Category Archives: A/W11

Goodbye 2011…

I’m sure most of you out there are busy with your NYE plans already, styling your hair, sipping your wine or en route to the pub/club/house party, but I thought before the city rings in another New Year, I would bullet-point the last one.

There have been many changes in the world this year, economically, environmentally and politically, but in Bristol, in my own little bubble this is what 2011 gave me…

Monsoon Fusion dress

A love affair with Italy

A fitness regime I enjoy and which helped me lose over a stone

Ship-shape gets hitched

A husband, and the most wonderful (if slightly expensive) day celebrating with amazing people

Another fantastic and fashion-packed Glastonbury festival

My first lipstick


Two new jobs

A subscription to ELLE magazine

A test of strength

A water bungalow in the Maldives (so what if it was only for two weeks?)

A chance to play at being Kirstie Allsopp


The last few weeks have been very hectic for me and I hope to share with you the ins and outs of what I’ve been up to in the new year, not to mention my imminent sales bargains (Zara, you are mine!) I hope you’ve had a wonderful year and are looking forward to what 2012 brings, have a good one and see you on the other side!

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Filed under A/W11, Elle, Glastonbury, holidays, weddings

Something for The Weekend: Tatty Devine @ Soma

Tatty Devine rosette

How would you like to spend the afternoon learning how to make an original piece of Tatty Devine jewellery? Well tomorrow you can do just that if you attend the Tatty Devine Workshop & Book Signing at Clifton’s Soma Gallery. Regular readers will know how much I love Tatty Devine so I’m excited to share this event with you.

Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine, the duo behind Tatty Devine, will be at Soma between 2-4pm to sign copies of their new book How to Make Jewellery with Tatty Devine and teach you how to make one of their classic designs – a tape measure rosette. As well as a book signing and workshop there will be refreshments in the form of tea and cake from Lahloo Tea. Quirky jewellery, books and cake, what’s not to love!?

The event is free and takes place between 2-4pm tomorrow afternoon at Soma Gallery, Boyces Avenue. For more information check out the Facebook event page.


Filed under A/W11, jewellery, Tatty Devine

Calling all students…

Cabot Circus student takeover Oct 2011

If you haven’t already spent your student loan on drinking cider at The Apple (mmm, cider…) or sampling Park Street’s independent boutiques then get yourself down to Cabot Circus this evening for The Big Student Takeover.

Kicking off at the post-lectures time of 5.30pm, the event promises nearly three hours of discounts and bargains from the likes of Garment Quarter (10% off Vivienne Westwood!), New Look, Topshop and American Apparel. Shopping is hungry work so luckily several cafes and restaurants are offering discounts too so there is no need to miss out on dinner in the name of shopping.

You can find out more by visiting Facebook  or the Cabot Circus website but if you want to bag a bargain tonight don’t forget to bring your student ID – this year to take part in the event you will need to sign up at Quakers Friars FIRST, showing a current student or NUS card to receive your free discounts pass.

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Filed under A/W11, Cabot Circus, shopping, student

What a difference a day makes…

…twenty four little hours. That’s all it takes for a heatwave to turn into a blustery, cold and downright miserable day. After a deliciously hot journey to London last week, I awoke the next morning to a rather murky looking south east London that made a mockery of my red Zara skater skirt and mustard yellow Primark vest.

Fast forward a few days and it’s all jumpers and boots in a bid to shrug off the cold weather. I’ve been living in my Mango chinos and nautical stripy knit jumper from Primark this week but I’m already on the look out for The Winter Coat. This year The Coat could be a trench, a tailored wool number or a brightly coloured 60s pea coat. So long as it keeps me warm I’ll be happy but for now, as I can’t let go of our belated British summer I thought I would post some pictures of London at sunset, instead of heavy winter coats. Enjoy!

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square at sunset

Trafalgar Square at sunset

The London Eye

The view across the river: The London Eye

Big Ben!

Big Ben!

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Filed under A/W11, London, photography, Primark, Zara

Hello Sunshine!

Monsoon mini skirt and George at Asda blouse

Wow! What a weekend – I hope you all enjoyed the fantastic autumnal (?!) weather as much as I did. Just the sight of people strolling around in their shorts and sunnies, maxi dresses and strappy tops was enough to put a smile on my face.

I spent most of the weekend wearing as little as possible but on Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Mango launch party at Cabot Circus. Despite taking metallic knitwear, evening dresses and blazers into the changing rooms, I managed to restrain myself at the till, leaving with a pair of straight-legged chinos.

The fabric has a slight sheen to it which I’m hoping will fade in the wash – silly as it sounds I don’t like that this sheen makes the trousers look so squeaky clean and brand new. Along with my purchase I also bagged a lovely Mango tote, packed full of discounts and, the best bit, sweets : ) After checking out Mango I found myself drawn in to Monsoon’s mid-season sale. I thought I would find and fall in love with the dandelion yellow skirt I saw at the Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender but instead I walked away with the skirt you can see in the photo above.

This ottoman A-line mini skirt is from Monsoon’s Fusion range (aimed at a younger Monsoon customer) and I just love the chunky white embroidery around the hem and pockets. Thanks to the sale it was half price – a bargain at £20! I’ve paired it with another cheeky purchase – a sheer navy blouse from George at Asda. I have mixed feelings about supermarket collections but after nipping in to look for the A/W11 Barbara Hulanicki capsule collection I came across this blouse.

I’m going through a Audrey Hepburn phase at the moment and could instantly picture the blouse with a pair of denim roll ups (or even capris) and ballet pumps. I also thought it looked rather similar to this blouse I found at The Kooples – Park Street’s newest resident – so was delighted when I discovered it was a fraction of the price at £14. The embroidered dots (on closer inspection these are actually very small squares) also give a nod to the polka dot trend that is currently an A/W11 fashionista favourite.

I’m off to London today so hopefully the weather will be just as cracking there as it has been this weekend in Brizzle. What did you wear this weekend? Are you loving this Indian summer or looking forward to when you can get back in to your A/W gear?

Mango chinos

Mango chinos bought at the launch event last Thursday

Mango chino details

Mango chino details - double buttoned front

my lovely new Mango tote bag

Mango tote goody bag

Monsoon black and white skirt

Monsoon Fusion black and white embroidered skirt

George at Asda navy sheer blouse

George at Asda navy sheer blouse - a subtle nod to the polka dot trend


Filed under A/W11, George at Asda, Mango, Monsoon, skirt

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