HTSI editor Jo Ellison
HTSI editor Jo Ellison © Marili Andre

This spring sees our third wedding special and, following seasons of slimline, simple wedding tunics, we’re heralding the return of big, bold bridal style. Widen the aisle, ladies and gentlemen, because the meringue is back. Sara Semic has spoken to nine brides who said yes to the very big dress, and reports on their inspiration – from a six-year-old doing dress-up, to princesses and a Guns N’ Roses video. My favourite is Sylvia Farago, of Farago Projects, who has produced many HTSI fashion shoots. I had never seen her wearing anything but a uniform of black jeans and T-shirt, so was astonished to discover she wore a vast lace confection to her wedding last year. She bought it from a secondhand website. “My reference was My Big Fat Greek Wedding slash Diana, Princess of Wales, because I think it’s hilarious to wear a big, fat dress,” she says. “That’s the kind of wedding you’ll always remember.”

Well, exactly. In all the hoopla surrounding the big day, it’s easy for couples to forget to actually enjoy themselves. A giant frock is an irreverent riposte to so much pomp and ceremony. Ditto one’s wedding car, cocktail toasts or invitations (features on which are also published in the section) – all details that inject the day with personality.

Tailoring from Speciale on Portobello Road, London
Tailoring from Speciale on Portobello Road, London

One of the most frequently asked questions of our style desk is where to get a suit made, and London is abundant with interesting, original tailor’s shops. Aleks Cvetkovic visits a clutch of establishments to see the latest offerings, going from the new traditionalists such as Whitcomb & Shaftesbury and Taillour (whose co-founder Fred Nieddu cut all the tailored menswear for Netflix’s The Crown, Wonka and the latest Indiana Jones) to the softer and more Italian lines offered by George Marsh of Speciale on Portobello Road. Most of the tailors will make you a bespoke suit for under £5,000 – a steal compared to some of the more venerable houses on Savile Row.

Takwa Creek in Lamu, photographed by Don McCullin
Takwa Creek in Lamu, photographed by Don McCullin © Don McCullin

For those who care not for wedding chatter, may I direct you to Lamu, courtesy of Catherine Fairweather and Don McCullin; they send us a dispatch from one of the last remaining outposts of Swahili culture on the east African coast. The couple are guests of Anna Trzebinski at her hotel Jannah, a place conceived to bridge the gap between “more rustic private rentals and hotel stays”. Lamu, as Catherine writes, has long drawn in “the mavericks and free-spirits”, but Jannah has been designed to connect visitors with nature rather than the region’s vibrant party scene. She sketches a seductive portrait of the new wellness mecca; Don takes his customarily gorgeous shots.

The return of the buffet
The return of the buffet © Jean Philippe Charbonnier via Getty Images

How do you feel about a buffet? It’s often derided as being ’70s and old-fashioned, but Ajesh Patalay discovers that the self-serve table is having a resurgence as gluten-lactose-vegan-FODMAP guests become too exhausting to sate with one catch-all meal. Personally, I love a buffet where I can chat to guests while waiting to attack the cheeseboard. Even better when I know I can return thrice more. 

Lastly, it gives me great pleasure to share with you our latest project, The Brains of Wellbeing + Beauty, a series of filmed interviews with some of the scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators and disruptors powering the $5.6tn wellness industry, in partnership with SHA Wellness Clinic

The editor with fashion designer Victoria Beckham
The editor with fashion designer Victoria Beckham © Gobinder Jhitta

In this first series, Victoria Beckham shares the story of her journey towards building a beauty empire that, since its launch in 2019, already accounts for some 50 per cent of the business, as well as why she’s her own toughest client, and how to use a contouring pencil. Believe me, even I have had a crack at “slimming my nose”. Alejandro Bataller talks about how his family alighted on the idea of launching a wellness destination in Alicante 15 years ago that has since become a gold standard for diagnostic and preventative health, now opening new outposts all over the world. Zoe’s Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, looks at life on the glucose monitor and explains why everything comes down to the gut microbiome, and Professor Augustinus Bader and his business partner and CEO Charles Rosier describe the journey that has transformed the professor’s miracle “wound gel” into one of the best-selling and most-fetishised premium beauty products in the world (and netted the brand many millions in the process). 

You can watch all of the interviews here, now. With special thanks to 1 Warwick, our hosts, and Spiritland Productions, which shot and edited the videos. Much more to come soon – and let me know who you would like to hear more from in future. 


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