30 Aug 2016

Farer Watches Collection | For The Love of Design

swiss made mens watch by farer tottenham court road art
 Colours + shapes at Tottenham Court Road Station, by french artist Daniel Buren
swiss made mens watch by farer british brand
swiss made mens watch by farer blakc face
swiss made mens watch by farer, bue shirt by whistles men
swiss made mens watch by farer, british transport police
The Farer Stark watch against the British Transport Police mosaic wall

This June marked my first 12 months of working as full time freelance. One year free from any part time jobs distracting me from my aim to being able to fully support myself with freelance writing, content creation and consultation work. Every day starts with one heck of a to-do list, and from this I have started to view time in a much more productive way.

Realistically, that to-do list never really goes down - small tasks are added by the hour, and sometimes I go through days when it feels like nothing is getting done. It's slow progress with the small jobs, but we get there in the end. Something that has been on that list for a good few months is to arrange a meet with British watchmakers Farer.

In early July I found myself standing inside Farer HQ, on the hottest day of the year, slap-bang in the centre of Piccadilly, London. Meeting the people behind the design is a big deal to me, and I was pleased as punch to be meeting the people behind some of the nicest looking contemporary watches on the market. 

swiss made mens watch by farer, tailored cargo shorts
swiss made mens watch by farer, coffee shop at sharps barbers fitzrovia
 Coffee pit-stop at Sharps Barbers, Fitzrovia
swiss made mens watch by farer tottenham court road art by daniel buren swiss made mens watch by farer and ice coffee
swiss made mens watch by farer, british design brand
swiss made mens watch by farer tottenham court road art green wall
 Wearing - Farer Collection | Whistles Shirt + Sunglasses | Urban Industry T-Shirt | Hollister Shorts | Tommy Hilfiger Cap
 
For a good hour we chatted about design, craft, small product details that the untrained eye may miss (each watch holds many tiny surprises) and the design community. The enthusiasm the Farer team had towards their craft was unmistakable and infectious.

Farer launched their debut British-designed collection back in 2015, but since then the range has expanded; the standout Barnato model sits alongside the dual-time Carter, four sub-dial models and the three-hand collection. Each watch is Swiss-made driven by Ronda movement and comes with a choice of 5 straps, including the newly released coloured leather series, and my favourite, the silver Milanese bracelet. Over the next few months the brand will be releasing their first Automatic collection, which is going to be all sorts of awesomeness.

For anyone who is a regular reader of this blog you'll know that the main underlying theme is design. It's my main passion. Meeting people who share similar passions and are involved in the design community is a big deal to me, and reinforces that taking the risk to turn full time freelancer was the path I was meant to take.

To find out more about Farer Watches and how they are made visit here. View the full collection here.

25 Aug 2016

Bellroy XO Barneys New York Collection

bellroy barneys blue collaboration
bellroy barneys blue collaboration
bellroy barneys travel collaboration
bellroy barneys travel wallet collaboration
bellroy barneys XO collaboration
bellroy barneys XO collaboration
bellroy barneys leather wallet collaboration
bellroy barneys leather wallet collaboration

Blimey. Those guys at Bellroy are at it again.

You'd have thought, for most brands, creating a couple of lines of quality products would be enough - launch the product, sell a few, sit back, and sell some more. But, not Bellroy. They just keep pushing forward, innovating, updating, and collaborating.

For their latest release they've worked with Barneys New York to create ultra-high end, luxury versions of their travel-ready range. The collection features five reimagined Bellroy designs; The Travel Wallet, Passport Sleeve, Hide & Seak Wallet, Slim Sleeve and Card Sleeve. Each one is made from premium vegatable-tanned leather, lined with charcoal nubuck suede and finished with hand-painted edges.

The slight problem is that they're only available throught Barneys stores + online. That's a long way off for us, but hopefully someone we know gets a chance to get down there soon.

The Bellroy XO Barneys New York collection is released mid-August.

You can find Nik at - Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

23 Aug 2016

This Day in History by Done By Saturday


Done By Saturday is my favourite Instagram account at the moment. This one is slightly different from what we usually see it isn't travel wanderlust, it isn't the latest sneaker releases, isn't "a minimal lifestyle", and it's far from any kind of food porn. Done By Saturday is simply a celebration of iconic events, notable milestones and important feats in modern day history.

Every few days a new post is dropped, outlining what happened on "this day in..." with a sweet, simplicity illustration and accompanying quote. Currently the account has only posted around 80 historical moments, but ever since Hollie shared this account a few weeks back I've been following eagerly, waiting for my next illustrated hit.


18 Aug 2016

Best of Packaging | Noble Ray Brewing Co.

Best of Packaging | Noble Ray Brewing Co. by Magnificent Beard
Best of Packaging | Noble Ray Brewing Co. by Magnificent Beard
Best of Packaging | Noble Ray Brewing Co. by Magnificent Beard

I think Mat knows more about packaging design than anyone else I know.

He's not that into the technical aspect of packaging - he probably could tell you what type of card a box is made from, but maybe not how many folds there are in a tetra pack - it's mainly the design, shape, colour and message he loves. And, as such, he always seems to have a new design to share - usually from some obscure brand, tucked away in a distant corner of the world.

So, it made total sense for him to start Best of Packaging - a new Instagram account, where he can share the best of what he finds with everyone. From coffee labels and craft beer cans, to olive oil bottles and chocolate wrappers.

To celebrate the launch of the account - although, it's been going for a little while now - I thought I'd pick one of my favourite designs so far: these beer cans from Noble Rey Brewing Co. over in Dallas, Texas. Because each beer can doesn't have much space to communicate the design, you need to stack two cans to appreciate the full design.

I hope you guys like them too! Head over to Best of Packaging on Instagram and tag you finds with #bestofpackaging. Cheers!

Images via Oh Beautiful Beer.

You can find Nik at - Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

15 Aug 2016

Reasons to Stay at citizenM Tower Hill, London

citizenm tower hill london hotel review design furniture
citizenm tower hill london hotel review outside
citizenm tower hill london hotel review gift shop
citizenM Tower Hill, London

This Summer has mostly included myself + Hollie trying our best to arrange our Las Vegas wedding (true, it's mainly been Hollie doing all the hard work), house viewings and hours spent with our heads in financial spreadsheets.  With a big wedding comes a new suit, and I've been meaning to take a couple of days out to visit some tailors to see if I can find the perfect fitting garb.

A couple of weeks ago we made some space in our diaries and booked ourselves in for a couple of nights in the brand new citizenM Tower Hill Hotel. Heading to London soon? Below is a few reasons why we think it's worth staying at citizenM's newest digs.

citizenm tower hill london hotel review coffee shop
citizenm tower hill london hotel review modern design
citizenm tower hill london hotel review design furniture

Location

As I get down to London quite often these days I generally like to book a hotel that is pretty central, with decent walking routes and travel links. When I first heard a new citizenM hotel was opening at Tower Hill I assumed it was going to be too far out of the way to be worth considering, but as we took 10 steps out of Tower Hill Tube Station, and saw were were already there, I knew I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With rooms with views facing the Tower of London, a tube stop literally underneath the hotel (but you couldn’t hear a sound) and a 15 minute walk to the centre of Spitalfields Market we both agreed it was a hard-to-beat location.

Unique to citizenM Tower Hill is the Cloud M cocktail bar, located is up on the 8th floor. Them views. In fact you get a 180 degree panoramic view of London’s hodgepotch skyline. The drinks got the thumbs up too, with Hollie going for some form of Champagne cocktail and I grabbed a strong IPA from Scottish brewery Harviestoun. In terms of citizenM Tower Hill vs citizenM Bankside, they’ve both very different, with the latter having more restaurants close by, but Tower Hill edges it for me with its travel access and locality to East London.

14 Aug 2016

Circular Hip Flasks by Areaware

Circular Hip Flasks by Areaware design
Circular Hip Flasks by Areaware blue
Circular Hip Flasks by Areaware white ceramic

Circular Hip Flasks by Areaware

Something tells me that these ceramic Circular Hip Flasks by Areaware aren't one of their more popular items, but they sure are cool looking. The intriguing shape has been inspired by a small ring-shaped Pennsylvanian hip flask, more commonly found in the 19th century.

8 Aug 2016

Store Visit | Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden

Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden
Albam Clothing - Covent Garden, London
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden menswear
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden sweatshirt
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden large windows
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden british menswear brand
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden selvedge denim
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden tote bag
Albam mr porter
Albam, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden british denim brand

Henrietta Street, in the centre of Covent Garden, has slowly turned into one of the best places to shop for menswear in London. It was only a couple of years ago the street was packed with tired looking restaurants, cafes and unused units, but if you take a wander down the street in 2016 picture couldn't be more different.

This historical street is now its own close-knit community; with Oliver Sweeney, Fred Perry and The Real McCoys on one side, and Nigel Cabourn, Club Monaco, Edwin and the recently opened Albam store sitting opposite. The news of Albam opening its 4th store in the city prompted me to swing on by to see how they were getting on.

The store packs everything you'd expect from Albam; well designed, durable and fuss-free clothing. The current collection features sweatshirts and unstructured outwear in navy, grey, neutral and khaki, summer-weight shirts, jersey and chinos, selvedge denim and a few final bits from their successful collaboration with MR PORTER. There's also a small concession of Nike footwear and independent magazines, with the wall space decorated with print by local a local artist.

Garcon Jon recently went to meet the store managers that keep things ticking over, worth taking a look. 31 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8NA. See more of our Store Visits here.