April 1, 2011

Sir Tough Guy: A Rough-Luxe London Boutique By James Plumb

London’s rough-luxe aesthetic is alive and well as evidenced by Hostem, a men’s clothing shop that offers an eclectic selection of international labels-Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Visvim—in an environment that marries heritage and modernity. To design the interior, owner James Brown tapped James Plumb, the three-year-old firm founded by James Russell and Hannah Plumb. The couple met long ago, while studying sculpture at art school, and now say they focus on the “overlooked and discarded, taking timeworn antiques and castoffs and reimagining them.” The 860-square-foot Hostem is James Plumb’s first foray into commercial design.

Colors are muted from floor to ceiling—the former constructed from Victorian pine planks, varying in width and washes, and the latter draped with burlap panels. Pendant fixtures are simply long black cables, each fitted with a reproduction of a 1930’s squirrel-cage lightbulb. Oatmeal-colored linen curtains hang at the windows and in the dressing room. A reclamation yard in down-market Essex yielded the dressing room’s walnut doors, but a more august provenance comes with the room’s makeshift table, a vintage steamer trunk by Louis Vuitton. In a nod to the sacredness of fashion, the cash-wrap desk incorporates the back of a church pew.

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