If there was ever a brand that could glamorise lockdown life, it's TOAST. Inspired by slow-placed Sunday mornings, James Seaton and his wife, Jessica launched TOAST in 1997, with a focus on nightwear. TOAST has since expanded into a celebrated selection of functional, beautiful clothing and homeware deeply grounded in artisanal tradition.

We invited James to take his pick of ISHKAR products to inspire us this winter. Here is James’ selection:

Handblown Glassware from Herat, Afghanistan:

“A delight to use, pleasing to both hand and eye - organically varied in form and colour and as light in the hand as the bubbles that fill the glass suggest.”

Arghandab Carpet, woven in Afghanistan:

“The hand-knotting of carpets is a patient and magical craft, the apprehension in pattern of a worldview. These designs follow the tradition in a more direct but no less meaningful way - the course and digressions of a river flow mapped into the wool below one’s feet.”

Royan Cashmere Scarf:

“My wife and I have had an unlikely career which began with the natural dyeing of wool, so I have an affinity with anything naturally dyed. Saffron, silk and cashmere are all treasures - this richly dyed scarf is a lovely thing.”

Hunza: the Unfading Valley:

“I first read about Hunza in one of Eric Shipton’s books of mountain exploration and which, even described in his customarily austere and understated manner, glowed like a sort of Shangri-La. What is it about hidden away mountain fastnesses - or islands - that continues to enthral?”

In this series of guest edits, we’re also asking guests about misunderstood countries, James discusses Pakistan:

“To avoid the depredations of mass tourism visit the countries that get a bad rap in the press - hospitable and kindly people go unreported but are of a far greater mass than the incidents that make the headlines. I’ve never visited Pakistan but would love to - particularly the remote mountains of the Karakoram.”

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