Soon there will be a bank holiday Monday, and like the Sabbath we are closed!… I look forward to a rest.

The Summer, despite the intermittent sunshine, has been very busy.

Our wedding business has been buoyant and our London business is steady with some lovely regular clients.

Twenty two years ago when we opened (and I had dark brown hair, I’m lucky to still have it, albeit grey) we showed in the shop window a vintage Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunk with a full set of drawers, LV wooden hangers and a detachable case, which stood us at around four thousand pounds, I’m sure that £4K in an ISA back then would have done reasonably well, but a vintage LV wardrobe trunk now, in excellent condition is probably worth between £20 and £26k!… (pretty sound and you can admire it)
Excellent quality vintage luggage pieces (a long time hobby) are like busses….. nothing for ages and then three at once!

This year, I found an Alzer 75 and then within six months, found the other 5 cases to complete the Louis Vuitton stack or LV pyramid as it’s often referred to… super rare, when correct with 5cm difference between each of the six cases, from 80cm to 55cm

They are very rare as a stack and an excellent investment. Even the LV flagship stores only display the odd hard sided case now, as time and the lack of porters, have given way to soft sided luggage on wheels.

That aside as a collectible display piece, they are sparse but in demand.

This year I have travelled to Italy, France and Germany to source luggage from trusted dealers and I have regularly bought from two dealers in Tokyo.

It’s been a good year for vintage luggage sales and despite my own appreciation of Moynat, Goyard, Moreau and Aux Etats Unis, LV prices and demand still climbs in the North of England, whilst any of the other makes above I have sold back to Parisian clients or to China!

Despite people dressing down our suit sales remain strong and as ‘the cake gets smaller, the slice gets bigger’… the internet, whilst great, does create instant experts who now require Milanese button holes (but don’t exactly know what one is, some of mine do!….) three fittings and a paper pattern for each suit…ok by me if you have the budget to match…” oh and I’ll need it in 5 weeks!”…

Well my view is, you need as many fittings as you need and if you want a Milanese button hole… no problem, but let us worry about the fit and the number of fittings and excuse the pun ‘tailor’ it to your budget and requirements.

Whether you pay us £1150 for a made to measure suit or as a recent client did, £7,750 for a bespoke suit in worsted spun cashmere we take your brief, budget, the fit and finished product every bit as seriously.
I try to fit in a trip to an antiques fair every quarter and whilst it’s fun, 5.30am starts from home to find interesting display pieces, shop cabinets and the occasional top hat, do qualify it as work.

Today I saw a Lithograph there, one of which has been hanging on my wall at home some 4 years…. I hadn’t a clue who painted it originally and despite trying to read the signature and trace its origins… I had no luck. Mine, like the one I saw today is printed on heavy watermarked paper for a Parisian gallery and whilst I didn’t know anything about it at the time , I just loved it and had to have it.

No one else in my family likes it or understands my affection for it, but it hangs in a little gallery area of the house, in a quiet through fare and it is tolerated.
Every house I’ve lived in has been predominantly white or shades of, but the art I like seems to be of vivid greens and reds and blues…. it was only when I hung it all in one place that I realised it’s all of the same colours!

I suppose I work with colour every day, and a ‘White House’ is a rest from colour, hence a little gallery area , rather than large works of blazing colour dominating a sitting area.

So I was delighted to find a French art dealer who had a Lithograph from the same limited addition as the one hanging on my wall…. I asked the name of the artist and marvelled at his knowledge….Kazimir Malevich and though in my ignorance I had called the work ‘Martian Man’ it is actually titled ‘Portrait of a Women’ and was painted by the Russian artist in 1929.

A few clicks later on eBay , and I had bought three books on the artist … one with ‘Martian Man’ on the front cover!… of a Taschen book…. I love Taschen books….
David Hockney another favourite artist , painted Mr Taschen for the 82 portraits and a still life series of works, which I saw exhibited in London at the Royal Accademy.

I look forward to the books arriving.
I do (!…) work in the shop and I also work a lot outside of the shop, helping to keep the wheels turning

London again this week for clients and some buying for Spring/Summer 2020 and hopefully lunch at The Rosewood hotel near our London office…..say it quickly and it could sound like we’ve opened a hotel?…definitely not!

Whilst we are 95% R-W branded, I added Incotex into the mix for their excellent trousers, chinos and jeans and sales along with fragrances from Santa Maria Novella, have been excellent.

Well as another week nears the weekend, I contemplate letting the dachshunds out before bed and sleep before another 5.30am start for my London visit tomorrow, where I like to observe the style and buzz of London.

Style is to be admired and fashion… I frown at… the two are quite different!

Style is created and in turn I suppose creates fashion, which in turn, by some is followed slavishly .

I hope that we will continue to create style and try not to scoff when fashion follows…?

Time for pyjamas (always stylish and they never did the late Hugh Hefner any harm)…. though some have claimed in the shop that their sex lives are too good for pyjamas?

Goodnight all