British tailoring, French antiques and a bonkers launch party

This week I attended the launch party of brand new menswear retail concept Labassa Woolfe, and it turned out to be one of the most bonkers store launches I have ever been to. Yes, there was stunning tailoring and gorgeous vintage furniture, endless champagne and delicious foie gras. But there was also a dwarf, two goats and a lady dressed as a French farmer’s wife! And live music. And egg throwing. Oh and Benedict Cumberbatch also made an appearance…

Owners Joe Woolfe and Johan Labassa with Benedict Cumberbatch

Oliver Cheshire and Jack Guinness

Carl Barat and Edie Langley pose with the goats

The brainchild of British stylist Joe Woolfe and French antique specialist Johan Labassa, this beautiful store is a treasure trove of meticulously cut men’s tailoring, handmade accessories and unique French collectibles. Combining Joe’s long standing connection with Savile Row and years of dressing A-listers such as Benedict Cumberbatch and David Gandy, with Johan’s family history of French fine dining and antiques, the creative interior commands as much attention as the suiting. And with it’s ever changing display of painstakingly sourced period pieces, every visit looks set to be a new experience.

Shots of the stores opulent and carefully curated interior

A selection of ready to wear and custom-made tailoring is on offer alongside handmade shoes and gorgeous accessories

A feast for all the senses, this wonderful party was an eclectic mix of intriguing dapper gentlemen and fabulously surreal entertainment. Which really is an extension of the store concept itself. So if you are looking for somewhere beautifully brilliant to buy your tailoring or something extraordinary for your home, then head to Labassa Woolfe. I hear Goutte et Canard is served daily at 3pm and is not to be missed. Just keep an eye out for the rogue goats…

Labassa Woolfe, 6 Percy Street, London W1T 1DQ. Open Monday – Saturday (10-6pm)

Best of British

Today sees the launch of Marks and Spencer’s hotly anticipated and much lauded Best of British range.  Available online and in select UK stores, the collection combines heritage and modern styling with a focus on strong tailoring and premium fabrics.  And the best thing about it is that it’s all made in the UK.  Whether it be tweed tailoring from Yorkshire, cashmere knitwear from Hawick in Scotland or leather brogues from Northamptonshire, this British institution is returning to its roots and championing manufacturers from our own soil.

Stylitz-M&S Best of British map

Made in Britain – a map of UK manufacturers

Stylitz-M&S Best of British inspiration

Inspiration and illustrations at yesterday’s press launch

Stylitz-M&S Best of British 1

Best of British Womenswear AW13

Stylitz-M&S Best of British 2

Best of British leather and cashmere accessories AW13

Best of British womenswear comprises of a 34 piece collection featuring quality classics with a fashion twist. This gorgeous pale pink Alpaca wool coat is a must-have for this season and will provide an instant AW13 wardrobe update. I love it!  If your taste is more refined, then opt for an androgynous tailored trouser suit in pure wool tweed. Contrast piping and sleek trims add a quirky touch to the refined structured silhouettes.

Stylitz-M&S Best of British 4Alpaca wool coat, £299


Best of British AW13 campaign shots


Wool blend check coat, £299


Pure merino wool jacket, £99, trousers, £129, jumper, £99, leather brogues, £165

The menswear collection is modelled by Oliver Cheshire – boyfriend of pop princess Pixie Lott – whose cheekbones could cut glass. With inspiration taken from the store’s archive in Leeds, standout pieces include the gorgeous double-breasted tweed coat, and the tweed and leather sports jacket with natty buckle detailing. Suits are individually cut by hand from heavy flannel or Donegal tweed and button holes and linings are hand stitched for a superior finish.

marksandspencer_98201319911611Oliver Cheshire (and his cheekbones) modelling the collection

Stylitz-M&S Best of British 5

Tweed coat, £599


Stylitz-M&S Best of British 6

Tweed and leather sports jacket, £299


Stylitz-M&S Best of British 3

Leather tote bag, £249

There was a time that most clothing sold in this country was produced in the UK, and that wasn’t limited to one-off designer pieces. With one of our oldest high-street stores championing British mills and manufacturing once again, let’s hope this sees a growth in return to UK production. We know the prices won’t be as competitive as mass-produced goods in India – pieces from the Best of British collection are a long-term investment rather than an impulse purchase – but you can be assured that working conditions are safe, quality is high and the carbon footprint of your garment is low. I’d say that’s a fair price to pay for a well cut suit.

Stylitz-M&S Best of British Instore

Stylitz-M&S Best of British Instore 2

The collection in-store at Marks and Spencer Marble Arch, London

Best of British launches online and in 5 key stores today. Prices range from £25 for a belt to £799 for a suit. Shop online at