Richard Benson

Month: January, 2014

Gin addiction and proper books

I went to hear the historian Lucy Inglis talking about 18th-century London at the V&A this afternoon, a journey that would have been worth it even if she had only delivered the section about the gin craze of the early 18th century. Drunken men had long been a familiar sight in the streets but gin, […]

Another source for Pharrell’s hat

There has been much discussion of the origin of the hat that Pharrell wore at the Grammys the other night… …with style pundits quick to point out it was a Vivienne Westwood piece, revived in 201o after an original design in her Buffalo Girls (Nostlagia of Mud) collection (see GQ’s backgrounder here). That collection was […]

Neuve Chappelle, Ypres: Poo-tee-weet

I take the 6 am train from St Pancras to Lille to visit Neuve Chappelle in northern France, and Ypres in Belgium, sites of First World War battles in which my great-grandfather Walter Parkin fought a century ago. Around Neuve Chappelle the flat, heavy land is dank, the water in the ditches a reminder of […]