Sells back in April.
The American-born, London-based designer started his label in 2017 while in his first year at Central Saint Martins, posting his creations on Instagram in a Field of Dreams-inspired exercise (if you build it, they will come) just to see what would happen…
Beauty Brand We Love
Dr Rudolf Hauschka was originally a chemist founding his own industrial chemical company in the early 20th century. A meeting with Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Weleda, set him on course to explore further the herbal medicines he’d begun to produce, developing in 1929 a process of extracting plant medicines without using alcohol, known as WALA from the aqueous extraction method: warmth, ashes, light, ashes, which is now a worldwide standard in homeopathic medicines.
In 1967, skincare was added to the Dr Hauschka roster, using organic and biodynamically-grown plants manufactured without mineral oils, silicone, PEGs and synthetic preservatives under the endorsement of NATRUE.
The founding principles remain the same today and many of the herbs and plants used in Dr Hauschka products are grown in the company’s garden or produced by global partners.
“I love my job,” declares designer Priya Ahluwalia over Zoom on a grey, already frantic Monday morning. “There are so many great things about it. I mean, obviously, there are bits that are stressful because I’m a business owner and there are responsibilities and challenges that come with that. But you know, how can I not enjoy it? I’m getting to do what I always wanted to do and it’s going really well.” Really well might be an understatement, to be honest. Ahluwalia, the eponymous label that the designer started right after graduation in 2018, is deservedly one of London’s most talked-about labels right now. It jointly won the coveted LVMH prize last year and has, in the past few months alone, launched its debut women’s collection, notched up high-profile collaborations with Ganni and Mulberry, released two fashion films and launched a crowdsourcing app with Microsoft and has been named a finalist of the 2022 Woolmark Prize.Most importantly, though, at the heart of this whirlwind are super-stylish and sought-after clothes that have been responsibly made since Ahluwalia’s inception.
A modern masterclass in feel-good design, Gabriela Hearst’s ‘Alec’ patchwork blanket has all the ingredients of an heirloom garment in the making. Crafted in Uruguay, the designer’s home nation, this ultimate statement piece is knitted from luxuriously soft cashmere, made by non-profit organisation Manos Del Uruguay, which grants local women financial independence by providing them with work. Decorated with rural-inspired patterns, modelled on Hearst’s Uruguayan family ranch, the surface print is juxtaposed by a riotous colour palette, then spliced with a rich navy base. A forever item guaranteed to inject kaleidoscopic hues and joy for the long haul and be passed down to future generations with love.
When Marc Hendrick moved from Australia to Los Angeles almost a decade ago, it was art that inspired him to start Slowdown Studio. In 2015, the former graphic designer attended an exhibition with works not set on paper or canvas, but on tactile tapestries instead – and it was this fabric-as-art mentality that launched his cult homeware brand. Aiming to encourage customers to slow down, take a breath, and reflect, Hendrick creates colourful home textiles that, at first glance, simply read as beautiful works of art. It’s only closer inspection that reveals these pieces as vivid cushions and throws. Of course, over time, printed artwork has made it into the collection, too, but his original vision remains strong: celebrate creativity with works of art that are both functional and beautiful. Available from selfridges.com. HB.
RIP Virgil Abloh. Creative giant, fashion visionary, changemaker, innovator and a compassionate, inspirational man. At Calendar Magazine we are so saddened at the news that Virgil Abloh has died. His legacy in making fashion a more positive space shows us all how we challenge the status quo and make the world a better place.
Virgil Abloh 1980-2021.