Monthly Archives: September 2009

>Stokes Croft Fashion Show

Fashion fever hits Stokes Croft as the lovely people at Gilly Woo, Metropolis and the PRSC have come together to showcase the best of Bristol’s independent fashion labels and outlets in a night of fashion, cabaret, performance art and music.

If you like to keep it local and want to see what Bristol’s independent labels have to offer then come along and check this event out. The night takes place this Sunday (4th October) at Metropolis on Cheltenham Road (formally Jesters) and tickets are £12 + a 50p booking fee, available from


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Filed under catwalk show, independent fashion, Stokes Croft

>Cabot Circus Fashion Show

>A new season in fashion is marked by events across the fashion capitals of the world. Although London Fashion Week has just ended, Bristol is catching up with shows across the city, from Stokes Croft to Cribbs Causeway. This weekend the fashionable folks at Cabot Circus are kicking things off…

A year ago today Cabot Circus opened it’s doors to the public and as press I was lucky enough to watch the celebratory events unfold. One year on and Cabot Circus are celebrating with two days of catwalk shows, make-up demonstrations, competitions and give-aways. Today I went down to see the first of several catwalk shows taking place over the next two days and got a front row seat to see what the stores will be showcasing this season.

The show focused on five popular trends; biker chic, knitwear, countryside tweeds, 1940s and the the ever popular decade on the high street: electric 80s. First up were the biker models. Despite clothes from Guess, New Look, G-Star and French Connection, almost all the looks were styled with black wet-look leggings and biker boots. Nothing wrong there but it would have been nice to see a twist on this popular look. A studded black cardigan from French Connection was a highlight, as was the biker jacket from New Look, with it’s studded shoulders, see below.

The knitwear portion of the show was fairly commercial, with looks to cater for all members of the audience, from students and young mums to middle aged women and businesswomen on their lunch break. The stand-out model was dressed by River Island, who have gone down a more edgy, expressive route in the last two years. The chunky bright necklace and fuchsia pink ankle boots gave more individuality to the look.

I particularly liked the ‘Tweed and Tails’ look that came next; with a mix of checks, tweeds and knits that echoed farmers wives and horse riding in the country. The stylists had paired tweed with tweed in the form of skirt/trouser suits but I would have liked to have seen a mix of layers to show how a fitted tweed jacket could enhance a number of more casual outfits such as skinny jeans or tea dresses for example.

To interject a dose of excitement the models performed dances with one another while parading down the catwalk and during the ‘Fabulous Forties’ section I was quite concerned that one model was showing off more than just her clothes! Luckily the model in question was wearing quite a fitted skirt but it goes to show that in shows like this it is not always wise to go for a front row seat! Once again many of the looks were very commercial but a pink feather shawl from Topshop (layered over a Kate Moss tea dress) proved that you can find unique, quality and on trend pieces for a reasonable price on the high street.

A surprise hit for me was the Dynasty-inspired finale. I’m not normally one for the 80’s trend but there were some gorgeous shoes, jumpsuits and dresses on show from Topshop, Reiss, River Island and Karen Millen. My favourite item which is already on my Christmas wish list is a cropped sequined jacket from Dorothy Perkins – gorgeous! Below are some shots of the show – unfortunately mostly the later half as I spent ages sorting out the settings on my camera.

If you’re interested in seeing the fashion show then get down to Cabot Circus tomorrow for more shows, give-aways and demonstrations, or click here for more info.

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Filed under Cabot Circus, catwalk show, Eighties, London Fashion Week, River Island, Topshop

>Blog of The Week: What Katie Wore

>Sometimes fashion can become an all-consuming mist where you can’t see further than your own leather over-the-knee boots. Everything becomes so serious and business-like when it should be fun, carefree and covered in colourful prints and drippings of lace. Style, on the other hand, is as clear as day, so individual and personal: everyone is born with a sense of style and the outcome is how they choose to nurture it.

What Katie Wore is a celebration of style, one woman’s style to be precise. This blog intends to document everything that Katie wears each day for a whole year, with the help of boyfriend blogger Joe. The twist is that it must be a different outfit everyday.

While I like to think this idea came about as a drunken bet in a pub on a quiet Monday evening, apparently the couple came up with the idea after friends and family claimed they had never seen Katie where the same thing twice, and after the pair moved in together, Katie had to slim down her wardrobe. Disney Roller Girl interviewed Katie and Joe back in February, a month after the challenge began, and the blog is still going strong.

The outfits are a quirky mix of prints, accessories, bright colours with lots of skirts and dresses and the fun and experimental nature of the blog makes it a highlight to skim through, plus waiting to see what Katie will wear next can be strangely addictive. That the name of the blog is a spin on some of my favourite childhood books is a bonus! What is most appealing is that Katie is not a model or a celebrity, she is just a real woman with an eye for fashion and style by the brightly coloured bucket load.

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Filed under blog of the week, Disney Roller Girl, Style Bubble, What Katie Wore

>Sunday Jumble @ Start The Bus

>Today I attended my first Start The Bus Jumble Sale as a participating seller. Ok, so that is not strictly accurate: while I normally love a good rumble in the jumble, today I was helping another fashion forward friend try to sell some of her old clothes.

At Start The Bus, pictured above, Sunday afternoons are all about relaxing with friends, drinking cider and tucking into roast dinners. On the third Sunday of the month that all happens in the setting of the Jumble Sale. Stall holders pitch up while hungry and hungover groups look for a quiet corner and comfy seating. The venue is the perfect place for this odd mish-mash and attracts lots of young, savvy shoppers looking for vintage pieces and quirky accessories, such as faux retro Ray Bans and worn out Converse Hi-tops.

Unfortunately for the four of us it was our first time so it took us a while to set up, throwing the occasional wary look at the other sellers who were clearly regulars at the whole thing. While I was neither strictly buyer nor strictly seller, I got surprisingly into the whole thing; helping to set up the stall, checking out rival stalls and trying my best not to scare potential buyers away by watching their every move (always helps a sale I find).

I think we got quite a good spot because this pillar, below, gave us a shelf at eye line that would grab the attention of passers by. The only downside was that, with the clothes in an L shape none of us were visible on both sides!
I must admit that we found ourselves splitting our time between standing vigilantly at the stall and running around to see what bargains we could find for ourselves! Two of the girls came back with purchases within minutes of setting up the stall (gorgeous brown leather doctors bag, black and gold strapless dress and a pair of grey heeled brogues)! While I was tempted by a pair of flat black brogues I did manage to control myself. The shoes were only £4 but a size 4 and since I’m 4 and a half I didn’t want to risk it…

It was amusing watching shoppers drift from table to table. Some walked right past us while others lingered to mull over the H&M chunky pendents and the rather gorgeous long teal knitted cardigan from Miss Selfridge. A white polka dot t-shirt got snapped up quite quickly while several girls also perused a chunky night cream hooded jumper. Several of the regular stall holders had loads of vintage clothes which seemed to sell like hot cakes (which also did quite well), something to bear in mind for next time.

Sadly I had to leave half way through before I even got to make a sale but the whole thing was very infectious: we had such a good time that we’re going to collaborate on another stall next time, morphing it into a super stall using the powers of vintage, homemade dresses and jewellery and fairy cakes – surly a winning combination!?

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Filed under H and M, jumble sale, Miss Selfridge, Start The Bus

>Christopher Kane @ Topshop

Ooh, its that time of year for another celebrity designer to offer up their creations to Topshop customers. This season Christopher Kane is doing the honours and I am love love loving this crocodile tank top for £60. Pricey but when you consider his ape t-shirts from his RTW collection go for more than double that, it’s actually not too bad!

Kane sprung into the world of fashion before even finishing his Central St Martins degree after winning a host of awards and setting up his own label in 2006. He started working with Topshop in 2007 and this his third Autumn/Winter range for the company. Normally known for his feminine, body conscious silhouettes and use of fabrics though this season he seems to have gone down a more masculine route as most of the pieces in his Topshop collection are all studs and rivets, dark colours and simple outlines. I’m not hugely into rivets but the prints are gorgeous!

Both the Cabot Circus and Cribbs Causeway stores have a limited to stock so be prepared to bare your teeth if you want one of these pieces!

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Filed under Cabot Circus, Christopher Kane, Cribbs Causeway, Topshop

>Fashionable Pigeon Publishing

Copies of the brand-spanking new East Bristol Pigeon arrived today! I’ve been writing a monthly fashion column for the South Bristol edition for nearly three years now so to see this local, community-focused magazine expanding to cover even more of Bristol is fantastic. Both publications have introduced full colour printing to most of the pages which has bettered it’s appearance, I just need to get my bum into gear to get some better photos and illustrations for my column! Feature columns look at A/W 09/10 trends, work wear and seasonal style so keep your eyes posted if you live in South or East Bristol.

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Filed under Bristol Pigeon, fashion coulmn, local magazine

>Blog of The Week: Fashionella

>It may only be in it’s infancy but Fashionella is a blog to watch. An extension of the fashionable world of photographer Eleanor Hardwick, this blog has recently moved across from Tumblr to Blogspot so there isn’t much on it… yet, but if the determined career of this school girl is anything to go by then I have high hopes for it.

Eleanor Hardwick is a fashion photographer with a difference – she is a mere 16 years old, studying for her A-Levels at college but has numerous exhibitions under her belt and her images have appeared on the pages of everything from Dazed & Confused to The Independent. Her photos are often centered around the notion of differences between childhood and adulthood, with dream-like, ethereal shots of friends and family in quirky situations.

I discovered Hardwick’s images when she had an exhibition at the Here gallery on Stokes Croft back in February and was struck by the beautiful and haunting images that could perhaps be influenced by photography legend Tim Walker, among others. It is therefore fantastic to see other aspects of her creativity emerging.

With an active online presence, Hardwick has not only this fashion blog, but also a website, photoblog and flickr page, as well as posting pictures of herself on stylish blog Lookbook NU, a previous BoW. It is clear that she has a bright feature ahead of her and hopefully this blog will showcase more of her shots and thoughts on fashion.

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Filed under blog of the week, Eleanor Hardwick, Fashionella

>The September Issue

>Legendary Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour stars in this fashion cinema verite documentary following the production of the magazine’s September issue, the highest grossing issue of the year.

Documentary maker R.J.Cutler and his crew followed Wintour, below, and the rest of the fashion team over a period of nine months, witnessing firsthand the trials and tribulations of working for the most powerful magazine in the fashion industry and it’s notoriously hard to please editor.

Featuring interviews with key members of the editorial team both in and outside of work, the film sheds a reveling light on Wintour and the highly influential part she plays within the magazine.

What has often plagued Wintour are the rumors of her ‘ice queen’ persona but in The September Issue she comes across as efficient with a no-fuss approach to shoots, designers and the magazine in general. Personal details such as her childhood are revealed and the film even captures her in her Long Island retreat, talking candidly to her daughter, Bee Shaffer, about her career aspirations (Bee wants to go to Law School while Wintour would like to her to get involved with editing). This gives a softening edge to Wintour’ sometimes cutting demeanor.

Film critics have praised the documentary for it’s eye opening glimpse into the fashion industry and as a fashion journalist I also found the insights fascinating. In an interview on R.J.Cutler commented on being an outsider looking in; “I get to float into these worlds – and I get to float out of them when I’m done. And while I’m there, I get to be curious and fascinated and kind of live in a state of wonder”.

Watching the team try to navigate Wintour’s moods and direction was both humorous and enlightening but for me the real star of the show is Grace Coddington. British model turned journalist turned creative director, Grace started at American Vogue on the same day as Anna and is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Many of the highlights of the film involve Grace, either as the camera follows her on fashion shoots or as she battles with Wintour to keep her much-loved spreads in the magazine.

The September Issue is a must for any fashionista who loves their magazines and wants a glimpse into the ultimate fashion bible. The film is showing at the Watershed until this Thursday.

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Filed under Anna Wintour, fashion magazines, Vogue

>Rags and Riches at Montpelier Bean Feast

>Yesterday saw a resurrected Bristolian event that hasn’t been seen since the 1700’s. The Montpelier Bean Feast took over St Andrews Road and Montpelier Park for a day of good old-fashioned fun: think arts & crafts, homemade cakes and bric-a-brac stalls.

It was therefore, the perfect place to spend Saturday afternoon, having a wonder and a rummage, to see what the folks of Montpelier had donated in they way of clothes, accessories and, er, doll’s heads.

Despite being tempted by an over-priced turquoise ring, my rummaging partner in crime settled for a cute pair of earrings for £1.50, while I found this gorgeous coin bracelet, above. As the antique price tag shows, it was also a bargain at £1, just about within my budget. I have always loved coin jewellery, regardless of how 1990s or faux ethnic it looks. This bracelet is similar to a bracelet I own made of 1940’s dime coins welded together so I might pair them up.

A cynic could say that this pull towards cash is a cover-up for my desire for money, but perhaps it is just the childish pursuit of treasure that gets me going. This bracelet has coins from Poland, Denmark, Turkey and the US, dating from 1875 to 1951: who knows how these coins came to be on one bracelet, who made it, were these coins found or were they just from one well-traveled jeweller? Mystery is exciting and stylish.

Chanel have often used coins to inspire their jewellery collections, such as this bracelet from their Spring/Summer 2009 collection. A bangle with coins inset, this is more modern, less gypsy but is a typical example of money-influenced designs.

Not only was the bracelet a steal but the lovely old lady who sold it to me even put it in this tiny red envelope, above, which I believe is a symbol of good luck and prosperity in China. Maybe I’ve just purchased a good luck charm!?

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Filed under Chanel, good luck charm, jewellery, Money, Montpelier

>Running in Heels

Tonight the new fashion reality TV series Running in Heels aired on E4. The basic premise of the American reality show is the lives of three young girls moving to New York City to intern at international fashion magazine, Marie Claire.

As always with American imports, E4 has plugged the show massively with plenty of prime-time advertising and a healthy 10pm slot. The show is a mixture of real life and staged drama as the girls compete to win over editor in chief Joanna Coles, who pulls off spiky Brit in the US very nicely. While not a competition as such, the show does share similar elements with Elle magazine’s own Stylista TV show that aired earlier in the year on Five.

Predictably the three interns fall into beautifully dressed stereotypes; Ashley is bitchy, ruthless one; Samantha is the out of town ‘nice girl’ while Talita is a ditsy fashionista from LA with a chihuahua named Chanel.

The first episode relied upon fairly a fairly basic format whereby the interns found themselves all sharing a flat, having clashing personalities and going about their tasks with a mixture of desperation and superiority, all while running round in their obligatory heels. There was jealousy over assigned tasks and a distinct Devil Wears Prada overtone when the interns were reminded one their first day that “thousands of girls would kill for your jobs”.

While the main premise may be a tad predictable, what is very interesting to watch is how the rest of the team work together. The editorial team, fashion assistants and new fashion director, Nina Garcia are all featured and it is their relationships with one-another and day-to-day working life that may just have me tuning in for the second episode.

Image courtesy of Project RunGay.

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Filed under Devil Wears Prada, Marie Claire, Reality TV