industry insiders on their best fashion christmas presents

i-D asks a roll call of fashion folks to recall the stylish Christmas presents that made them smile.

by i-D Staff and James Anderson
25 December 2015, 5:29pm

Christopher Shannon, designer
"Louise Gray made me some Christmas decorations last year, a sort of star topper for the tree, actually maybe it's supposed to be a pair of tits, she didn't confirm. And Natascha Stolle made me some incredible decorations, too; for quite a direct and straightforward person I'm really quite Christmassy. My friend Kay got me a Chanel laptop case, it's quite obscene, I only use it for meetings when I want to unsettle someone. Oh, and she got me that Moschino iPhone cover, I gave that loads all over town until everyone had one. An ex got me lots of Judy Blame from a pop-up that Judy had before Christmas one year, that was a really nice surprise, one of those rare Christmases when you are totally in love and you also get really good gifts.

Lulu Kennedy, Founder and Director, Fashion East and Editor at Large, Love 
"A boozy James Bond matinee with Katie Grand!"

Michael Costiff, Founder of World Archive and all-round Style Icon
"I really craved a grey 'Crombie' coat that I had seen at Vivienne and Malcolm's autumn/winter 1983-4 Witches show. Very few of these were produced so I asked Jordan to call me when any of them arrived at the World's End shop. Three or four had arrived, but when I got there only one was left, in a size small. I was devastated. Little did I know that with the collusion of Jordan and Vivienne, my wife Gerlinde had already bought one for me and it was hidden in the cupboard in the shop! I loved that coat and wore it a lot. I wish I still had it, but it's in the V&A now."

Simon Foxton, Stylist and Art Director
"A pair of Helmut Lang leather briefs."

Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford, Designers
"The best fashion-related Christmas present we have ever received came last year, when we moved from the east into our new studios in Seven Sisters North London."

Lou Dalton, Designer
"My engagement ring. It was just before Christmas last year, I'd always wanted the Solange Azagury 'Marry Me' ring but in the end my fella surprised me with 'Lou' in white gold. To be fair, I could have been given a ring pull that day and I would have been happy"

Gordon Richardson, Design Director, Topman
"A complete set of August Sander photographic books of portraits of twentieth century Germans."

Siv Stoldal, Founder and Designer, Haik
"My lovely husband has given me some weird, but also many sweet presents over the years. One that springs to mind in this context, is from the first Christmas when we moved back to Norway, and I missed life and friends in London a great deal. His present to me was a one year subscription for i-D, so I could keep in touch with what everyone was doing. Kind of a strange gift, but very sweet and thoughtful, I thought!"

Ben Kelway, Art Director, Arena Homme + and Pop magazines
"Most years I get a navy cashmere crewneck jumper from someone or somewhere - I'm not fussed about the brand."

Harriet Vine, Co-founder and Designer, Tatty Devine
"When I was 11 my Parents gave me the most amazing red lace-up boots that were so cool I couldn't believe they'd chosen them. Tragically one was a size 6 and the other was a size 3, so I had to wait ages until I could actually wear them."

Rosie Wolfenden, Co-founder and Designer, Tatty Devine
"About 10 years ago Harriet bought me a Westwood bag which was just the best thing ever. She bought it from Shop on Brewer Street, which was our favorite shop in London."

Peter Jensen, Designer
"The best fashion Xmas present that I ever got was from my uncle Lause, in 1983. It was a long sleeved white underwear top with 3 covered buttons, a round neck and a rib at the cuff which is cover stitched on. It was slightly over-sized so I could wear it over a jumper. I think this type of garment became very fashionable in the 90s alongside the grunge scene and Kurt Cobain. It is also a very traditional underwear garment for a man to wear in Scandinavia. I loved it so much that I wore it as a jumper, not as underwear."

Pam Hogg, Designer
"Not many people would be brave enough to choose a fashion related present for me. Each Xmas, one boyfriend would unwittingly buy something that more suited himself, so I basically never received anything for about 5 years during the early '80s. When I eventually pointed this out he made up for all those lean years by presenting me with a pale turquoise Ford Cortina MK1 classic car. It was the perfect fashion accessory with its baby blue leopard print seat covers and strings of pearls draped across the windscreen."

Kit Neale, Designer
"Mum scored when she got me a kilt once. I went through a big Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier kilt-wearing phase. It was sadly eaten by moths, in the end! And dad got me a subscription to i-D magazine when I was about 14 - I was overjoyed!"

Steve Terry, Founder of Wildlife Press
"A yellow Gabicci V-neck jumper and grey Pierre Cardin rollneck combo that I had on my Crimbo list when I was nine, and which got delivered. My cousin had the same set in different colours!"

Cozette McCreery, Co-founder and Director, Sibling
"My father brought me a pair of Fiorucci socks. Possibly last minute from the Kings Road store. They were bright yellow with a black leopard graphic printed all over them. Family folk law states that my mother said that I'd hate them. She had a point, I was a kid who insisted on only wearing black and dark brown. Was she right? Well I wore them as thigh highs, grew 4 inches in a year so wore them as knee highs, wore out the feet, made them into leg warmers and then they finally disintegrated."

Sid Bryan: Co-founder and Director, Sibling
"I always used to wear Skinny Dior indigo Jeans and wore the same style for years. One Christmas Joe bought me a pair, had the back pocket removed, organized for Hand&Lock to hand embroider a 3D Skull in military gold work and then had the pocket re-stitched back on. They were amazing and wonderfully personalized. I wore them until they fell apart but still have the pocket."

Gert Jonkers, Co-founder and Editor, Fantastic Man
"Definitely the box of personalized Ex Libris notes that Karl Lagerfeld sent for Christmas one year. The gift was both incredibly chic and very thoughtful."

Judy Blame: Jewellery Designer and Art Director
"I can't remember any presents, good or bad. I hate Christmas!"

Daryoush Haj-Najafi: Senior Editor, Complex UK
"My Grandad was a Trotskyite strike organiser, a miners kid, who spent most of his life agitating for worldwide revolution other than the two years he spent at Her Majesty's Pleasure for embezzlement from the firm he worked for. Anyways, probably because his long term, live-in girlfriend was 30 years his junior I wasn't allowed to call him Grandad and had to call him Bob. He only remembered Christmas twice, probably because he liked to drink A LOT. One year he got me the collected works of Lewis Carroll and a copy of Lambeth Council's 'African Inventions Picture Book', but best of all was the Lacoste polo I got when I was 6. Back then Lacoste cost more than Burberry and casual was huge on the terraces and with tough guys. That polo birthed a lifelong affinity for the brand and a special love of signifiers that sit on the cusp of menace and brilliance."

Alex Box, Make-up Artist
"During the Christmas of 1984, when I was 13 years old, I received a 'Donkey Jacket' - a bat-winged, one buttoned dustman shape jacket. My mum saved up and bought it from a Grattan Catalog. It was far too big, but I didn't care."

Mandi Lennard, Founder of Mandi's Basement
"A monogram Louis Vuitton handbag with a Christopher Nemeth circle rope graphic that Kim Jones just sent me; he knows how much I love that collection."


Interviews James Anderson