Monthly Archives: March 2010

>Ding Dong!

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Just a quickie as I’m currently in Bournemouth with the Ship-Shape clan but thought I would post this picture of me in a certain white dress. It is not The One but I have had fun trying on dresses with Mother of The Bride today. This number is a lot more traditional than I thought I would go for but I’m loving the huge flower corsage on the hip.

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Filed under weddings

>Bristol Fashion Week pt. 2

>After a memory card drama and some cyberspace transfer thingy that I still don’t entirely understand, I’m now in possession of some more cracking photos pf Bristol Fashion Week. Images are courtesy of my partner in crime for the day, who accompanied me to Thursday’s show at Cribbs. Below are some of her best shots…

The Jane Norman black lace and power pink collection that had us divided

Lady Gaga headgear and graphic prints on the Next models

Dorothy Perkins culottes – swoon!

Polka dots, navy and cream – lovely!

Prim and proper detailing in monochrome for John Lewis

The men get suited and booted by Cecil Gee

Futuristic prints and robotic moves from the Next models

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Filed under Bristol Fashion Week, Cribbs Causeway

>Bristol Fashion Week pt. 1

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What a day! I’ve just come back from an afternoon at Bristol Fashion Week at Cribbs Causeway, which started today amid the heavy rain and wind. In case you were wondering, BFW is the bi-annual fashion event that showcases what all us Bristolians should be wearing over the coming months, that takes place at The Mall at Cribbs, running from today until Sunday 28th March.

Expecting just another Spring/Summer fashion show my partner in crime and I were delighted to fit in a whole day of activities including a free foundation consultation, info on what colours suit us and a goodie bag packed full of discounts to use in the Mall.

The nibbles and bucks fizz, courtesy of Marks & Spencer, soon made up for my soaking wet hair and damp clothes and we soon found ourselves in the hands of GMTV’s Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton who hosted the show. Matching monochrome suits and self-promotion aside, these dandy gents provided the entertainment between scenes and even attempted to master the underwear as outwear look – with humorous results.

John Lewis kicked off the event and, along with fellow BFW sponsor Marks & Spencer showed strong collections that could compete with some of the younger brands. Acid pink tights, bright prints and rather exciting scallop edged coat from Jersie were on the agenda in the first half while the department store giant later showed off with a Sex And The City inspired take on florals and tailoring.

Marks & Spencer attempted a literal take on the underwear as outerwear look with mixed results but their nautical and ladylike dresses (think navy, sailor red and lots of polka dots) were a hit in the second half of the show.

Menswear and childrenswear were also catered for, with the likes of Bank, River Island and USC representing military and double denim trends.

The late Alexander McQueen received a tribute from the presenters and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga pumped out from the speakers as digital prints from Next strutted down the runway. The bright colours, figure hugging silhouettes and stylized head-gear made an impact as the models danced in a jerky, robot style, faces covered by yards of black netting that Gareth Pugh would be proud of. I was surprised by how moving the scene was and the late British designer’s essence was clear to see in the futuristic, graphic prints, bold colours and use of trip-inducing accessories.

Dorothy Perkins were also a surprise hit, bringing back not only culottes but navy and white polka dot culottes! The outfits were nautical, quirky and terribly girly, and have succeeded in making me covet a pair of navy blue culottes, oh, and maybe a floral pair too… but I digress. Fashions from Karen Millen were graphic blocks of monochrome with hints of electric blue, with tailoring inspired by the infamous Herve Leger bandage dresses.

The black lace and powder pink collection from Jane Norman had myself and my fashionable friend divided – mini pink trench coats and black lace ‘bodies’ were Parisian chic in one corner and more French maid in the other.

Before we knew it the show was over but we managed to entertain ourselves for the rest of the afternoon, armed with our goodie bags and a renewed sense of anticipation for Spring/Summer 2010 collections. We even had a colour consultancy and make up tutorials but more on that later. I won’t divulge too much only to write that apparently my must-have colour is, shudder, coral…

There are a few photos below but I’ll post some more once my memory card reader has stopped conspiring against me.

Tickets can be yours for less than a tenner so if you would like more information about tickets and show times, please see The Mall website. Shows run throughout the weekend and the event end on 28th March.

Andrew and Mark introduce the show

Marks & Spencer with a literal take on the underwear as outerwear trend

More Marks & Spencer, working ladylike tailoring and nautical polka dots

Competition winner Barbra after her M&S makeover

Body con corsets and leather from Marks & Spencer

Next pays homage to Alexander McQueen with digital prints

Menswear goes military at River Island

La Senza teamed up with USC for the double denim trend

GMTV’s Ness works polka dots on the catwalk
John Lewis come over all Sex And The City in the second half of the show

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Filed under Alexander McQueen, Bristol Fashion Week, Cribbs Causeway, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Next

>Lust Have: A Telephone Headpiece a la Lady Gaga

>I just saw the much talked about Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce ‘Telephone’ video for the first time and am now wishing this kind of headwear was more common, but then maybe it would be less fun? While the video was packed with a staggering amount of costume changes and props by Gaga favourites Jeremy Scott and Jean de Castelbajac it was a retro baby blue telephone that stole my heart.

The (and I use this term loosely) hat is by Fred Butler, the fantastically eccentric prop designer cum accessories genius who has created head pieces, jewellery and body adornments for everyone from Patrick Wolf to Skunk Anansie. After working for set designer Shona Heath after graduating from Brighton University, Butler set out on a one woman mission to cover the globe in quirky, colourful and out of this world designs.

If you like what you see and want to know more then head to the Fred Butler website.

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Filed under Fred Butler, Jean de Castelbajac, Jeremy Scott, Lady Gaga, Lust Have

>Company High-Street Edit

>One of the reasons I love the blogsphere and the internet in general is that news, ideas and opinions get passed around like Chinese whispers; more often than not something starts out with one meaning and by the end of the game it has a totally new one.

Blogs are so subjective and as a reader one can pick and choose what pieces of information to retain, what posts to comment on and what links to click. As something of a magazine junkie it didn’t take much persuasion from a post by Disney Roller Girl to convince me to go out and buy Company High-Street Edit, the new bi-annual fashion bible from Company magazine that focuses on all the trends hitting the high street over the coming months.

I walked on by the first time I saw this title peeking out at me from the shelves of the corner shop, dismissing it as another Elle Collections, or Vogue Catwalk pull-out but if I had only flicked through the pages I would have scooped it up with my Monster Much and headed straight for the till. DRG has written a great post on the High-Street Edit so I’ll focus my attention on the design of the magazine, which I think sets it apart from its rivals.

Firstly, the choice of typeface; courier, aerial and label maker. This combination of edgy, contemporary, if slightly over used fonts with traditional sans-serif makes for a fresh, youthful look, perfect as Company is aimed at twenty-something women. The black text is offset against white backgrounds and cut out shapes of garments, key words are underlined and white boxes allow text and images to stand out against the page.

The matt, grainy paper (possibly recycled but unlikely) only adds to the concept of the magazine; this is not just a catalogue of seasonal looks from the catwalk there are interviews with top fashion bloggers, features about the wearability of the latest trends and tips on how to customise garments to update your look. Ripped edges and backgrounds of lined paper, fabric and newsprint should look cliche but don’t. Instead they turn a fashion magazine into a great piece of design.

After the recent house move I had to make difficult choices about what magazines I would keep and what, sob, I would cull so it is great to have found a title for the permanent collection. Fashion and magazines are two addictions I’m happy to have and I look forward to seeing the next issue in September. If you want to get your hands on a copy then head down to your local newsagent now!

Images are layered with ripped edges and enhanced by the juxtaposition of straight lines
Collages of text and images give the blogger interview a scrapbook feel

Pages vary from simple and graphic like the spread above, to textured and busy below
Lace, gingham, newsprint and illustrated backgrounds don’t over crowd the information

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Filed under Company, Disney Roller Girl, fashion magazines

>Blog of The Week: Mademoiselle Robot

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This week’s Blog of The Week has been pressing my fashionable buttons since I discovered it a couple of days ago. The name Mademoiselle Robot has been rattling around in my subconscious for some time now, which is no surprise since the blog and its creator, Laetitia Wajnapel, have featured in The Telegraph, Company, Drapers and Asos to name but a few since the blog’s inception.

But I finally got round to checking it out on Monday afternoon (when I should have been working, tsk!) and I think it has struck the perfect balance between blog and website, with different categories for everything from outfit posts, beauty tutorials, interviews and interiors.


Not content with just a fashion blog, Laetitia also runs a styling consultancy and runs a blog dedicated to cute animals, specifically puppies, kittens and bunnies (seriously). Hailing from Paris but now living and working in London, Laetitia writes witty, friendly prose that makes me think she would make not only an excellent shopping partner in crime but also a great laugh over a bottle of wine (an essential quality in my book).

Not only are there the usual outfit post but also ‘Innerspace’ where Laetitia has snooped round some super stylised homes, which goes to show that fashion is not only about the clothes you wear on your back. There are also interesting posts about her daily routine and the loves and likes of the blogsphere, entitled Secret Diary of a Blog Girl which you can read here. Video tutorials can show you how to trim your fringe (something I’m crap at) and master the art of classic French make-up and Laetitia’s honesty and self depreciating nature only make her more appealing! If you’ve ever fantasised about Parisian chic then this should be your go-to blog for all things cliche and girly with a quirky edge.


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Filed under beauty, blog of the week, Mademoiselle Robot

>Step Away From the Shell Suit!

>So, according to MSN, Bristol is the most unhealthy city in the UK, consuming far too much booze and takeaways. This is what we get for living in a city with more pubs per square mile than anywhere else in the country.* Apparently one in five of us smoke an average of 5 cigarettes a day and 4 out of 10 of us treat ourselves to two or more takeaways a week.

This little statistic happens to fall on the day that I started going back to the gym after a 3 month hiatus (yes, I did keep paying the subscription fee) so I feel it is the perfect time to look at sportswear, a major trend for S/S 2010.

Now this is not the kind of outfit you would run a marathon in but rather it is designer collections inspired by sports and sportswear. Stella McCartney has done this look so well that it led to a collaboration with sporting giant Adidas, but this season the focus is on American designers including Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Alexander Wang.

Above; luxe sportswear by DKNY, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang, courtesy of elle.co.uk

Slouching jersey, the integration of high performance fabrics, and a subdued palette of greys, dusty pinks and caramels have graced the catwalks in recent years as sportswear and streetwear have combined with luxury fabrics and cuts to create this season’s sporty look. Collections gracing New York Fashion Week last autumn combined femininity with preppy jackets and cute playsuits.

In Bristol there are loads of designers and stores working this look. Seriously sports mad women should check out upmarket sportswear emporium Sweaty Betty on Clifton Triangle if you want your gym kit to look great on and off the treadmill. Stokes Croft’s Dutty Girl have used lycra and jersey combinations that marry street and sporting influences perfectly and stock a large range of local designers while Avalaan of Gloucester Road has all the gear you need to look like you’ve just come back from the slopes.

Over the knee socks, which are a huge trend this season, can provide a preppy twist to slouchy shorts and hair slicked back into a ponytail or bun can add femininity and sophistication. Over sized bags are both on trend and perfect for fitting your gym kit in and if you want the luxury without the legwork then invest in cashmere jogging pants and sweaters. How ever you wear this look make sure you leave the shell suit in the fancy dress box!

*Disclaimer: this is one of the statistics the boyfriend likes to impress visitors with but I’m not entirely sure how accurate it is.

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Filed under Alexander Wang, Avalaan, DKNY, Dutty Girl, Marc Jacobs, sportswear

>Something for the weekend…

>OK, well not this weekend but this is a reminder to get yourselves over to the Mall @ Cribbs Causeway website where you can still purchase tickets for Bristol’s very own Fashion Week. The event takes place from 25th – 28th March and is a great way to see what your favourite high street stores will be stocking over the next few months.

GMTV’s in-house stylist Mark Hayes will be hosting 18 catwalk shows across the event and the BFW team will be on hand to offer makeovers, in store discounts and free colour consultations. Tickets start at Β£8.50 so if you want to see what the South West will be wearing next season then secure your place in the front row now!

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Filed under Bristol Fashion Week, Cribbs Causeway

>Blog of The Week: Show Me Your Wardrobe

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A healthy dose of voyeurism is essential to the human condition, whether this is when you’re sat outside a cafe people watching, or peeking into someone else’s home on Location, Location, Location. In fashion terms this comes from backstage videos from fashion shows, personal style blogs and a sprinkling of celebrity front row gossip.

A sense of curiosity (and finally finishing my copy of The ST Style’s Big Fashion Issue) lead me to the fantastic fashion photography blog, Show Me Your Wardrobe, by the photographer and stylist Jackie Dixon, that comes with the tag-line ‘a sneaky peek into the wardrobes of today’s creative talent’. Dixon worked on the shoots involving Style’s Natalie Hartley in The Big Fashion Issue, see below.


Started in 2008, SMYW quickly rose in popularity within the fashion industry, leading to regular features in British Elle and The Sunday Times Style magazine. Dixon has photographed numerous fashion insiders, writers, actors and musicians including Skin (of Skunk Anansie fame), model Georgia Frost and fashion journalist Angela Buttolph.

Regardless of where the images are taken (in front of a brick wall, inside an office cubicle or fashion closet), the result is fun, playful look at what the movers and shakers of the industry are wearing and seeing who will crop up on Dixon’s blog next is equally exciting.

The BoW accolade is perfect for this blog so unleash your inner snoop and go take a butchers…

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Filed under blog of the week, Elle, Show Me Your Wardrobe, Sunday Times Style

>Style Spotting in Sunday Times

>If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Not to mention taking time over, which sums up how I feel about Sunday papers. I love settling down on the sofa with all the supplements but the average weekend paper weighs more than a small dog and has so many sections I can no longer count them all on two hands. Hence I like to take my time over these printed behemoths, often taking a few days (OK fine, sometimes a whole week) to get through the sections I’m interested in.

It is understandable then that when salivating over the pages of the Sunday Times Style magazine, The Big Fashion Issue, I have only just spotted the double page Chloe advert a few pages in, below.


Notice anything about the footwear on the left outfit? The sandal is more of a boot, a trend which I’m loving at the moment, but I couldn’t help thinking how similar it is to the photo I featured a couple of weeks ago regarding wearing legwarmers and sandals, see below.

Who would have thought designer fashion could trickle down to what a backpacker is wearing half way around the world, or perhaps Hannah MacGibbon was channeling Northern Thailand this season?!

Needles to say, Style was packed with far more than just designer adverts; Colin McDowell wrote of the legacy of Alexander McQueen, Brit darling Alexa Chung did her best to charm in an interview with Claudia Croft and there was a cracking shoot of supermodel-in-the-making Abbey Lee. If you missed out on your copy then head to the Times website for all the articles.

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Filed under Chloe, fashion magazines, sandals, socks, Sunday Times Style