Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bristol Blogger Meet at Cabot Circus

#bbmeet goody bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Let me preface this post by saying that although I’ve started it with a whopping great big photo of the goody bag I received at Saturday’s Bristol Blogger Meet, or #bbmeet (yeah, it’s got it’s own hashtag, and what?), this post is about more than the goodies…

The weekend was one of the most fashion-packed I’ve had in ages, and it kicked off with the Bristol Blogger Meet at Cabot Circus on Saturday. After having a cheeky morning massage at the Sanctuary Spa in Quakers Friars, I hotfooted it over to Frankie & Benny’s to attend the meet, organised by Sasha and Alessia.

River Island dress and Topshop coat | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Jen from Head of Feathers | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Above: My outfit for the day; River Island dress, Topshop coat, Sweaty Betty leggings, M&S socks and Zara boots and Jen from Head of Feathers with her impressive goody bag

I bumped in to Jen and Grace on the way in and we took a seat at one of two tables filled with bloggers from across the South West. As with events like this, it was a hive of chatter, activity and LOTS of cameras, and although I didn’t get to meet everyone, I did chat to Gina and Carly – and preceded to kick myself for not ordering pancakes and bacon when I saw her breakfast arrive!

Bristol Blogger meet cameras | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

It was so nice to making new blogging friends and see old faces, and I think everyone who attended will agree that Sasha and Alessia did a terrific job of hosting the event, not to mention putting together the heaviest goody bags ever!

Blogging shouldn’t just be about the freebies – they are a perk of attending an event, but not an essential ingredient, especially from a blogger meet, so it’s always nice to take home a few goodies – from press releases and samples to nibbles and sweets (always a winner with me).

As a result, I don’t normally wax lyrical about the contents of said bags, but thought it only right to share some of the products here.

My #bbmeet goody bag* contained:

  1. Samples of Blinc eyeliner and mascara
  2. Aroma Squeeze Me lavender and bergamot stress ball
  3. Benefit Fine One One lip and cheek trio
  4. nspa Hot Cloth Polish
  5. Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil hand & nail cream
  6. The Little Bubble Co. Mango Delight shower gel (just seen)
  7. Gardenia of London Lavender & Sweet Pea body spray
  8. A selection of Metique Tea Tree Oil samples
  9. Xen-Tan Luminous Gold Gel
  10. The Vintage Cosmetic Company eyelash curlers
  11. Red glitter bow hair clip from Jen, aka Head of Feathers
  12. A selection of samples including Glam Glow Youth Mud, Vichy Deep Cleansing Gel, derma e cleanser and Aime Cooling Clay Mask
  13. Makebelieve Enhance Luminize Skin Highlighter
  14. Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil night cream + Moroccan Argan Oil day cream (not seen)
  15. Avène Cleanance Gel
  16. DGJ Organics Berutti Oil
  17. Skincare samples from La Roche-Posay and Vichy
  18. A hand written thank you note from Sasha and Alessia.

Phew, that lot should keep me busy for a while! Thanks again to Sasha and Alessia for such a fun afternoon. If any of you attended and I didn’t get a chance to meet you, please feel free to leave a link to your site in the comments, or come find me at @ShipShapeBF.

*I’m not sure if all of these products will suit my skin, so any samples that I wont use will be donated to Give and Makeup – if you have any unwanted new or nearly-new hair and beauty products, check them out as your unwanted goods could make a real difference to other women.

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Bristol Blogger Meet Rock The Week

  • Bristol bloggers united. Yesterday was the day of the Bristol Blogger Meet (#bbmeet) at Cabot Circus and it was so much fun. I’ll post about the day (and the epic goody bag!) later this week, but in the mean time thanks so much to Alessia and Sasha for organising.
  • On the blog this week I wrote about a pair of gold glitter ankle boots that a magpie would be proud of, and the vintage dress and wedding vows that made my Valentine’s Day, so go and have a butchers’ if you haven’t already done so…
  • Finally, if you read Business of Fashion, Style Bubble or Man Repeller you’re probably already aware of the response to a Suzy Menkes article that appeared in a New York Times publication a couple of weeks ago. It relates to the ‘circus’ of fashion week shows and the street style element of posing for photos outside of the show venues in eye-catching outfits. While I agree with Menkes that ‘street style’ has become a buzzword for calculated images – it’s really not capturing a subculture when a ‘street style’ photograph features models and designers – it was interesting to see how much negativity now comes with the label of ‘blogger’. The original article and responses are well worth a read if you’re interested in the ongoing shift within fashion blogging culture.

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Something for The Weekend: Vintage fairs and Bristol blogger meets

Bristol Blogger meet | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Saturday

Calling all South West based bloggers! This weekend is the Bristol Blogger Meet, taking place on Saturday at Cabot Circus. Sasha and Alessia are hosting the do, which kicks off at Frankie & Bennys (at the top of Cabot Circus) at 11am, before some retail therapy and cocktails later on. I think tables have been pre-booked but if you want to come along just let them know, or follow @bb_meet for details.

Gimme Shelter vintage fair | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Sunday

After a Christmas break, the Gimme Shelter Vintage Fair is back at The Lanes this Sunday. Open from 11am till 5pm, the event is free but get there early to ensure you get the pick of the vintage bunch. Vintage bags, fabric and clothes guaranteed, as well as goodies from local designers and boutiques.

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All that glitters…

New Look boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Mmm… glitter. I’m pretty sure that’s what Homer Simpson would say if these New Look ankle boots were edible. After spying a very similar pair of Tamaris ankle boots on Lucy’s blog, I was hooked by the tarnished appearance and glittery heels.

All very well and good, but up until my recent dalliance with these Zara boots, I’d never considered buying heels before. However, swayed by the price tag (£10 in the sale) and my success with the Zara boots – which have a similar size and shape heel – I decided to take a punt on this New Look pair.

Right now they look very new, so I’ll need to scuff them up a bit, but they are so comfortable, and yet again the heel doesn’t bother me that much. I even wore them to the Valentine’s Day wedding last week, once I could no longer take the pain of my dainty vintage shoes.

Glitter ankle boots, £10 – New Look

New Look glitter boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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Vintage dresses and wedding vows

Vintage wedding outfit | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

On Thursday I had the best Valentine’s Day EVER. Is that becuase of bunches of flowers, boxes of chocolates and cuddly toys? Hell no! It’s becuase I watched two of my friends marry one another in a perfect winter wedding ceremony. The church, on the outskirts of Bristol, where the bride’s parents had married, was freezing but the sun shone high, and the vows were beautiful.

I haven’t been to a church ceremony since I was a child and I was surprised at how magical the event felt. After the ceremony we headed to the Avon Gorge Hotel in Clifton to celebrate until the wee hours. The hotel overlooks the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the stunning views were the perfect backdrop for the shot above, as well as plenty of the bride and groom.

For the occasion I wore the white and navy vintage dress that I found last year at Bath’s Vintage Sunday, paired with a tan belt, frilly H&M ankle socks and a pair of Grandma Ship-Shape‘s dainty peep toe shoes. I did attempt styling my hair into victory rolls but by the time these photos were taken they’d kind of fallen out! Not long afterwards I also switched my shoes for a beautiful pair of glittery boots, but more on those later.

Here are a few more snaps from the day, including the bride’s gorgeous bouquet…

Wedding confetti | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionThe wedding party | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionWedding outfit | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionThe bride's bouquet | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week 17/02/13 | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

  • Valentine’s Day wedding. This week has been one to remember because two of my dear friends got married… on Valentine’s Day. The weather was perfect, the bride looked stunning and the ceremony was beautiful. It was a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and I’m chuffed to bits that Mr Ship-Shape and I got to share in their special day.
  • The sound of cinema. On Friday we went to see the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra perform at Colston Hall. Hearing scores from films such as Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List and Gladiator performed live by a full orchestra was a brilliant end to the week.
  • Full throttle blogging. This week has been a busy one on the blog – on Monday I posted about the relaunch of Cloth magazine, on Tuesday my divine new Zara boots made an appearance, Wednesday was all about beauty, in the form of a Neal’s Yard Remedies mini facial, and on Friday I shared this gorgeous vase from Amara.co.uk – I just wish I didn’t have a cold so I could actually smell these! Sniff, sniff…
  • Pancakes for breakfast. Today I finally made true on my promise of cooking pancakes more than once a year. I chose a very simple recipe with lemon juice and sugar, but next time I might have to try making Ron’s apple pancakes. Nom!

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Bristol in Bloom: local florists and Rob Ryan vase from Amara.co.uk

Rob Ryan vase from Amara | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Since moving into our house almost a year ago, I’ve become far more aware of the little touches that brighten up a home, such as cushions, prints and flowers.

Flowers are more subtle than one would think, and just the presence of a colourful living stem on the table or window sill can make a huge difference to the feel of a room. Over the years I’ve collected glass bottles and jars to use as vases (my current favourite being Fentimans rose lemonade bottles) but I couldn’t resist this beautiful Rob Ryan vase from Amara.co.uk.

I’ve always been a fan of Ryan’s papercutting designs so I was excited when the folks at Amara said I could choose an item from their luxury online boutique to review. The pale blue flowers and main design of two children arranging their own bouquet of flowers are so unique – a colourful statement piece for my dining table.

Cut flowers are a little luxury that I always make time for when my budget allows, but now even when I don’t have any I’ll have this beautiful ‘Please smell us’ vase to cheer up my window sill instead.

Rob Ryan 'Please Smell Us' vase | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionRob Ryan vase, c/o Amara.co.uk

London might have Columbia Road, but Bristol has a wealth of flower shops to choose from, which don’t have to break the bank. Here are a selection of my favourites:

Stokes Croft Flowers, Stokes Croft
A teeny tiny shop in the heart of Stokes Croft, this shop only sells in-season blooms and the owner grew up with a mum for a florist, so she knows her stuff. Great prices and interesting window displays.

The Flower Stall, Clifton
Located outside Browns on Queens Road, this pop-up stall is open from Thursday to Saturday from 9am, and sells everything from extravagant bouquets to 50p bunches of daffodils.

Central Rose, City Centre
It’s hard to miss this bright pink shop, at the bottom of Christmas Steps. Run by keen and knowledgable staff, it’s full of blooms at reasonable prices, with a wall full of colourful ribbon, paper and cellophane to choose from.

The Better Food Company, Clifton
Probably better known as an upmarket food hall and deli, this Whiteladies Road resident also sells a small selection of seasonal flowers and potted plants, such as pansies and geraniums. Not the cheapest place but you’re guaranteed only local, seasonal plants here.

Rob Ryan vase from Amara.co.uk | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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Neal’s Yard Remedies mini facial

Neal's Yard Remedies mini facial | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

When I won a voucher for a mini facial at Neal’s Yard Remedies for coming second at the #SWBXmas quiz (along with teammates Laura and Fritha) I was chuffed to bits. I love NYR and have used their products for years. When they hosted their first ever blogger event in their Bristol store I was there like a shot, eager to learn more about a brand that has earned it’s ethical stripes.

Typically I have good, clear skin but recently it has become stressed out, more dry than usual and I also suffered from a bout of eczema in January, a skin condition that hasn’t bothered me since I was a child. It’s left my skin itchy and has really dented my confidence, so the prospect of a facial last Saturday (with gentle, organic products) was like a song to my ears.

First up was a cup of ‘Love’ tea and consultation with Melissa, who was brilliant and talked me through each product that she selected for me, based on my answers to questions such as skin type etc. Although the facial took place on the shop floor, she positioned my chair so that the we had a little privacy and got to work. Melissa started by cleansing my skin with the Wild Rose Beauty Balm – a cult NYR product that I’ve always wanted to try. It can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser and face mask and at £37 it doesn’t come cheap, so I might have to add it to my birthday wish-list.

To complement the beauty balm, Melissa used a rose serum and rose facial oil, as well as a rich Vitamin E and Avocado night cream (yes, my skin is that dry) which all smelt divine. I was also treated to a gentle facial massage. Have you tried facial massage? I’ve been reading quite a lot about it recently – how daily massage with a facial oil or moisturiser can improve skin tone and circulation – it’s something I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t quite gotten round to.

After the massage my skin was woken up with a spritz of invigorating White Tea Facial Mist and I was free to wander around the store. I didn’t feel under obligation to buy and Melissa was kind enough to give me a few samples to take home. Mini facials at NYR Bristol do need to be booked in advance, but I would certainly recommend giving it a try – my skin felt soft and nourished all day and the staff were so friendly and welcoming.

For more information and to book a facial visit Neal’s Yard Remedies, 126 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2RP or check out their opening hours here.

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Cowboy boots and Western shoots

Zara studded cowboy boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

You know when you really want to like something but it just doesn’t happen? I feel that way about heels – not just high heels, all heels. I can’t walk in anything over an inch and even then I have an 80% chance of stacking it once I leave the house.

My ineptitude for heels knows no bounds, and I thought even cowboy boots were out of my reach until I spotted these beauts in Zara a couple of weeks ago. I’m a big fan of Zara, even more so when there is a sale on, and after initially lusting after a pair of red ankle boots covered in studs (£40 down from £130!) I came across these worn tan leather demi-cowboy boots. The smattering of worn metal studs removes them far enough away from country singer but not so close to S&M that they look like props from a Lady Gaga show.

They were the last pair, in my size (I love it when that happens) and half the price of the flat red boots, so I decided to take them home. Two weeks later and not a blister or aching foot in sight! I’ve never bought shoes from Zara before so I don’t know if it’s the brand or just this pair that works for me, but I’m loving my extra two inches of hight.

When I went out for drinks at the weekend I styled them with my sparkly black skirt (the one I like to think Mila Kunis would wear in Black Swan), also from Zara, and my black lace yolk Primark blouse, which also has a touch of cowgirl about it. The belt is vintage and the cotton/leather-look leggings are from Primark.

Have you ever bought shoes from Zara, and is there anyone else out there that looks like a less graceful Bambi on ice when they wear heels?

Zara boots and glitter skirt | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionPrimark lace blouse | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionZara skirt and boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionZara Primark outfit | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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Cloth Magazine: relaunch issue review

Cloth magazine relaunch issue | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

When the lovely folks at Cloth magazine asked if I wanted to review their new relaunch issue, I jumped at the chance. I have something of a magazine habit and read Cloth back when it first launched in 2009, as a handbag-sized DIY guide to making mittens, shift dresses and floral jumpsuits. I even blogged about it, when Cloth and Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion were both in their infancy.

Back then the magazine was only available in local indie shops (many of them  in the South West, as it’s produced in Bristol) but now you can find it online and in the likes of Liberty, The V&A and Selfridges.

Three and a bit years later, the relaunch issue of Cloth is a larger format that’s just as inspiring, with a focus on upcycling and thrifting as well as DIY. From iPad cases to faux fur stoles, Cloth is beautifully laid out on thick, matte paper (as it always has been) with easy to follow instructions.

Regular readers will know that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine (I was told my Christmas stockings looked like oven gloves) but I want to try making more clothes and furnishings this year and Cloth has provided some great inspiration. I particularly like the interviews and ‘inside the wardrobe/home of…’ articles, as these satisfies my nosy side and reminds me of a life before Pinterest, when I would rip out inspiring outfits or interiors and add them to real life scrap books. Truth be told, that took up way more room, but I do love the nostalgia and permanency of ripping out those pages. Luckily for me Cloth are on Pinterest, too.

Do you make your own clothes or furnishings, and are there any crafty magazines that you like to read?

Cloth retails at £4.99 but there are subscription deals available on their website.

Cloth magazine hosiery DIY | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionCloth magazines | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionCloth magazine guide to Berlin | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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