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Off the record: July 4

This week’s hottest happenings.

Best of British is just the tonic
After perusing the best British products from more than 300 UK companies including Cheaney shoes and Born British lifestyle clothing, visitors at the Best of Britannia show in London’s Shoreditch on June 26-28 kicked back with a cheeky gin and tonic and some chilled-out summer tunes courtesy of Lambeth legend and old-school mod DJ Norman Jay.

Going once, going twice

London fashion auctioneer Kerry Taylor Auctions was awash with bidders recently as fashion and textiles designer, and recent Drapers interviewee (see here) Celia Birtwell’s private collection went under the hammer.

With many pieces by her famous fashion designer husband Ossie Clark, interest was high. The star attraction was a black and red Heavenly Twins dress designed by Clark and worn by Birtwell in a portrait by artist David Hockney, which sold for £11,250.

Hunter is the festival friend

Hunter’s wellington boots have been the festivalgoer’s best friend and a staple look on the muddy fields for years. For this year’s Glastonbury, the brand stepped up its efforts, handing out festival survival packs containing a foil blanket, portable phone charger and a waterproof bag to keep phones dry, all bearing Hunter’s red logo. Sadly, headache tablets were not included.

Nuns on the run

Mothercare boss Mark Newton-Jones and his co-driver Paul Morton went more than the extra mile to raise money for charity while driving Mark’s 1970s Jaguar E-Type. Every day of a week’s 2,500km (about 1,550m) drive from Switzerland to Hungary they dressed up in a different costume and charged interested bystanders to have a picture taken with them and/or the bright red beast. We imagine they drove slowly down this mountain road in Austria. The total raised for Buildaid, which works with needy communities in Vietnam and the Philippines, stands at £50,000. Add more at

A knotty issue

Tie fanatics will enjoy a new tome from, oddly enough, the Swiss National Museum. The Tie: a Global History is a lavish 280-page production that features, among other things, images of vintage ties and examples of the art of Zurich silk weavers (hence the Swiss connection). The book is published by Scheidegger & Spiess of Zurich.

Havaianas has the knowledge

Flip-flop brand Havaianas got into the summer spirit with the launch of its new campaign #TaxiToSummer, in which a fleet of London cabs topped by oversized flip-flops drove around London to celebrate the first day of summer. We’re not sure if they went south of the river…

A controversial fashion statement

The spring 16 men’s catwalk season drew to a close in Paris last week in a storm of controversy. During the Rick Owens show one model pulled out a banner with the phrase ‘Please Kill Angela Merkel’, followed by the word ‘Not’. The brand was quick to distance itself from the model’s stunt and his comments about the German chancellor, saying it was an “independent statement and does not reflect the opinion of the house of Rick Owens”. Rumour has it the designer was so angry he punched the culprit backstage.

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