Monthly Archives: September 2011

Something for The Weekend: recession fashion show

Recession fashion show

September has been a whirlwind of fashion shows and it doesn’t end here. This Friday high street takes a back seat as vintage and second hand shop recession takes to the Southbank Club for it’s fourth season A/W11 show.

Recession specialises in selling second-hand and vintage clothes and accessories and promises ‘a hilarious night out, that ends in a rush to the dressing room to grab the fabulous vintage clothes as the models try to protect their modesty’. Not to be taken too seriously, the show promises fun and entertainment if you’re sat on the FROW or the BROW – though limited VIP seats offer bubbly and goodie bags too.

All clothes that appear on the catwalk will be available to buy straight after the show so be sure to bring a full wallet as it’s cash only. If you can’t make the show be sure to check out recession (open 11am-6pm Thursdays to Saturdays) for vintage goodies. Owner Gill Loats promises a in-store experience  that begins with taking in sumptuous colours and getting a feel for for the clothes, ending with a purchase that suits you and your lifestyle.

Recession Fashion Show on Friday 30th September. Doors open at 7.45pm for a 8.15pm start at the Southbank Club, Dean Lane BS3 1DB. Tickets cost £5 (VIP £15). For more information visit the recession website or visit the shop (open Thursday-Saturday) at 8 Jacobs Wells Road.



Filed under A/W11, catwalk show, recession, vintage

Lust Have: Michael Van der Ham for Topshop

Michael Van Der Ham for Topshop

Yesterday’s post was a bit of a long one so I’m keeping things short and sweet today by declaring my love for Michael Van Der Ham’s new capsule collection for Topshop, in particular this gorgeous patchwork dress, above.

The Dutch designer is known for his love of textiles, his patchwork creations making up his signature style and for S/S12 this will extend into prints of his collages. There is something very tactile about the way he pieces together what should be apposing colours and textures that reminds me of a kaleidoscope – each piece is a scramble of different shapes that creates a whole new pattern.

His six piece collection for Topshop includes devoré blouses, billowing pantaloons and my favourite, this patchwork dress. In arecent interview with Grazia Van der Ham said he ‘wanted to keep it all really fun and aimed at a younger girl.’ Mission accomplished but unfortunately the collection isn’t available in any of the Bristol stores so if you want to snap up this silk dress (£150) you’ll have to buy it online.

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Filed under A/W11, Lust Have, Topshop

Getting lippy with MAC

Lipstick applied by Mrs Keegan from Flickr Commons

Lipstick applied by Mrs Keegan circa 1930s from Flickr Commons

Yesterday I bought a lipstick. ‘Nothing new there,’ you might think, but this was actually a rather momentous occasion for me as it was the first lipstick I’ve ever bought.

Despite hardly wearing any make-up on a day to day basis I seem to have accumulated a heck of a lot of the stuff over the years. There are two-tone eye pencils bought in a fit of nostalgia from Hot Topic, glitter eyeshadows purchased for various fancy dress parties and of course some slightly more grown-up palettes and kits from Benefit, albeit with very whimsical packaging. I have nail varnish from goodie bags and magazine subscriptions, eyelash curlers and a dozen brushes I got as part of a set one Christmas and the odd, rarely worn lipgloss.

But the only lipstick I own is a scarlet red hue in a navy and silver tube that belonged to my mum. I remember a time when I would watch her primp and preen in front of the mirror every morning while I pottered about the room, trying on shoes that were too big for me and bouncing on the freshly made bed which would drive her crazy. When I came to Bristol for uni seven years ago she was clearing out some old make-up and offered me the lipstick. She didn’t wear it that often, only for ‘special occasions’ and so it was passed on to me to use. Like her I kept it for those special occasions, or when I was feeling particularly brave, it was attention grabbing red after all, but mostly I stuck to the safety of sticky lipgloss and tinted lip balm.

There is something so glamourous about applying a lipstick, something so sophisticated about a defined lip, that a tin of rose coloured Vaseline just cannot compete with. Seen on perfectly polished 1940s pin-up girls or even applied haphazardly in the back of a taxi by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the lipstick is a symbol of femininity, sexuality and beauty.

Beauty contestant applies lipstick

Beauty contestant applies lipstick, 1953, sourced from Flickr Commons

The sale of lipstick has even become a barometer for the economic world after beauty giant Estee Lauder’s chairman commented on the link between periods of recession and the sale of lipstick. ‘The Lipstick Index’ apparently showed that when times are tough financially, women look to smaller luxury items such as lipstick to treat themselves with.

Recently I’ve been craving a lipstick of my very own but despite the wealth of literature available in fashion magazines and online, I had no idea what shade would suit me or how to avoid looking washed out or worse, too try-hard.

Yesterday I decided to take the plunge by visiting the best place in Bristol for wow factor make-up – the MAC counter in Debenhams. I’ve treated myself to MAC in the past as I love the intensity of the pigments in their eyeshadows and their sleek black packaging but I have also been put off in the past as the brand is just so achingly hip. Limited edition Wonder Woman packaging, make-up artists clad head to toe in black and in your face colours… MAC make-up makes a statement! Intimidating, yes, but at the same time I knew I would be in safe hands.

Normally the counter is so busy that you need to book an appointment in advance to guarantee some face time with an Artist but luckily the shop floor was pretty quiet yesterday so I managed to get some advice from one of the girls who was lovely and so helpful.

MAC lipstick  in Speak Louder

My new MAC lipstick in 'Speak Louder'

I thought I would leave with a red shade but we talked through my style, eye colour and skin tone and decide to try out coral shades (apparently very A/W11). There worked really well, my Artist was patient and gave me her honest opinion. After a a little experimentation we hit the jackpot with the aptly named ‘Speak Louder’ lipstick and ‘In Anticipation’ lipliner. As soon as I’d finished applying it a smile spread across my face – this shade was The One.

The colour, applied directly from the tube, followed by a layer of lipliner and another coat of lipstick, stayed put throughout my yoga class and even after eating dinner which I was very impressed with. Even the smell is intoxicating – lipsticks from my mothers generation always smelt so fake, like plastic, but this one smells like vanilla. I have no idea if it’s meant to but if so then it’s a nice touch.

If I had the money I could have bought several more shades and liners but I my Artist did jot down the names of other hues that I should get including a subtle, daytime coral and a vamped up, neon pink that I would apparently suit, but ‘only when you’re ready to turn the volume up.’

I look forward to stepping it up a notch but for now I think I’ll stick to speaking louder…


Filed under A/W11, beauty, Hot Topic, MAC

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11 pt. 2

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11 Mango eveningwear

A family function in Cirencester prevented me from putting these up yesterday but here are a few more photos taken at the Quakers Friars catwalk show on Saturday, as part of the Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11. The show I watched featured clothes from Mango, see above, Reiss, Fat Face, Monsoon, Bank and LK Bennet to name a few.

I wasn’t overly keen on the more casual looks typical of Bank and Cult, preferring instead the ladylike looks from Monsoon, Mango and Reiss. Having said this I’m pretty sure I did spot what looked like a pair of crushed velvet skinny jeans on one of the Reiss models (see last photo in this post) which I found rather disturbing!

After my stint of live blogging I went in search of half the outfits I saw on the catwalk and also popped in to the new Mango store on Brigstowe Street. The selection is sooo much better than the concession in House of Fraser and I can’t wait for their launch event which takes place this Thursday.

Anywho, as promised here are a few snaps of my favourite looks. Did you see any of the shows yourself? Let me know what you thought of the looks by posting below…

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender stylist JP

Fashion Weekender stylist JP introduces the show

Cabot Circus Monsoon

Zahra blouse and brown cord shorts from Monsoon

Cabot Circus Monsoon yellow skirt

My favourite outfit from the show: yellow pleated skirt and chunky knit jumper from Monsoon

Fat Face A/W11

Menswear and womenswear from Fat Face A/W11

Cabot Circus Fat Face details

This is more from the mens range at Fat Face but I think I might try this look myself

Cabot Circus LK Bennet close up

Colour blocking from LK Bennet A/W11

Reiss A/W11

Loving the leather skirt and blouse look from Reiss A/W11


Filed under A/W11, Cabot Circus, catwalk show, Mango, Monsoon, photography, Reiss

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11

Fresh from BFW I’m now at Fashion Weekender A/W11 at Cabot Circus, blogging live under the iconic glass roof. Regular readers will know that this weekend is packed with free fashion shows, pampering treats and discounts at Cabot Circus and Quakers Friars, guiding us through the latest high street trends. Naturally I took it upon myself to check out what is on offer and so far I’ve not been dissapointed.

I’ve just seen an afternoon catwallk show at Quakers Friars featuring Monsoon’s Fusion line, Bank, Cult, LK Bennet and Mango.  I’m so excited at the prospect of the new Mango store which opened on Thursday, that after seeing the catwalk full of evening dresses I may have to pop in there as soon as I’ve finished writing this. Monsoon also impressed, see photo above, and I’ve fallen in love with the yellow chiffon pleated skirt you can see on the model to the right. The back features an exposed blue and gold zip and the sunshine yellow colour will not only brighten up these incereasingly dark days but also take you through to S/S12 as yellow has featured heavily in recent Fashion Week shows.

As I mentioned, today I’m blogging live from Cabot Cricus and I’m aware that I’m in the middle of central Bristol’s shopping hub, surrounded by Bristol’s best dressed. The rustle of those shopping bags is making me crave a little retail threapy and another catwlak show is about to start so I’ll post more photos from the day later on.

If you’re in Bristol this weekend be sure to take in a show and don’t forget to look out for discount booklets being handed out around Cabot Circus and Quakers Friars as all the retailers featured in the show are offering discounts over the weekend. Several Bristol style blogs are here reporting over the weekend so don’t forget to check out their posts too.


Filed under A/W11, Cabot Circus, catwalk show, high street

Bristol Fashion Week A/W11 pt.2

As promised here are a few more snaps from Bristol Fashion Week. I’m loving the colour blocking trends as seen at Coast and John Lewis and the 60s style Burberry inspired winter coats from Wallis – not a usual shopping haunt of mine but with one of the best fuchsia cocoon coats I’ve seen all season. Have you been yet? If you couldn’t get a ticket don’t forget to check out the shows at Cabot Circus this weekend too…

Peacock colours at Coast

Peacock colours at Coast

Republic shows the crowd how to 'work it' in denim, plaid and chunky knits

Republic shows the crowd how to 'work it' in denim, plaid and chunky knits

A/W11 colour blocking at John Lewis

John Snow would appreciate the colour blocking at John Lewis

Lipsy and H&M do the tango at BFW

Lipsy and H&M do the tango at BFW

Winter coats with a 60s theme at Wallis A/W11

Winter coats with a 60s theme at Wallis

Autumnal colours at John Lewis

Autumnal colours at John Lewis

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Filed under A/W11, Bristol Fashion Week, catwalk show, Cribbs Causeway, John Lewis, Lipsy, photography, Wallis

Bristol Fashion Week A/W11 at Cribbs Causeway

Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton BFW A/W11

Yesterday I took a bi-annual pilgrimage to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for Bristol Fashion Week A/W11, eager to how high street brands have reworked this season’s trends. Each season BFW guides shoppers through key trends with the help of catwalk shows, shopping discounts and pampering treats. As always the shows are presented by TV stylist Mark Heyes and celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton, who were on top form again at yesterday’s show.

With retailers including M&S, John Lewis, Republic and Accessorize the catwalk show was packed with style, sass and on-trend outfits. Trends were diverse, including 40s vintage, 70s glamour, colour blocking and even a fetish collection using sheer fabrics and leather dresses from H&M.

French Connection short suit at BFWMarks & Spencer played with vintage, feminine styles and bold polka dot patterns – mimicking Stella McCartney’s now iconic A/W11 dresses  and I fell in love with their black spotty tights. According to those in the know (Heyes) these are an exact match to the ones worn at Stella’s show. Another collection I fell in love with was French Connection. Tailoring, blazers, shorts suits, see left, and sheer blouses all played a part, offset by playful black bowler hats. Gone are the days of suggestive t-shirt slogans and instead the brand continues to do what it does best – sleek lines and grown up cuts.

I’m a big fan of River Island and seeing their interpretation of 70s glamour was exciting as it it ticked so many fashionable boxes; clashing prints, muted tones, shearling coats and Missoni style zig-zag designs. Kimono cover ups extended the oriental theme that carried us through S/S11 and on the menswear front River Island delivered chunky knit jumpers that would look equally at home under a Christmas tree or next to a campfire in the midwest.

I took what felt like a million photos at the show, some of which you can see below, the rest of which I’ll post tomorrow. Did you go to the show? If show share the love by telling me what A/W11 pieces you’re lusting after below…

Shows continue throughout the weekend but spaces are going fast so don’t forget to visit the BFW website for more info on show times and ticket prices. If you can’t make it check back here for more photos from the show.

Autumn colours at John Lewis

Autumn colours at John Lewis

Phase Eight, River Island and Accessorize at BFW

Phase Eight, River Island and Accessorize at BFW

It takes two to tango with Lipsy and H&M

It takes two to tango with Lipsy and H&M

Colour blocking from Fenn Wright Manson at John Lewis

Colour blocking from Fenn Wright Manson at John Lewis

Fetish from H&M, Ann Summers and La Senza

Fetish from H&M, Ann Summers and La Senza at BFW A/W11

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Filed under A/W11, Bristol Fashion Week, catwalk show, Cribbs Causeway, French Connection, H and M, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, River Island

Something for The Weekend… Bristol’s Fashion Weekender

Cabot Circus Fashion WeekenderThis afternoon I’m off to Bristol Fashion Week at Cribbs Causeway but first I thought I’d fill you in on what’s happening on the fashion front this weekend…

Cabot Circus Fashion TourThe Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender is back, bringing a stylish helping of A/W11 high street trends to the public. The Fashion Weekender makes up part of  the Autumn/Winter Fashion Tour, in association with the British Fashion Council, and this season the event boasts not one but two catwalks, the first under the glass roof outside House of Fraser with another catwalk in Quakers Friars.

Having been to past shows I know that this (free) event will be packed full of style, with past retailers including Urban Outfitters, above, Hobbs and River Island taking part. As well as 11 catwalk shows across the weekend, there will be a ‘pamper lounge’ plus tons of discounts and goodies on offer too. UWE’s fashion students have already kicked off proceedings with an exhibition of their work which is on display around Cabot Circus until tomorrow.

Last year Ship-Shape took a leap into the world live blogging and I’ll be doing the same this time round in the Bloggers Lounge so keep your eyes peeled here and at Cabot Circus’ Facebook page for more info.

Catwalk shows start at 11.20am on Saturday and at 12pm onSunday 25th. See you there?

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Filed under A/W11, Bristol Fashion Week, Cabot Circus, catwalk show, high street, Something for The Weekend

Opening Tomorrow…

Mango Cabot Circus

Mango is coming to Cabot Circus. Since the company is being rather secretive about their newest store, see below, located between PC World and Thomas Sabo on Brigstowe Street, you’ll have to make do with this snap of their latest ambassador, Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana in their A/W11 collection for now.

Mango coming soon to Cabot CircusI know what you’re thinking, there is already a perfectly adequate Mango concession in House of Fraser. While this may be true the larger space promises more room for evening wear as well as wardrobe basics. I fell in love with Mango only recently, after a sales splurge in one of their London stores, and think their tagline – fashion for the young, urban woman – will fit perfectly in Bristol.

Mango opens tomorrow and Ship-Shape will be checking it out at this weekend’s Fashion Weekender (more on that later) but in the mean time, eager to learn more about the new store and the brand’s opinions on British fashion, I cornered Mango’s Head of PR, Ainhoa San Martín Gómez for a quick chat to find out more about their A/W11 trends…

SSBF: How will the new stand-alone Mango store differ from the concession in House of Fraser?

AG: The MANGO collection is the same for all the stores worldwide, however the concession focuses more on wardrobe staples and must haves in comparison to the new store in Cabot Circus, which will have a wider range including more evening wear.

SSBF: How would you sum up Mango’s approach to A/W11?

AG: This season’s collection is very strong and feminine at the same time, with great eveningwear and also great pieces for everyday wear, classic with a modern twist. The collection is quite wide so by mixing and matching everyone can find something to suit their own style.

SSBF: What do you think of the fashion scene in Bristol?

AG: In general British style is very edgy and eclectic, it is a market where people love fashion and like to experiment new things and dress up, which is great. Bristol has an impressive musical and theatre industry, which is a very creative and cool atmosphere at the same time, and this is reflected on how people like to dress there.


Filed under A/W11, Cabot Circus, Mango

Something for The Weekend: Bristol Fashion Week A/W11

BFW S/S11 finale at Cribbs Causeway

BFW S/S11 finale at Cribbs Causeway

Move over London, back off Paris, the fashion capital of the South West is gearing up for it’s very own Fashion Week. Bristol Fashion Week returns to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway next week for five days of catwalk shows, pampering and style advice.

Hot on the heels of London Fashion Week the event kicks off on Wednesday the 21st September and will once again be hosted by TV stylist Mark Heyes of GMTV fame and celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton. Last season the duo kept the crowd entertained with rather caustic remarks about the royal wedding so Ship-Shape is looking forward to more of the same banter next week.

BFW A/W11 Cribbs Causeway

Of course we can’t forget the clothes – I’m looking forward to how the high street tackles this season’s trends, including 70s glamour and textures. Past retailers to strut their stuff include River Island, Marks & Spencer (who have already wowed this season with their Limited Collection range and snaring the gorgeous Ryan Reynolds for ad campaigns) and Oasis. H&M will also be making it’s debut on the catwalk this year, joining BFW regulars such as John Lewis and Next.

With 18 shows over five days it’s an event not to be missed and at £8.95 a ticket is sure to sell out fast. To re-live last season’s event you can check out some of Ship-Shape’s photographs at The Mall’s S/S11 round up here.. For more info on show times and to purchase tickets visit the BFW website here.



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Filed under A/W11, Bristol Fashion Week, catwalk show, Cribbs Causeway, H and M, Marks and Spencer, Something for The Weekend