It may seem ungrateful to be thinking about autumn after the glorious sunshine we’ve had recently, but I’m sorry, it’s my new favourite season and I just can’t help it. I used to be a die hard ‘summer person’, but the disappointment has been too much to bear over the last few years and so I’ve changed my allegiance. With one of my worst habits being my inability to to live in the present, I have been trying not to think of the glorious, glowing, golden autumn that’s just around the corner, but the Toast A/W 2012 collection has got me dreaming of long walks, cosy pyjamas, lazy breakfasts in bed, homemade marmalade, board games and log fires… and most importantly, the weather being cool enough for me to drink red wine again. Here’s a sneak preview of their new range, which will be available from August 31st.
I am totally in love with new(ish) French homewares brand Cachette. Started by Anglo-French couple Stephen and Delphine, the business was born after the pair decided to abandon London life and up sticks to the South of France. The store showcases their common passion for a certain lifestyle, which includes great design and good food. Selling, simple, beautiful and useful objects, Cachette stocks everything from home accessories and handmade gifts to fine gourmet food. 90% of products in the shop are handmade in Europe from a variety of young designers, unknown artisans or old heritage manufactures. Have a little browse below, or head to Cachette.com for more.
Laurie Robertson, founder of home & outdoor living brand Anorak, has always been interested in functional, useful objects and is not remotely swayed by luxury. Childhood camping trips spent in Europe with her family are the main inspiration behind the brand, which was launched in January 2008 after she graduated with a Masters in printed textiles from the Royal College of Art in London. She now runs it with her partner Matt, and her brother Stuart. Here, she tells us a bit about herself and how Anorak got started:
1. How would you describe yourself? I asked my merchandiser Cathy what she thought (as she probably knows me better than myself anyway), and she described me a hurricane. She often calls me a Tasmanian Devil as I’m always a whirlwind of ideas.
What’s the story behind Anorak? Anorak was inspired by memories of my family camping trips during the late seventies and early eighties. My parents are both painters and we used to travel across Europe on long summer holidays in a mobile home. I remembered being packed up in a caravan along with my brother and an array of weird and wonderful camping paraphernalia, from canvas chairs to sleeping bags, everything in the van was collapsible, mobile, and most importantly, had a purpose. All of this inspired me to launch Anorak‘s functional, useful products for inside, outside and travelling featuring bold graphic signature prints with a nod to the retro style of the times.
3. How did you get started? When I was faced with a career break I took the opportunity to launch my own brand combining my Printed Textiles degree and my experience in trend forecasting with help from the Prince’s Trust. Then Anorak was born…out of our one bedroom flat.
4. What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning? Bert. He’s my one-year-old son.
5. How do you unwind at the end of the day? After we’ve put Bert to bed, I can’t resist watching trashy TV with a glass of wine.
6. What couldn’t you live without? My Mac. And my iPhone. And at the moment my (well actually my boyfriend’s) Barber jacket.
7. What’s your favourite foodie treat? Sweets, cakes and salt & vinegar crisps and, of course, chocolate. My current obsession is with Tunnock’s Carmel bars, I love the retro packaging too.
8. And the best advice you’ve ever been given? My mum told me to work hard and set your own goals. We also have the ‘Work Hard And Be Nice To People’ poster by Anthony Burrill in our office – a motto I like to live by.
9. What’s your most treasured possession? Matt and Bertie obviously…but other than my family…in my home I have a very stylish Danish drinks cabinet given to me by my granddad that I cherish!
10. Are you coveting anything right now? A 1970s townhouse. We’re moving house at the moment and this is top of my ‘want’ list.