When Julie Andrews sang about her favourite aspects of life, the daft cow omitted a number of much-deserving things. Crisp apple strudels? Brown paper packages tied up with strings? Pah! Green Destiny apple cocktails from Hakkasan and Net-a-Porter black boxes are the only contemporary equivalents I can get on board with.
There are other favourites, too.
I find especial nirvana in winters hibernated at my family home in North Yorkshire. I’m talking about long misty days – without tangible demarcation between morning and night – spent dozing by an open fire, with little more for company than a cashmere blanket and a satisfying stack of fashion magazines. My father’s celebrated Sunday roast with extra servings of buttery mashed potato. And climbing beneath Arctic bed sheets after a day of idle pleasure. Indeed, I’m talking about those “silver-white winters” of which Andrews all-too-perkily chirped.
Not for me, the summer.
This winter will be an improvement on last and, for that, I proffer thanks to Claudia Schiffer.
Her eponymous knitwear label – launched yesterday on Net-a-Porter – gifts the kind of comforting and luxuriant clothes I want to live in during the coldest ravages of December. A mirror of Schiffer’s own personal aesthetic, the 30-piece line includes hand-knitted capes, cardigan coats, boyfriend-style sweaters and striped cashmere dresses in a wearable palette of greys and blues. Simple and lovely, the collection will appeal to women already conversant with the concept of ‘off-duty’ style.
Think of it as an old favourite in the making, if you will.