Stephen and Damon, aka Fuel Design, who’ve produced many covetable books over the years (including Tracey Emin’s Photo Album and various productions for Jake & Dinos Chapman) have been long-time friends and clients. To celebrate the opening of their latest show in London, I thought I’d ask them – in a sort of coda to the recent Best of British series we’ve been running – to elaborate on their practice and how it intersects with mine. Here’s what they said…

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We went through art college in the late 1980s. Commercial graphic design at the time could generally be classed as tasteful; pastel colours and considered typography. This wasn’t something that appealed to us. We reacted against it with a bold, confrontational approach, both in terms of our work and our image. We quickly defined a FUEL aesthetic.

We left the Royal College of Art in 1992 and immediately found a studio within a Goergian house in Fournier Street, Spitalfields, midway between the edge of the City and the Bangladeshi community of Brick lane. It was an interesting environment with a strong artistic community.

We’ve always perceived ourselves as outsiders in the world of design and we subverted our image accordingly. When we started out, every design and advertising agency was based in the West End or Clerkenwell. We felt we could best express our distance from everyone else (physical and spiritual) if we had bespoke suits made. Timothy Everest was recommended to us as a local tailor who (at that time) was working from a house in Princelet Street, one road along from our studio. We had cropped hair, and the notion of having semi-matching pinstripe suits – like a utility uniform – felt wrong in the right way. We enjoyed the process of having a suit made, and took Polaroids of each other at every stage. As designers and publishers, we aim to create beautiful objects with our books, and every detail is carefully considered – the size and format, paper quality, cloth-covered boards, dust-jacket, head and tail bands. These decisions are very similar to those involved in getting a suit made: the choice of cloth, the cut, buttons, lapels, pockets, lining, etc.


The most popular books we’ve published are the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I-III. The books document the coded meanings of Russian prisoner tattoos. In 2009 we founded the Russian Criminal tattoo Archive. The collection consists of over 750 original drawings of tattoos and photographs of Russian prisoners. In 2013 we acquired a further collection of photographs from the Soviet police files. We have just published the first of two volumes of this work, Russian Criminal Tattoo Files, with an accompanying exhibition of prints which runs at the Grimaldi Gavin gallery in Albermarle Street, London W1, until November 21st.

Suit polaroids


The Art Of Dressing

Recently I’ve been feeling inspired with all the art being displayed in London this October, and after attending the opening of the very brilliant Damien Hirst’s new exhibition ‘Schizophrenonenis’ I’m in the mood for more!

Some of the shows I’m looking forward to include, Tracey Emin’s new show ‘The Last Great Adventure Is You’Rembrandt’s ‘The Late Works’Frieze Art Fair and The Other Art Fair.

I went to The Other Art Fair last year to see Tracey Emin exhibiting and found it to be buzzing with creativity and an incredibly inspiring environment testament to the artistic talent of this beautiful city. I’m excited to be involved this year, check out the canvas bag that I’ll be donning, along with the rest of the visitors!

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Maybe I’m feeling inspired by the autumn/ summer weather we’ve been having or maybe I’ve been spending rather a lot of time next to a giant yellow bobbin but my Other Art Fair outfit consists of autumnal tones with a slash of yellow including a bespoke tweed jacket with a yellow under collar and a patterned TE ready-to-wear scarf.

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Hunter Gatherer

Further proof that, at its best, bespoke can be a big (and beautiful) game comes with this singular take on a traditional hunting jacket that we made for a Japanese customer. It’s a single-breasted notch-lapel in grey herringbone Harris tweed, with a red Melton yoke that’s completely hand-attached. It’s based on a Norfolk jacket, mixed with elements from 40s-style game-bagging wear (the red or orange yokes helped mitigate against the possibility of being sprayed with buckshot by your trigger-happy fellows). We’ve also added four patch pockets with flaps (ample enough to accommodate a vanquished partridge or quail) and a red undercollar, along with fully hand-stitched sculpt facings. I think you’ll agree that we hit the bullseye with this one.

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The List.. October

To Eat: The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont Hotel.


My friends’ Jeremy King and Christopher Corbin’s new venture, The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont Hotel, has become my latest hangout this month. The dark mahogany walls and art deco paintings add to its old American charm. Whether it is time to tuck into duck egg hash for breakfast, oysters Rockefellers for lunch or New York strip steaks for supper the food and the atmosphere will not disappoint.


To View: Photomonth East London 2014- 1st Oct-30th Nov


Don’t miss the return of Photomonth to East London’s galleries and venues with brilliant images celebrating photography- bringing innovation and inspiration to a wide variety of events.


To Support: Best of Britannia, 2nd- 4th October.


After great feedback from the recent launch of our new menswear collaboration TEK, our latest collaboration with New Future Graphic and Eley Kishimoto, we invite you to view the shirts up close and personal at Best of Britannia- in support of true British Brands.


To Ride: The Wool Ride – 5th October


Cycling & fashion, two of my favourite things! Support The Woolmark Company’s campaign to increase the use of wool in fashion by joining The Wool Ride through the streets made famous by London’s wool supporters, including the archetypal Jermyn Street, to launch Wool Week into a frenzy of fibres!


To Watch: The BFI London Film Festival. 8th- 9th Oct


See the world’s best films across London during the 58th BFI London Film Festival. A stellar line-up of fiction, documentary features and world premieres.


To See: Damien Hirst: Schizophrenogenesis. 31 Museum Street, London WC1A 1LH 9th October – 15th November.


I can’t wait for the opening of Damien Hirst’s next show, Schizophrenogenesis. An exhibition based on the minimalist aesthetic of the medicinal pill and pharmaceuticals with new sculptural editions and prints as a continuation Hirst’s thought provoking investigation into our relationship with the rigours of science- it’s a must see!


To Wear:

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This TEK shirt with bespoke selvedge denim jeans and a chunky knit for those colder autumn days.

If you feel like going bespoke this is one of my latest pieces; a Harris Tweed Norfolk-esque jacket with hints of a 40′s hunting jacket. Perfect for the shooting season! Read more about it here.




To Eat: Ogata, 726 Shinkamanzacho, Kyoto, Japan

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This traditional Japanese restaurant well deserves its two Michellin stars. The natural ingredients create a sublime harmony of flavours, such as the simple charcoal flamed Taiza crab. Its authentic charm is continued in its combination of ancient city with modern sensibility décor, it’s a must visit if you ever find yourself in Kyoto!


To Sleep: Sekiyou, 749 Miyakami, Kanagawa Prefecture 259-0314, Japan.

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This traditional Japanese inn, located in the centre of the deep green tea mountains, is so calm and relaxed it entices you to stay for weeks! Its welcoming owners and delicious Japanese cuisine creates a rustic Japanese atmosphere.

To Visit: The Other Art Fair, The Old Trewman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

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Started in 2011, The Other Art Fair has quickly become one of my favourite annual art shows. Art experts hand select over 130 of the best emerging talent.

Hotel Okura, Tokyo

Sitting in the Lobby of mine and Ian Flemmings favourite Hotel Okura in Tokyo where he penned You Only Live Twice. Built in the early 1960′s it still retains it’s interior and even the bar where James Bond met Tanaka-San for the first time.Unfortunately due to modern earthquake regulations it is planned to be demolished which is such a shame as a unique property in this world of homogenised hotels.



Do you remember the Sham 69 classic If The Kids Are United, They Will Never be Divided? That’s just how I feel today, post-Scottish referendum. I’m chuffed that we’re to remain a UK – and not just a K – as we’re a great family, bickering, dysfunctional, and yet irrevocably intertwined, just like all the best families, from The Simpsons backwards. Being half Welsh, and spending my formative years in Ireland, I know more than most that can we happily co-exist while championing our cultural differences. And I hope we’ll continue to evolve while finding meaningful ways to devolve.



Welcome to the launch of TEK shirts.

TEK is a unique project from New Future Graphic, Timothy Everest and Eley Kishimoto, born of a shared vision to define incisive new directions in print, tailoring and design. The perfect product, conceived and created in London. TEK is presented in a contemporary context, with construction that draws from and celebrates the best of British heritage and craft.


The first project for the partnership is The Shirt, a perfect starting point for printer and tailor to meet. Hand screen printed cotton shirtings from the EK design Studio in Brixton are exquisitively shaped and detailed by Timothy Everest tailors of Shoreditch. The finished product has been manufactured and packaged under art direction from New Future Graphic. This first TEK project is a concerted effort to take a locally produced and crafted shirt to a global market.


These shirts form creative staples for any man’s wardrobe, whether dressing smartly with a printed twist, or casually in a smart patterned style. As popular for women as a ‘boyfriend’ shirt as it is for men.


This is Project 1 of an ongoing series.


We really undersell ourselves in this country. I think people need reminding about the benefits of not only buying British, but also manufacturing in Britain. My generation – I’m 53 now – was brought up with our parents going to factories and making things; I grew up in Blackburn, where textile manufacturing was a huge part of the town’s DNA. Manufacturing generally creates positive employment, and it supports British designers; in fact, it’s sometimes the only way for smaller designers to get started. We’d never have got Red Or Dead off the ground if we hadn’t set up our own manufacturing unit in a freezing cold mill in Blackburn.

At Hemingway design today, we try our utmost to make as many of our products as possible in the UK. We love touring the factories and seeing the production process in action. At the moment we’re working with Royal Doulton in the Wedgwood factory, and Silent Night in Oldswick and Herbert Parkinson in Darwen, both in Lancashire, on bed linen and furnishings, and they’re all uplifting environments, where people have tremendous job satisfaction. I can’t stand shitty TV like The X Factor where people go “I work in a factory, if I don’t become a star my life is over” – that’s just the cliched and simplistic narrative that programmes of that ilk peddle.

Buy British Day, and the Best Of Britannia event, is a great showcase for the wealth of manufacturing talent that still exists in this country. It can also point up all the positives that “Made In Britain” can bring to the UK – that jobs bring employment, obviously, plus the sense of pride and achievement that comes with making things. Then there’s the question of sustainability, and what we all gain from not shipping things from one side of the world to the other, and the ethical side – if it’s made in the UK, it’s a pretty safe bet that the workers are being treated and paid fairly, and you’re not sustaining a system that brutally exploits its workforce. And last but not least, if it’s made here, there’s more money coming into the economy. So if you can afford to pay, say, £7 for a British-made white t-shirt, and there’s one for £5 that was made in Bangladesh or China or somewhere, and they’re identical, you should go for the UK one. It’s not always easy, but people need to engage with the provenance of the things they buy a bit more. There’s more to it than morality – we all stand to gain if we invest in this country a bit more. People overseas seem more excited about British-made goods than we seem to be; we need to get as enthused as they are.


Wayne Hemingway

The List.. September

TO SLEEP | Rosewood London – 252 High Holborn, London – WC1V 7EN


Modern, metropolitan but not loosing any of its Edwardian grandeur, The Rosewood is luxury through and through. From the sumptuous 300 thread count bed linin, to the mean vesper martinis, this really is the perfect place to sink in and enjoy.



TO EAT | Bravas Tapas – Ivory House – St Katharine Docks – E1 (020 7481 1464, bravastapas.co.uk). Daily noon-10.30pm (10pm Sun)

Bravas Tapas Pictures Adrian Lourie www.adrianlourie.co.uk 07804906540

My friend’s new restaurant ensconced on the enviable position of London’s waterfront, Bravas Tapas really is a treat. Whether its tucking into the wholesome morcilla de burgos sliders with green-apple slaw and Idiazabal cheese, savoring the richness of foie gras-stuffed quail crisped in a version of pancetta or enjoying the simple delight of cured ham from an acorn fed pig, the food, the attention to detail from the staff and the view, will not disappoint. Definitely worth a visit or two…



TO DRINK | Tonteria – 7-12 Sloane Square – SW1W 8EG


If you’re after a serious tequila bar, this is the place. With maliciously crafted Mexican ramshackle and bottles of tequila stretching up to £5000 Tonteria has the bustle and the flair to ensure you have a night to remember.


TO INSPIRE | London Fashion Week


Milan, Paris, New York, the list goes on but right on our doorstep, London has to be our favourite. Always exciting, always dynamic and always inspiring. London fashion week is a truly special event.


TO DRIVE | Goodwood Revival


I will be wearing three piece mustard Harris tweed tattersall check shirt Spitalfields flower woven silk tie rust and lilac with mauve handkerchief with bespoke amesbury Oxford boots. Driving a lotus 7.


TO SHOOT | E.J. Churchill


The shooting season is shortly arriving and this year we are particularly excited as we’ve been creating ladies shooting wear. Here’s a a sneak preview..


TO BUY | Apple iWatch


A useful snack for on the move.

Cool Wool Auction Starts Today!

To coincide with London Collections: Men (LC:M) last season, The Woolmark Company invited several leading UK fashion designers to participate in a Sheep Art campaign, as part of its larger, global Cool Wool apparel campaign.

Christopher Raeburn, Lou Dalton, Paul Smith, Richard James, SIBLING and I are all familiar with Merino wool and have used the natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre in their collections each season and again for their SS15 collections in lighter weight Cool Wool qualities.

We were asked to create their interpretation of a Merino sheep, which not only complements the use of Merino wool for their SS15 collections but also embodies the essence of Cool Wool: that wool is a fibre for all seasons.

Following LC:M, each original Sheep Art has been donated to the British Fashion Council (BFC) for use in this auction in support of the BFC Education Foundation. This auction starts today, 12th September, and runs until 21st September. Just go to www.ebay.co.uk/bfc to bid!

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For more information on the Sheep Art campaign and Cool Wool, visit: