HTSI editor’s letter: saddle up!
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The world of showjumping is not a subject about which I have much knowledge: a severe allergy to horses put paid to my own equestrian ambitions a long, long time ago. But as any student of Black Beauty, or International Velvet, or even Jilly Cooper will have realised, there is a strange bewitchment that happens to some people when they find themselves before a horse. The world of horseriding – and especially showjumping – is one of endless fascination. Where else might one find tech scions, shipping heiresses, rock progeny and supermodels all competing in the same field? Notwithstanding the extraordinary social milieu of the riding establishment, there are the mind-boggling details to pore over as well: the cost of stabling and caring for one’s horses, the bespoke tack and riding accoutrements, the astronomic prices of entering competitions; and the gleaming, glossy beauty of the competitors – both equine and the riders.
But for all the privilege and glamour of the international circuit, there is another story that celebrates the simple intimacy between a rider and their horse. Beyond the Hermès saddle or fancy riding breeches, even the most elite riders have put in years of early mornings, and hours of grooming, to earn that vital bond of trust that must be shared. As the showjumping year culminates with one of its most illustrious of competitions (the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup), Jamie Reid investigates what it takes to join the jump set, while photographer Alex Crétey Systermans takes us inside some of the most exclusive stables in the world.
Meanwhile, having been a fan of his work as a stylist for a long time, I’m delighted that Tony Irvine makes his debut this week in the magazine. His shoot with the photographer Justin Leveritt takes us to the New York coastline to showcase some of the 1990s influences in men’s tailoring right now – ’90s fashion, like ’90s music, film, hairstyles (hello, curtains) and television, have fully re-entered the cultural dialogue again. This take is less Sex and the City-style outrageous fabulosity, however, and more in line with the minimal, monochrome simplicity and silhouettes of Yohji Yamamoto, Helmut Lang et al. In another fashion debut, Erdem Moralioglu talks to us exclusively about his first collection for men. He’s a designer known for his historic, romantic, richly narrative vision, so I was curious to see how his men’s and women’s clothes would intersect. Rather than seeing his men and women in adjacent collections, though, the designer regards his new line as a continuation of the Erdem universe, albeit one now furnished with fluffy yellow mohair sweaters and Derek Jarman-inspired overalls.
And finally, as the rain beats down on autumn and the day shrinks by the minute, we turn our thoughts to Italy, and a new hotel on the Amalfi coast. It hardly seems possible that there might be enough real estate to create real competition in this densely populated area, but the ambitious co-owners of the Borgo Santandrea have planned to do just that. Using the bones of an original structure built in the 1960s, the hotel showcases a midcentury design aesthetic, as well as furniture from that same period, much of which has been imported directly from the owner’s home. With its azure-coloured geometric angles, ceramic flooring and Scandinavian lines, the Borgo Santandrea offers the polar opposite of kitschy Riviera style. Maria Shollenbarger checked in shortly after its soft opening and, while it was still very much an atmosphere in progress, I wouldn’t wait too long if you want to see it for yourself.
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