Eric Musgrave

Since 1980, menswear & fashion retail commentator, opinionated thought-leader,
event host & all-round top bloke. Contact me to discuss working together.

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Admiring Aspinal of London

Friday, July 20th, 2012

July 19 found me heading down to 25 Brook Street, just off Bond Street, to view the latest collection from Aspinal of London (www.aspinaloflondon.com). I was given a guided tour of the ranges by head of design Mariya Dykalo Burton, who is the wife of the company’s founder and chairman Iain Burton. There are lots of tempting goodies to enjoy at Aspinal. I am very taken with the notebooks and the men’s bags.

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Best wishes to Scabal’s Terry Brown

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Luxury cloth merchant Scabal said a fond farewell to Terry Brown, its long-serving head of operations in London. The rumour is that Terry is retiring, but we have never found him the retiring type. Johnny Allen of H Huntsman was one of many friends from Savile Row who popped in to see Terry on his way. All the best to you, old boy.  

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In Selfridges in Birmingham

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

With my colleagues from the management committee of the Fashion Association of Britain (www.fashionassociationofbritain.co.uk), I was given a very hospitable welcome at Selfridges in the Bullring, Birmingham for a behind-the-scenes tour of the fashion floors. My thanks go to Ellie Schofield from the store’s marketing department, personal shopper Zoe Georgiou and menswear floor manager Sunny Ghuman for their warm and friendly welcome. This is a really good-looking store.

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RIP Gerry Saunders MBE

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

On Tuesday, July 17 old friends and colleagues gathered at Golders Green Crematorium in north London to say farewell to Gerry Saunders, the long-serving editor of Drapers Record. Gerry gave me my start in the fashion business more than 30 years ago. I started on Drapers Record on 28 January 1980. GES, as he was known to anyone who had seen his marked-up copies of DR, was a good friend to me when I was editorial chief at the old mag from 2000 to 2006. Incredibly by modern standards, Gerald Edmund Saunders racked up 43 years’ service to Drapers Record and 56 years overall to the industry. The old boy, who died on July 3, aged 83,  would have approved that we saw him off with a few glasses of vino.

Former DR editorial staffers at Gerry’s wake: Jane Eastoe, Jane Wintersgill, Lottie Johansson, Linda Laderman, me, Penny Ody, Sophie Hewitt-Jones.

Appropriately for a cricket fanatic, Gerry’s Order of Service echoed the cover of Wisden.

In May 2009 a crowd of Gerry’s former editorial staff surprised him with a lunch to celebrate his then-imminent 80th birthday. A few of us felt the need to gather outside our former office building at Knightway (aka Nightmare) House, 20 Soho Square. From L-R: Linda Laderman, Josephine Collins, Sue Dawson, GES, Linda Foster, Jane Eastoe, me.

Gerry with his editor’s pencil at the ready, late 1970s or early 1980s.

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A family occasion

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Well done to my younger daughter Genevieve for her excellent performance in her school production of Annie, in which she played three parts. Genevieve is in the shorts here with her brother Teddy and big sis Florence. Their proud dad is in Gieves & Hawkes cotton trousers, Brooks Brothers polo shirt and seersucker jacket from Hartford.

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Dad and lad at Bread&Butter Berlin

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Bread&Butter Berlin is one of my favourite trade events. It’s a massive gathering of the jeans, casual and premium heritage brands in the marketplace. My trip in early July was made even more enjoyable by the company of my son Teddy, who is considering a career in the fashion business. We had a busy five days.

On the evening of Tuesday, July 3 we attended a lavish outside party organised by BBB, happily in the company of my lovely friend Denise Shepherd, CEO of Escada UK, who was in town for Berlin Fashion Week.

 

By midnight we were at the historic Tempelhof Airport, the site of BBB, for a spectacular catwalk show that was to launch the fair’s “Tempel of Denim”, a brilliant installation that celebrated jeanswear. The runway was a huge wooden table that ran down the middle of the temporary building. The theme of the show was the major religions of the world; guests were offered only water, wine and and bread as refreshments. It was a triumph. I wore my cherished Blood & Glitter denim jacket to get into the blue jeans mood of BBB.

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, July 4, Teddy and I were back at Tempelhof for the first day proper of BBB. For the day, I was in a Wrangler denim shirt, Boggi cotton shorts, Oscalito cotton T-shirt, Barneys New York linen cap and Adidas sneakers. In the evening, we headed to the opening party for the Barbour shop. With my Bates silk cap, I wore another Oscalito T-shirt, a G-Star Raw shirt, cargo shorts from Polo Ralph Lauren, Penrose cotton socks and eelskin trainers from Oliver Sweeney.

 

On Thursday, July 5, we headed for some of the other events in Berlin. Our first stop was the skatewear show Bright, which is held in the unlikely venue of the former Stasi HQ in the former East Berlin. A floor etched with images of the old GDR rulers was very impressive.

 

We moved on to Capsule, another neat little show. My outfit changes saw me in an old Wrangler denim shirt, plus the previous Bates cap, Polo shorts, Oliver Sweeney trainers and yet another Oscalito T-shirt.

 

Moving briskly on, we looked in at the Premium Men show, which brings together some of the best high-quality menswear brands in Germany (the larger womenswear Premium show is in the same building). Right next door is SEEK, another gathering of creative international brands. Berlin is busy and buzzing.

 

Thursday night saw Teddy dragging me out to a rap show organised by the Sport & Street section of Bread&Butter. He enjoyed the music; I enjoyed the free drinks.

 

On the last day, Friday July 6, Teddy and I bought customised jeans from the Italian denim specialists Candiani, which had a small but highly popular production unit in the Tempel of Denim. It was a brilliant initiative, operated so smoothly by Candiani’s expert and friendly staff, and children’s charities benefited from the proceeds. We both went for unwashed 5-pocket denim jeans, complete with leather patches that we designed ourselves. I was in yet another Wrangler denim shirt, Boggi cotton shorts, Bailey of Hollywood hat and the Oliver Sweeney eelskins.

 

Our trip turned out to be slightly longer than we expected as our Easyjet flight on Friday evening was cancelled. I spent the evening with friends old and new at an hotel at Schoenefeld Airport. Teddy took the unexpected opportunity to return to the rap theatre for a second show.

 

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Paris when it sizzles

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

I married Jane Eastoe on 29 June 2002. To celebrate our 10th anniversary we headed off to Paris where we saw the Tour d’Eiffel, met a horse that pulls a carriage near the tower, and bumped into my good pal Dean Batty, who had been showing his Cro’Jack label at a fashion fair (http://www.crojack.co.uk/).

    

After much walking around the islands of the Seine, we headed to Père Lachaise cemetery to enjoy the details on the tombs. I was particularly impressed by the weeping statues.

   

Back at our hotel in the Marais, the Hotel Bourg Tibourg, we enjoyed the tiny but pretty courtyard. My dressed-down outfit was a Bailey of Hollywood hat, a striped jacket from Gap overdyed by me at home, a Brooks Brothers polo shirt, Gieves & Hawkes trousers and an unlabelled pocket square.

   

 

 

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