Mickey Mouse Chewing Stick!

Paint Mixing for Buttons
Paint Mixing for Buttons

Mixing up orange paint for the base coat of London Denim buttons and had to smile at the hidden Mickey I’d inadvertently created.  If you’re a Disney nut like everyone in our house you’ll know that all around Disneyland there are three circle designs known as hidden Mickeys.

Read more about them here.


I Love Jennys Waist – Jenny Packham SS14

Love Volume with a Natural Waist Cinch.
Love Volume with a Natural Waist Cinch.

I love being a boy and I love working with denim but if God held a gun to my head and said I had to be any other British designer at the moment I would choose Jenny Packham – Strange choice for a denim boy I know – I can’t really explain it I’m just starting to really really rate her.   The collections are so, so, so tight.

If Badgley Mischka can present me with the girl I want to be with in the City that Never Sleeps then Jennys given me the girl I want to hang around Burgh Island with.   Not been there?  Well its a great little bolt hole on an island off the Devon coast.  No television, limited phone signal and dress for dinner every night.  I’d lounge with Jennys girl in the bar, a round of whist and idol chat with other guests.  She gets all the admiring glances and I bask in the delight that this woman is mine.

This season I’ve fallen for the ease at which Jenny’s played with volume while keeping shape.  I’m an absolute sucker for a girl with a fine figure dressing with volume while showing off a tight little waist….

Jenny’s here at Style.com
Burgh Island were I image us hanging out is here

Jenny's Carmen Sexy Gypsy Lover
Jenny’s Carmen Sexy Burgh Island Gypsy Lover

You learn a new name every day – Ji Cheng

Ji Chengs beautifully Contextual Shoots
Ji Chengs beautifully Contextual Shoots

Sorting out the show invites for London Fashion Week and was checking out this designer Ji Cheng.  She’s got a few of her own stores in China and this is her first Foreay into the European market.    Just loving the contextual way she shoots her collection.

Looking forward to her show on Monday.

More pics below and her site here

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 13.57.20 Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 13.58.41 Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 13.55.48

Tommy and Me on the Same Page

Great Minds Thinking Alike
Great Minds Thinking Alike

If I had just 1% of Tommy Hilfigers talent (OK Money:-)) I’d be living it large in a mansion house in the Hamptons.  As it is I’ll stick to the bolt hole we’ve fashioned in North London.  Flicking through his SS14 show and clocked a print which proves that great minds do think alike.  (That’s supposing that my mind is great…..wife would debate that point).  Check out Tommys T print with mine below.

I dreamt up the idea of Overbranding for Electric Tees an eco/graphic/girl/street brand I consulted on a while back.  It’s called overbranding as its philosophy is about giving the brand the maximum amount of space on the the product while not interfering with a core fashion led design.  The end result is  products that are individual while at the same time dripping with the brand identity.  This was followed through from the graphics through to product and website.  A key part of the philosophy was that the products would ALL feature the same back print so while the front may change the back would always be the same – neat eh…  Genius??  (Wife would debate that point too!).  

I love how these co-incidents happen in fashion.

Check out Tommys Bright Electric Beech Fest Here
Check out Electric Tees and a bit of my creative direction here  (I’m particularly proud of the Cyborg direction here)

Electric Tees - Asymmetric Stripe
Electric Tees – Asymmetric Stripe
Electric Tees - Asymmetric Stripe
Electric Tees – Asymmetric Stripe



Those Summer Knights

Thse Summer Knights
Thse Summer Knights

It’s the end of summer and a few weeks ago the eMail was buzzing with Danny and Sandy’s summer party.  Yesterday we made our way to the last event of the season.  A farewell to a summer of hang out days and crazy clubs .  Danny and Sandy were our fairy hosts with massive welcoming smiles flitting too and frow sprinkling their magic fairy dust over us.   Just when you thought the cocktails couldn’t get any better, the burgers any juicier, the company and music better mixed the band struck up a long low note.   JAZZ RIOT TOOK THE STAGE:  A collection of seven brass instruments lead by a cocky checked shirted frontman cooked us up to a frenzy on the dance-floor beneath the stars.  Mexican waves lapped over the lawn and we all joined Danny and Sandy the party wave.    A fantastic end to the summer and what was my take-away from the event – Danny and Sandy throw AMAZING parties and JAZZ RIOT ROCK!

For the last couple of years I’ve loved the reinterpretation of music into different genres.  It all started for me when I heard Nouvelle Vague –  Imagine Too Drunk to Fuck in a bossanova style and you’re halfway there.  I’ve followed this with the Pick’in On Series which takes Europes Final Countdown into Bluegrass……  There are loads more…..

I have a theory that this inspiration for this started with Ally McBeal.  I remember their reinterpretations in the bar when songs would be sexily sung by Vonda Shepard and Ally’s best mate Renee (Phowaaa).

Check out all these guys,  Especially JAZZ RIOT – Turn the stereo up full blast and dance like you’re Danny and Sandy. – Its the end of Summer Knights and they deserve to be celebrated!

Check out:


And Ally McBeals Vonda Shepard – CAN YOU BELIEVE SHES 50 – And still so HOT! Here






Mug Snob

The Abomination!
The Abomination!

I’m a mug snob.  I judge EVERYONE by the mug they give me to drink out of.  Thus I judge myself by the mugs I give my family and friends to drink from.

The mug rules are quite simple:

1.  It must have straight sides
2.  It must be the same width at the bottom and top.  NO Tapering mugs!
3.  Graphics must be plain, stylish and simple and NOT funny (Unless vintage!)

When we picked up Boy from his week with Nanna he greeted us with hugs and a big shout of “I got you presents“.  Inwardly I groan never being one to shield my dislike of a gift I don’t like.   (Even from a seven year old with a great big smile on his face.  I know – BOO HISS ME….  )

So….A bar of chocolate for me – great, inoffensive  it was instantly opened and shared then Wife was given the most revolting mug I’ve ever seen.  Two colours purple with a graphic which I still see when I close my eyes.  It features her name and the following crass little poem:

Wife’s the one whose special
A well cool babe its true
Because she’s such a groovy gal
and funky through and through.

The thought of this abomination on my open kitchen mug shelf turns my tummy.  It sits there amongst mugs I’ve taken a lifetime choosing, gloating and being all purple.  I can’t bring myself to ‘accidentally‘ break it so have resolved to only give this mug to people I’m upset or cross with.  Boys getting it for the next year such will be my revenge for his causing this Abomination to enter my home.

My Kitchen

Simons Kitchen
Simons Kitchen

Last year I designed a Kitchen.  Found a carpenter and made it.  Designing furniture is in our family my Uncle being one of the most clever men in reproduction antique furniture you could hope to meet.  I remember helping out at his workshop when I was a kid (Sweeping the floor and goggling at all the naked lady pictures his cabinet makers dressed the walls above their work benches with.  My picture of Madonna – Like a Virgin was still hanging there long after I left! – This one here).  So armed with an Arts and Crafts ethos of no detail is too small, some advice from Uncle on wood choices I sat down with pen and paper and started to draw.  (This after an intense period of web based research).

I live in a flat and I’d lived with how traditional kitchens just don’t work in smaller spaces.  They cramp and overpower their surroundings with their high cupboards and block colours.  The kitchens themselves become the personality of the room rather than having more symbiotic relationship with the home environment.   I don’t like the feel of a kitchen as a sterile white environment    I wanted it to feel more like a part of our family, an extension of our bonded personality.   In essence the kitchen had to look good when empty but had to come alive and look fantastic when it was in use.  A hell of a lot of WANTS and a lot to ask of a kitchen perhaps…..

Practically because of the nature of the space I also needed to create a kitchen that would serve us well for our everyday life. We entertain a hell of a lot I it needed to be versatile enough to transit from family life to dinners with friends to larger parties.

After many scrunched up papers I decided I needed to create four pieces of furniture:

1.  A Main Run consisting of dry food storage, everyday use kitchen paraphernalia, hob and sink.
2.  Utilities Cupboard for the Oven, Steamer, Toaster and Washers and oven paraphernalia storage
3.  Dry food larder
4.  Island with Dinner service storage, veg drawer and little what-not drawers

The Island is key to the kitchens flexibility.  For parties it moves to the side where the table is and becomes a bar.  The table moves to the garden and the hanging lights are hooked up so we can boogie on the  the stripped floor.   It hosts the main food prep area with a dedicated organic waste bin and also acts as the chat around unit when we have dinner guests.

The utilities cupboard holds the oven and has pull out trays with steamer and toaster.  Underneath is the space for the dishwasher and a washing machine.

The main run is half Barraza custom stainless steel sink and hob and half secondary food prep area.  Large drawers hold dishes, pots and pans as well as everyday dry foods.  Pastas, rices, beans and breakfast cereals.   The custom stainless steel run has three integrated hobs and a sink with a sliding cover to provide more workspace when needed.  (Or to cover up dirty pots when unexpected guests arrive!)

Because of the furniture nature of the kitchen installation was only a day.

I learn’t a few lessons along the way namely:

1.  Tell your carpenter to buy in the drawers backs rather than making them from solid wood.  (They are far too heavy) Making the fronts is enough!
2.  Research clever door hinges.  The right hinge can create more internal space
3.  Stainless steel may look warped but when glued down to wood will be fine
4.  Make sure you use heat proof glue when creating splashbacks out of laminated
5.  Painting matt finish kitchen doors with matt finish clear FLOOR varnish makes them wipe clean and virtually unmark-able!

For the appliances I went to Euroline who rep Barazza and Flamec

Simons Kitchen – Suppliers Index:

Main Run Custom Stainless Steel Hob and SInk and Flamec Extractor all supplied by the brilliant guys at Euroline
Stools – By german designer Konstantin Grcic manfactured by Magis
Magis Table – Purchased from Geoffry Drayton
B&B Italia Luta Dining Chairs by Antonio Citterio
Historic Lighting Company – Drop lights, fabric cord, gunmetal factory shades
ADRS from North London did my carpentry – (I drafted the full spec)
Custom handles and Island Inset by Sams Fabrications
Franke Kettle Tap – Franke

Simons Kitchen  - He's A Talented Boy
Simons Kitchen – After Completing he briefly felt like a Talented Boy