Last month during Focus/13,  A-Gent of Style came across Branksome China whose ceramics are represented at the Original BTC lighting showroom in the
Design Centre Chelsea Harbour.

New to me but originally founded in 1945, Branksome China has a wide range of 1950s, retro-looking ceramics ranging from cups and saucers, plates, sauce boats to pots, jugs, bowls and dishes. What drew me to them was the glorious two tones and contemporary colour combinations the crockery comes in (Jet Black and Forest Green being my favourite) that makes them instantly recognisable; the colours all have hip and evocative names reminiscent of Farrow & Ball’s such as Sahara, Queen’s Blue, Blossom Pink or Elephant Grey, and the china is finished and glazed by hand which gives it this distinctive glow.

The original potter and founder, Ernest Baggaley, developed a special recipe to create a unique porcelain, fine and light, yet strong and durable, designed for everyday use. Before the production moved to Stoke-on-Trent, the factory, situated then in Fordingbridge on the edge of the New Forest, was on the brink of closure and was rescued about six months ago by the Original BTC group who gave Branksome China a new breath of fresh air and a somewhat streamlined new range.

“When we heard of Branksome’s demise, we were determined to step in. Branksome’s classic yet contemporary aesthetic perfectly matches that of
Original BTC, Davey Lighting and Bowles & Bowles”, explains Original BTC founder Peter Bowles. “Our aim is to create a stable of timeless brands that represent the very best of British design and manufacturing. We know there is an audience for  “Made in Britain” both at home and abroad and we look forward to reintroducing further Branksome archive shapes in the near future”, continues son and co-director Charlie Bowles.

The successful original recipe remains unchanged to this day which explains the brand’s longevity. Prices start at £12 for a biscuit plate.
Perfect Christmas stocking fillers!

The old shop in Fordingbridge

The old shop in Fordingbridge



Not being content with designing some of the most striking contemporary buildings all around the world (A-Gent of Style will feature shortly the newly-opened Serpentine Gallery in a different post), the ever-prolific and multi-faceted
Zaha Hadid has again tried her hand at designing new decorative objects – she has already designed furniture and clothes in the past. A-Gent of Style would like to show you today two spectacular pieces that have been on his radar and which are worthy of an exposure.

Lately, the rock star architect designed a Liquid Glacial Table as part of her Liquid Glacial Collection that appears as if water ripples on the table top and drains into the legs’s ‘funnels’; it is made of new-fangled acrylic made in Italy and also plexiglass which have been sandpapered into its swirling shape thus creating a dynamic fluidity – a theme dear to Miss Hadid (see A-Gent of Style‘s review of the Roca Gallery) – and an intense vortex of water that seems to be frozen in time. The latest mesmerising version (shown here) is one of eight and looks as if it is floating, even moving like a pool of glistening water. It measures 260cm long, 160cm wide and 74.5cm tall and is on show at David Gill Galleries in London until November 16.

Additionally, the genius Hadid has created a wine bottle for Icon Hill, a red wine cuvée of 2009 vintage produced by the renowned Austrian winemaker Leo Hillinger. The sensuous and curvaceous recipient that has the shape of an elongated droplet and resembles a futuristic skittle, was designed with the help of a NURB-based software (don’t ask me). Miss Hadid explains: “One side has a concave indentation with the same curve as the back of the bottle so a row of them can interlock. A continuous spatial curve was then projected onto the bottle’s surface, defining areas for the concave indentation and suggesting the waves created when droplets break a liquid’s surface”. The bottle comes in a box which has the same shape of the bottle and has been cut from striations, another recurrent pattern in Hadidism (don’t look it up; I made it up).

Only 999 bottles were made. A-Gent of Style accepts home delivery.




After ten years at the helm of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfield, who resigned her editorship in January 2011, is the star of her very own documentary entitled Mademoiselle C, made by the same production team as The September Issue.

One of fashion’s most influential movers with an inimitable style – part punk, part provocatrice, wearing lashings of black Kohl eyeliner and Alaïa skintight leather – gives a rare inside glimpse into her world and chronicles her transition from Vogue to the launch of her new magazine “CR Fashion Book”. The chic 58-year-old grandmother and stylist features her inner circle of friends including Donatella Versace, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Mario Testino, Riccardo Tisci, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Alexander Wang.

The film is now out on DVD. Perfect night in with ‘Galfriends’ and cocktails.

Have a great weekend, A-Gentees.

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