Online Editor's Letter: The Festive Season
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads onto fortune..." - William Shakespeare.
What can one say about a year like 2016? Filled with social and economic turmoil, controversial debate, terrible weather, stomach bugs and an appalling vine harvest in Burgundy, it’s been a bit of a kicker as far as early millennial vintages go. Thanks to goodness then that 2017 is now just around the corner, and following in the wake of this year one has high hopes for a more serendipitous twelve months to come. Even so, it’s not been quite all doom and gloom. From The Rake’s perspective, 2016 has been a productive and positive year; we’ve been fortunate that the magazine has continued to grow, as has our presence online, the team has expanded and there are big plans afoot for next year, which we all cannot help but be excited about. Fortunately, before we plunge headlong into the maelstrom of fashion weeks in January and the new challenges of the year beyond, December offers a much-needed chance to blow-off some steam - which is precisely what we shall be doing on TheRake.com. It’s the party season after all, which is the perfect excuse for our resident belletrist Ed Cripps to reflect on some of the most rakish soirées of the last century to get us in the festive spirit, including the Rothschilds’ Surrealist Ball and the Proustian Ball. Alongside these, we’ll also be reflecting on a number other legendary parties in all their glory and those noble gentlemen who made them happen, whether Gunter Sachs or Don Carlos de Beistegui. Our regular flow of edits, Invests and Impractical Choices will likewise retain a festive flavour, with seasonal rakish suggestions a plenty. This thread began last month with our latest ‘What to Buy’ feature care of Editorial Associate Charlie Thomas, and an invest piece on a serious sound system care of our Online Writer Benedict Browne. There’s a best of St James’s edit coming soon from yours truly, and our Editorial Assistant Anna Prendergast will be proffering some thoughts on the rise of the luxe Christmas jumper (for I’m told it’s a thing…) We’ll also be spending a considerable amount of time exploring festive dress codes; from the most elevated outerwear this season, to the rise of tailored cocktail dress through to a (hopefully) compelling argument that ‘blue tie’ is the new ‘black tie’. Our Sartorial Special Correspondent Christopher Modoo will be offering his own personal insight into the most punchy of patterns, Prince of Wales Check, and our Asia Editor-at-Large Christian Barker will be providing some insight into the style and work of Ethan Amos Newton of Bryceland’s & Co. For something a little different, our luxury travel correspondent Matt Hranek will be reflecting on some of those dining experiences that he finds the most special, and our Editor-at-Large (and Grinch) Nick Scott will be penning a Contrarian piece on that most inescapable of unearthly forces, Sod’s Law. Excitingly, there are big changes coming in the New Year, TheRake.com is in the process of undergoing a substantial face-lift, a new mobile App is to be launched immanently and as I mentioned last month there are more and more exclusive collaborations coming to The Rake’s online atelier. Our team has been busy collaborating, designing and developing an entirely new collection of luxurious covetables that we hope will have readers positively salivating at their style, quality and efficacy come the spring. Onwards and upwards then as they say. It remains only to say thank you to all our readers on behalf of team Rake for your support over the past year, naturally it means the world to us. The magazine exists in all its forms for people who care about quality, longevity and style, and as we transition into 2017 our New Year's hope will surely be that you will continue to find our scribblings on such matters enjoyable and compelling. But until then, permit us to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we hope that you'll enjoy this blow-out month of December on TheRake.com.