The Handbook
The Handbook

In partnership with The Royal Exchange

After months spent trapped inside our homes away from close friends and loved ones, we’re all making an extra effort to find more time to reconnect with one another again. 

Whether that’s dining with your nearest and dearest friends at one of London’s top restaurants, finally celebrating a missed lockdown birthday or indulging in a little retail therapy with your closest girlfriends, The Royal Exchange provides the perfect backdrop for your shared reconnecting moments post-lockdown.

The Royal Exchange is exploring what it means to ‘reconnect’ in its entirety as part of its latest artist in residence series. This season the iconic London institute has enlisted the help from French designer, Alexis Jamet, who has produced a glorious digital work utilising the universal theme through his signature bold style. 

We managed to nab a quick five minutes with him to find out more about his commissioned piece. Plus, we’ve handpicked a selection of our favourite 20 products from The Royal Exchange’s boutiques surrounding the theme of Reconnection and Reawakening, from the perfect personalised gifts for a missed lockdown celebration to Jo Malone London’s new signature scent for a surprise pick-me-up. 

For somebody who has never seen your work before, how would you describe your design style?

Eclectic, textured and coloured but simple.

What does the theme ‘Reconnecting and Reawakening’ mean to you as an artist?

For me, it’s taking the time to do simple things and to accept getting bored sometimes.

Did you draw on any of the current global issues to help you tackle the theme?

For this one I was especially focused on life on social media.

How did you adapt your style to fit the brief?

First, by making drawings slightly more realistic than I usually do for the products. And I tried to represent the energy happening around us away from the screen, through these kinds of expressive shapes and bright colours.

I tried to represent the energy happening around us away from the screen.

What impact do you hope your work will have on individuals who see it for the first time at The Royal Exchange?

It’s a tough one! Maybe to look at colours around us differently.

Make up for those lost lockdown celebrations, treat your loved ones to a special personalised gift or just catch up with friends over a bit of retail therapy and shop our edit to the best reconnecting gifts.

Shop everything from sweet treats from none other than Fortnum & Mason’s to luxury home buys from Jo Malone, Smythson and Hermès.


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