Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Wan and Only…


Due to other commitments I couldn’t make it to the Fashion Weekender – the 2nd birthday celebrations of Cabot Circus – as mentioned last week, which I was gutted about as it meant missing out on a one-on-one chat with style guru Gok Wan.

Since rising to fame as the presenter of How to Look Good Naked in 2006, Gok has helped a nation of women overcome their fashion fears with encouragement, a pally approach and plenty of flattering underwear to boot. While some women I know aren’t fans of his ‘Aunty Gok’ approach – the boyfriend is convinced he is straight and just camping it up as an excuse to feel up women – I think his approach is fantastic and far more forgiving than some other TV stylists I could mention (Trinny and Susannah, I’m looking at you).

Although I couldn’t make it to see Gok in person, the lovely folks at Cabot Circus took the liberty of asking him a few questions on his style secrets and what he really thinks every fashionista should own…

Q. What is your greatest fashion indulgence?

A. My collection of vintage trainers and my favourite second hand leather jacket.

Q. What is your life’s motto?

A. It’s not what you know, it’s what you know when you know it!

Q. Best shopping experience?

A. They’re all great! I love to shop and I really feel my hard work and dedication has made me King of the Tills!

Q. What do you love about fashion?

A. It’s power to transform both your appearance and your mood.

Q. What are your favourite words or phrases?

A. Probably ‘gorgeous’ and ‘bangers’!

Q. What one item of clothing makes all women look good?

A. Every woman should own a little black dress – it’s a timeless classic but it must suit you.

Q. What’s the best thing for smoothing out lumps and bumps?

A. Good underwear!

Q. What is the best style advice you give to women?

A. Get your foundations right. You cannot dress anything unless what’s underneath is all in the right proportion.

Q. Which celebrity’s style do you admire the most?

A. I think SJP* is consistent and I also like what Florence from Florence + The Machine is doing

*Sadly I think the answer to this question applies to the other SJP… 😉


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Filed under Cabot Circus, Gok Wan

Something for the weekend… Gok Wan does Bristol

Cabot Circus AW campaign - central Bristol

Channel 4’s saviour of style Gok Wan is coming to Bristol this weekend to help Cabot Circus celebrate their second birthday. As part of the Fashion Weekender, Gok will be presenting catwalk shows in Cabot Circus on Saturday 25th September, while the fun continues on Sunday with catwalk shows from Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser.

The shows will preview the latest A/W 10 looks including animal prints, aviation and military, above, and there will of course be plenty of discounts and competitions on offer from participating stores too.

Cabot Circus has put Bristol on the map as one of the best shopping destinations in the South West and is the icing on the cake of Bristol’s independent labels and boutiques. Speaking to Cabot Circus bigwigs last week Gok commented: “Since the opening of Cabot Circus Bristol now boasts the best shopping in the South West with an amazing mix of high-street and designer brands. Bristol has a very unique style – it’s urban, edgy and cool. I can’t wait to see what Bristol has to offer on 25th September!”

Hopefully Gok will have time in his busy schedule to check out the other essential Bristol fashion destinations that give Bristol it’s ‘urban, edgy and cool’ style. Unfortunately Ship-Shape wont be covering the event due to other fashionable commitments in Cardiff so make sure you get down there and check out the trends and tips for yourself!

All the Fashion Weekender events are free and the catwalk shows kick off at 11am on Saturday.

To get more information and find out how you could win a personal styling session with Gok visit

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Filed under Cabot Circus, Gok Wan

Push: style without substance

For a while now I have seen some fast-paced fashion ads cropping up on Five’s younger, cooler sister channel Fiver (where I get my regular fix of Aussie soap heaven) for new reality drama Push, and this afternoon I finally caved and watched the first episode on YouTube.

Before I divulge my own opinions on this series about a fashion writer trying to make it in London, let me give you a little background info. Lydia Harrison is a blonde twenty-something with a penchant for Topshop and her fashion blog, Style Push.

Lydia has made the move from Glasgow to make it big in the fashion world, dreaming of a job on a glossy magazine such as ELLE. She is currently living with her ice cold cousin Chloe, has a Scottish gay best friend Alex (who has also moved to London) and has left behind a Scottish rogue who cheated on her and broke her heart.

Set in trendy North East London, the show is described as a reality drama, whereby the main characters are played by actors but the assignments that Lydia takes on (writing for and Models 1) and the fashion industry insiders she meets along the way are very real.

Lydia wearing Topshop, YSL and Beyond Retro from episode 3

Above: Lydia wearing Topshop, YSL and Beyond Retro from episode 3

I’m guessing, from the ‘edgy’ adverts, late night slot and mix of reality and scripted drama I’ve seen in the first couple of episodes, that the makers were going for mix of The Hills and Sex & The City, set in the gritty yet glamorous streets of London.

Combining real fashion industry brands, publications, websites and Lydia’s very own fashion blog is a very canny move – brands get publication and advertising while the interactive nature of a blog and Twitter account involve the reader. The lovely people at Fiver have even complied soundtracks and a lookbook for each episode.

The pesky little weak point is that the show itself is, for want of a better word, a bit shit. The plots are unbelievable, the script is stilted and stale and describing the actors as ‘wooden’ is me being polite. The conversation doesn’t flow, the scenarios feel beyond contrived and even the backdrop of Shoreditch and Covent Garden does little to save the show. After only two episodes (I had to give it a fair chance after all) I feel like I know where the storyline is heading and the fact that after a week in London the main character already has an in at is a little far-fetched.

Push is a fantastic piece of marketing for all involved, except perhaps for the actors, but it falls flat as the primary function of an entertaining, gripping drama. The producers have clearly gone for style over substance and other than the closet candy worn by Lydia and Chloe, there is very little worth tuning in for.

Push, Wednesdays at 11.25pm, on Fiver


Filed under Elle, London, Push

Consumed by Clothes

RIH consumed by clothes

Sometimes I wonder why I write about certain topics and other times I feel like I was born to put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard as is more often the case. My current article for Running in Heels is a mix of the two. I know I’m happy writing about clothes (God knows I have enough) but this time I took on the topic of what to do when you have too many clothes.

Just like the fictional Rebecca Bloomwood of the Shopaholics novels, who is something of a hypocrite when it comes to lecturing others on their finances, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel hypocritical giving advice on how to manage under a mountain of clothes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do try very hard to keep my closet in check but it isn’t easy and takes discipline. Especially when my wardrobe isn’t big enough to cope with my shopping addiction. I fully believe that even with Carrie Bradshaw’s ridiculous wardrobe from the SATC movie I would still struggle to fit in all my bags, shoes and dresses. However, one really must practice what one preaches so if you’ll excuse me I need to tidy up my chest of drawers…


Filed under Running in Heels