New Year, new diary


A new year means a new diary and there is only one place the uncommon client visits for such an essential item of stationery. Smythson has been a purveyor of such necessities since 1887  and I am a loyal follower. Several years ago I visited the bespoke salon in their Bond Street store and worked with their designer to create a monogram for use on leather. Once the design has been agreed they create a Camac in their workshop. This is the metal stamp which they then use to apply the monogram to the leather by hand.

It is important to exercise restraint in the application of a monogram – I limit use to my diary and to my blue morocco-leather Smythson journal. I intend one day to have it engraved onto some stationery (envelope flaps only) but apart from these uses it isn’t the done thing to go mad and use it on everything. I remember a magazine shoot I saw a few years ago wherein the featured person had his rather uninspiring monogram woven into carpets, embroidered onto table and bedlinen, applied to crockery, cutlery, stationery and his car doors to name but few places. This is only appropriate if you are a: Royal or b: Royal. The late fashion designer Gianni Versace is another example – his famous and beautiful Medusa head design featured so much in his homes that it regrettably ended up looking quite tasteless. Less is definitely, as the saying goes, more.

One final word on monograms… absolutely under no circumstances should anyone employ a crown or coronet motif into the design unless they are entitled to use it (if in any doubt, don’t).

40 New Bond Street, London W1


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