Sunday, Sweet Sunday

The Guv’nor writes…

Bill Hornets The Guv'nor


“Sunday Sweet Sunday with nothing to do”… an old song from a fifties musical, Flower Drum Song.


I start my Sundays with a few old friends. At about 10:30 I have a quick breakfast and I open the shop at 11:00.


Then it’s very laid back, people pop by and chat, some old friends, some new ones.


Our customers are a pretty interesting bunch, so it’s fun, people buy things, some come to discuss things.


Then after midday they often wonder up to the pub. Our local is the Elephant and Castle on Holland Street.


Others make a beeline for Ffiona’s restaurant on Church Street for her famous Sunday brunch, kick started with a Bloody Mary – it’s very country house weekend.


Then I’m in the shop until 2:30 or 3:00 then Landi takes over and I go to lunch. Sometimes if I’m late I go to my friend Romano’s and eat there.


I like Sundays. Good people and interesting chat.


So see you one Sunday, come and say hello.


The Guv’nor




The Goalkeeper

The Man From The Hornet writes…


What is it about the position of goalkeeper on the football field that attracts such colourful characters? Is it the different coloured jersey that appeals to the egomaniac, the man who stands out from the herd?


Or is that perspective somewhat cart-before-horse?


Is it the position itself – solitary, set apart, long periods of contemplation suddenly shattered by sudden bouts of frenetic conflict – that shape the characters of those who wear the gloves and stand between the sticks? Standing all on his own for 90 minutes, no other footballer is balanced so delicately between hero and clown. No other footballer is required to stare Kipling’s twin imposters in the eye on such a regular basis. The buck stops with the goalie.


The question comes to mind today on the 85th anniversary of the birth of the great Lev Yashin.

Lev yashin

Born in Moscow in 1929, he represented the Soviet Union on 78 occasions and kept goal for the mighty Moscow Dynamo from 1950 to 1970.


Regarded by many as the greatest goalkeeper of all time, his image – this being a style blog – is burned on the retinas of football fans the world over.


Yashin always cut an imposing figure behind 10 red jerseys of the CCCP XI: a shock of black hair atop a black jersey, black shorts and black stockings. Johnny Cash wasn’t the ONLY man in black, you know.


His way with a phrase is almost as legendary as his playing ability and his look. Amid quips about saving a penalty being a greater feeling than seeing comrade Gagarin win the space race, my favourite is this:



“What kind of a goalkeeper is the one who is not tormented by the goal he has allowed? He must be tormented! And if he is calm, that means the end. No matter what he had in the past, he has no future.”



Tormented! It’s high opera. Outfield players seldom reflect on the nature existence in such a way. In this Yashin always calls Tolstoy to mind (with apologies for the paraphrase): All outfield footballers are alike: each goalkeeper is mad in his own way.



As a goalkeeper he’s in exalted company. French existentialist Albert Camus played goalkeeper – our topic is reflected in his quote: “All that I know most surely about morality and obligations I owe to football.”


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also played in goal. As did Pavarotti. Pope Saint John Paul II also kept goal – we know of no defender, midfielder or striker to have been canonised. Not even Kenny Dalglish.







Just Who Is The Best-Dressed Superhero?

The Man From The Hornet writes…


Earlier this year we greatly enjoyed a fun photo-article from Vanity Fair speculating on the Best Dressed Superheroes. (Read the full article at the Vanity Fair website)

And it got us to thinking… just who IS the best-dressed superhero?


Can we include Doctor Who? Is he a superhero? If so, we think he’s worthy of a place in the Top 3 at least, particularly in his current incarnation, replete with classic British Crombie coat and Doctor Marten shoes…

Capaldi Doctor Who


We’d also have to look at Clark Kent to score high. His look – classic, stolid, reliable Brooks Brothers – says a lot about enduring style. Here he is in a cover from 1976…


Best Dressed Superhero 2


… in a get-up that wouldn’t have been out of place in an original 1930s Superman strip. And it would still look stylish today.


Personally I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Doctor Strange, created by the legendary Marvel man Steve Ditko.



Best Dressed Superhero 3

Outré, theatrical, with more than a whiff of 1960’s Hugh Heffner’s mansion about him, it’s a great look for a superhero… if not entirely advisable when popping out to Waitrose. Tread with caution. Indeed, if we see you dressed like this on your next visit to Hornets we may well pretend not to know you. (As a by-the-by we were terribly disappointed to learn that Benedict Cumberbatch would not after all be playing Doctor Strange in the forthcoming movie.)



And so it’s over to you, Horneteers: who is the best-dressed superhero? Or villain? Who is the worst dressed? Get in touch, leave a comment here or on Facebook.



Hornets Is Going Girlie

ladies vintage On the cusp of yet another great new adventure in style, Bill Hornets writes…



I am very excited about Hornets’ new venture, Hornets Ladies Vintage on Church Street.



It will be yet another interesting shop on that beloved Kensington thoroughfare.



We are being principally supplied by W.V.C, a big and very experienced wholesaler who is an old friend.



It will all be very much in keeping with Hornets’ world-famous sense of style.



Over the years so many of our clients – ladies – have asked us to do something for them. So here we go ladies…



Hornets Is Going Girlie.








Model Sons

Bill Hornets writes…


My old and good friend Neal Spooner, a brilliant international economist whose hobby is men’s clothing (he is something of an expert in the field) has two remarkable sons, twins. Miles and James. Miles is a painter (we will show you his work) James is a hairdresser (we will show you his work, too).

The boys are currently pursuing a modelling career. Here they are.

Miles & James 1

Miles & James 2

Photography by Dean Aladay.