FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brit Fashion: An Empire Built on Understatement

We'll quickly admit (at the drop of a chapeau, in fact) to loving most things French, but–surprise, surprise!–we're also closet Anglophiles. Why? Pretty peaches-and-cream complexions, witty turns-of-phrase and manners honed to kill with such kindness, you don't realize you've been stabbed until your adversary's left the room. Glorious. Then, there are all those retro-minded clothing and accessories companies dating back a hundred years or so–the Mackintoshes, Harris Tweeds and Globe-Trotters of the world–still turning out quirky-but-practical classics (now with modern twists). What would we do without them?

Another name on the list is Sunspel, a brand we've long admired for making underwear and tee shirts so old-fashioned, they look new again. This one's been around since 1860 (when Queen Victoria sat on the throne), but in recent years the company's been updating its image while remaining slightly under the sweep of Fashion's radar. But that may soon change. This summer, Sunspel is launching a collection of polo shirts and tees drawn from its archives, and we suspect lots of stylish guys (and girls) will want to own at least one. As they say, order now to avoid disappointment. And wave that Union Jack with pride.

Photograph courtesy of Sunspel