Category Archives: Broadmead

Call the Doctor! Dr Martens store arrives in Bristol’s Broadmead

Dr Martens Bristol launch party | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a secret gig in Broadmead, to celebrate the launch of Dr Martens new flagship Bristol store. The night involved beer, boots and performances from The Fauns and The Idles, but more on that later.

Dr Martens are a brand I’ve always held in high regard, partly becuase I was never allowed a pair growing up. Apparently they weren’t very ladylike, and requests for a pair of classic black boots was frequently rejected, as was a colour scheme of black and purple for my bedroom walls. I dreamed about owning a pair in bottle green, plum, black and, probably around the time of Girl Power, a union jack pair…

So it was that I felt something of a fool heading to the launch, along with Beth, Hayles and Bonny, without ever having owned a pair. Bristol’s finest music and fashion tribes turned up in their DMs to dance along to The Fauns and The Idles, including Big Jeff, who is, quite frankly, the barometer of a good gig in this city.

I oggled over all the fashionable feet, decked out in neon pink ankle boots and mint green Mary Janes, and the satchels, boots and clothes adorning every surface in the long, narrow store. The brand has come a long way since it’s inception in 1960, with Agyness Deyn fronting their current campaign and a collection that covers clothing and footwear for men, women and children, whose parents are obviously more fashion forward than mine were ; )

The night was so much fun and I did end up leaving with my first ever pair of boots, but they’re staying under wraps until I’ve had a chance to walk them in! Unfortunately I only had my phone on me, so these photos are a bit hit and miss, apart from the ones taken by the official photographer (above and third shot below).

Am I the only one who wasn’t allowed a pair of DMs growing up? And have you been to check out the new store yet? Let me know your thoughts below…

Dr Martens Bristol store | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionThe Fauns secret gig at Dr Martens | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionDr Martens flagship store Bristol | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionBright pink Dr Martens at Bristol launch party | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionDr Martens Bristol launch party | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion


Filed under Broadmead, shopping

An Eye For Fashion: Norman Parkinson exhibition @ M Shed

Norman Parkinson Life magazine 1963

Norman Parkinson, Life magazine, 1963

I must confess that I haven’t actually explored M Shed further than its bloomin’ tasty cafe – raspberry and white chocolate muffins, need I say more? – and 2nd floor gallery space, for a Martin Parr retrospective. I went to the later again this week, to see Mshed’s latest exhibition, An Eye For Fashion, featuring original vintage prints by the late, great Norman Parkinson.

Parkinson was a British fashion and portrait photographer who shot for Vogue, Queen and Life (among others) over a career spanning almost 60 years. He was truly a revolutionary in his field and is cited as an inspiration by many photographers, fashion editors and designers today, so it is wonderful to see his work, on loan from the Angela Williams Archive, here in Bristol. The exhibition features rare prints of Parkinson’s fashion stories, notably from the 1950s and 1960s, that feature the likes of Jean Shrimpton, Vicky Stevens and Enid Boulting.

To bring relevance to its local surroundings, An Eye For Fashion aslo features high street clothes from the 50s and 60s, as well as photos and descriptions of how Bristol’s shopping hub, Broadmead, was evolving during this period. It provides a stark contrast to the Broadmead that exists today, overshadowed by Cabot Circus and slowly wilting, drowning in shop closures and unsavory characters.

I was surprised to find the waist-cinching elasticated belts I wore in my late teens were actually copied from mid-century ‘waspie’ belts, and I found myself comparing more candid snaps, like the one above, an unused shot for Life magazine, to the kind of poses that crop up on my Facebook news feed. There were of course many glamourous photos, such the Vogue image of a model in an elegant evening gown from 1960, at the back of the exhibition. It was here that I overheard to older ladies recounting their own experiences of a ripped dress at a fashion function around the same time – it sounded like quite the scandal!

Norman Parkinson for Queen magazine

Norman Parkinson for Queen magazine, 1960

As well as the exhibition, which would delight photographers and fasionistas alike, I also took the time to wander around the harbourside and soak up the sunshine – a rare treat for Bristol at this time of year!

The harbourside comes alive in summer, and there was a hint of this on Wednesday, with an ice cream van parked outside M Shed, two school girls bunking off under the Balmoral to eat their lunch, and an accordionist playing by the bridge. It may only be March, but with the lighter evenings and (slightly) warmer weather, I feel like spring is just around the corner. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos on my phone, the results of which are below.

M Shed An Eye For FashionM Shed museum Bristoledit Mshed1Bristol harboursideBristol Harbourside

An Eye For Fashion runs at M Shed until 15th April, entry costs £5/4 bit is free on the last Wednesday of each month. For more info about visiting the exhibition click here. There is also the M Shed Vintage Weekend coming up, which looks awesome, and is happening 24th-25th March. 

Norman Parkinson images sourced here.


Filed under Broadmead, fashion magazines, photography, vintage, Vogue

Should I stay or should I go?

Topshop hooded coat

On Saturday I went shopping to catch the last of the sales. This happened to coinside with payday – bad idea! As a result I got carried away in Topshop and Zara, plucking out t-shirts, coats and even a bottle green blazer while in the queue for the tills. I didn’t try half of it on and now I’m torn between what I think looks good, and what I don’t really need.

So it is that I call on you, the blogging world. Do I keep these beauties or do I send them back to the shops from whence they came!?

Topshop rust coloured coatRusty brown coat hooded coat from Topshop, over the knee socks, also Topshop

Not my usual style but I love the colour, the leather piping and the chunky buckles. It’s a bit Red Riding Hood meets Paddington Bear, which is always a good thing in my book.I do own quite a few coats though. And it’s not really winter anymore. But, I haven’t bought a new coat for a coupe of years, and it is quite cold at the moment…

Cream Zara t-shirtCream devore t-shirt, Zara

This oversized t-shirt is a sizer larger than I normally wear from Zara, but I was struck by the exposed zip (unseen, at the back of the top) and the delicate devore style, plus the fact that it was only £7.99. Was this a bargain or  should it go back to the shop?

Stripe Zara t-shirtStriped Zara teeNautical t-shirt, Zara

Chunky blue and white stripes, single breast pocket and oversized, baggy shape. I love nautical/Breton/stripy tops but I already have a couple and I’m not sure if this one is too big.

Metallic and black netted skirt, Zara

I have a confession where this impulse buy is concerned. I used to have a short, tiered skirt in a similar fabric, a bit like a ra-ra skirt, from H&M that I loved. I wore it throughout uni but I took it to the clothes swap on Friday as I haven’t really worn it for a couple of years, but instead of letting someone else take it, I decided I couldn’t part with it. Then, less than 24 hours later, I found this. It’s a little bit ballerina, a little bit Carrie Bradshaw, and the grown up version of my H&M skirt. But…does it actually suit me?

Bottle green blazer ZaraBottle green blazer, Zara

My ultimate impuls buy – I saw it in a queue at the till and frantically tried it on while juggling my two t-shirts, a skirt and my handbag. I love it. Ok this isn’t up for judgement, I’m keeping it!


Like I said, I normally try everything on before I buy it but I was caught in a whirlwind of payday shopping. Let me know what you think – should these stay in my wardrobe, or go back to Cabot Circus? Answers on a postcard, or you could just comment below…


Filed under Broadmead, Cabot Circus, Topshop, Zara

Something for The Weekend: Great Birds Exhibition

This isn’t fashion related but if you want a dose of culture this weekend that doesn’t involve teenage wizards then check out the new Great Birds of the British Isles exhibition. The Birds are an all female collective of urban artists (Dora, Milk, K148 and Amour) who paint, graffiti and photograph their way through life, bringing a fresh, feminine edge to their craft and doing it all right here in Bristol.

Following on from collaborations and exhibitions in Bristol and London the Birds are back and their opening party is this Friday. I’m off to a festival and gutted I won’t be able to make it but will head down to The Upper Gallery, Bridwell Street, before the exhibition closes on the 24th July.

For more info including opening times and party details, check out their Facebook page.

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Filed under Broadmead, illustration

Something for The Weekend… Fairwear Fashion Show

Fairwear Fashion Show 2011

We’re smack bang in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 (28th February – 13th March) and Bristol is doing its bit by hosting the Fairwear Fashion Show this Saturday. Ethical fashion has been on my radar this week as readers of my Labour Behind the Label post will know, so I’m delighted to preview the Fairwear show for this week’s SFTW.

Since it’s inception two years ago, the Fairwear Fashion Show has showcased the best Fairtrade retailers and designers this city, and indeed country, has to offer and this year it moves from Bristol Cathedral to the Galleries in Broadmead. Ex Hollyoaks actor, Fairtrade campaigner and Bristol resident James Redmond will be presently the catwalk shows and the event, hosted by the Bristol Fairtrade Network, will also exhibit designs by UWE Fashion students. There will be three catwalk shows throughout the day as well as plenty of local Fairtrade beauty and fashion retailers, including Lush, Shared Earth and The Body Shop.

Fairwear fashion show 2010

Above: Fairwear Fashion Show 2010

Speaking ahead of this year’s show, Bristol Fairtrade Co-ordinator Jenny Foster told Ship-Shape, “Fairwear 2011 will be an exciting event showing that Fairtrade and ethical clothing and accessories can be affordable and beautiful, as well as providing a fair deal for farmers and the environment.” This is the second year I’ll be missing out as I’m off to London for the weekend but if you get a chance to pop down let me know what you think and look out for other Fairtrade Fortnight events across the city.

The Fairwear Fashion Show is free and catwalk shows take place at 12.30, 2pm and 3pm so there is no excuse to go down and catch a show – there will be plenty of fashion and beauty samples and goodies to enjoy too. For more information about the event click here or visit the Fairwear Facebook page.

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Filed under Broadmead, ethical fashion, Fairtrade, Something for The Weekend, UWE

Prairie chic at Peacocks

Peacocks dress

I spent the afternoon with S in Broadmead and Cabot Circus, searching in vain for a decent pair of brogues to take my feet from summer to autumn and yet again I drew a blank. I did however, stumble across this delightful black dress, above, in the Peacocks sale.

With ruched puffball sleeves and a scallop hemline it isn’t perhaps the most practical of purchases I could have made in October but I just couldn’t resist. The scallop details and rose embroidery are very well finished and the shape – is very Little House on the Prairie. If I had found this £10 gem a couple of months ago it would have been worn with bare legs and gladiator sandals but I reckon it will look equally good with some opaque black tights and my new boots.

I also managed to sedate my current appetite for shoes by grabbing a new pair of ankle boots. Both previous pairs I had (gold moon boots and red Superman-style affairs) had more holes that Swiss cheese so as painful as it was, it was time to let go. The new pair are far more sturdy, with decent soles, a slight heel and chocolate brown leather – a fr more versatile than pillar box red or gold!

No picture unfortunately as my flat is a tip at the moment and you can hardly hang boots in front of a window now can you? So instead, her is a close up of the scalloped neckline and embroidery detail on the bust of my prairie chic dress…

Peacocks dress close up


Filed under Broadmead, Peacocks

>Birthday Treat

>My 25th birthday is coming up and this Saturday I’m going to a electro-swing/jazz/circus/burlesque night at The Island which, once upon a time, used to be an old fire station in Broadmead. The night promises to be full of fishnets and top hats and as an early birthday present M has treated me to a new dress for the occasion.

This cream lace shift dress comes from A Wear, a fantastic brand that started in Ireland and is now at Cabot Circus. Some items can be a bit hit and miss but there are some hidden gems such as this dress, that always draw me in to the store.

As well as black fishnet stockings and gold tap shoes, I’ll be pairing the dress with an over-sized black bow necklace from American brand Hot Topic, and a black tux with tails from Topshop Boutique, circa 2008.

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Filed under A Wear, Broadmead, Cabot Circus, Hot Topic, Topshop

>Today was my first outing to Broadmead and Cabot Circus since January and everywhere I went I could not escape the double denim trend. All the stores have followed the lead of Chloe and Jean Paul Gaultier and as a result the high street is covered in this sturdy blue matter.

I may have voiced my concerns before regarding the inertia I feel when trends from my childhood rear their ugly heads. Take leggings for example. Back in the early 90s my mum would wear them while exercising to Rosemary Conley videos while I would be forced in to a purple number with matching t-shirt.

When leggings first came back on the scene I was more than a little sceptical as I watched my flatmates chop the feet off their black opaque tights and team with denim skirts. By the time I finally came round to the idea of such a practical wardrobe staple Lindsey Lohan et all where wearing the bloody things as trousers -apparently even American Apparel were unimpressed. Now I must admit I have come round to the idea and do have a few pairs but I draw the limit at £10.

Anywho, I digress… The idea of doubling up on denim seems like one step too far for me and is a little too reminiscent of the pair of New Look 915 patchwork jeans I wore to death in 1997. Needless to say it was not a good look.

Despite my allergic reaction to 90s fashion, I am infatuated with the idea of denim shirts, particularly the stonewashed kind that would marry so well with this season’s floral prints. I had my eye on one from Primark before I left for Thailand so was delighted to find it still in stock today.

For the price of a tenner it is not a bad way to dip my toe into the trend and I’ve paired it with one of my favourite vintage skirts (worn as a dress) and some brown boots for pretty with an edge mixed with a sprinkling of cowgirl, see below.

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Filed under Broadmead, Cabot Circus, denim, Primark

>Primark: The Crown Jewel of Broadmead?

>Since the opening of Cabot Circus exactly twelve months ago, with its grand, curving glass structures and lengthy list of upmarket shops and eateries, neighbouring Broadmead has been left somewhat in the shadows. ‘Closing down’ signs and ‘everything for a pound’ shops are springing up everywhere, taking the place of a once thriving, if slightly outdated shopping district for many Bristolians.

All that is set to change however, as today low-end fashion emporium Primark finally opened, taking over four storeys that once belonged to House of Fraser. After the building had been left empty for a few months, rumors of a new Primark ‘superstore’ were rife. The penny-pinching students and fashionistas of Bristol lost out on the city’s main store a couple of years ago to make way for Cabot Circus. After months of waiting new signs and window displays were revealed at the beginning of August.

As we approach a new season in fashion it remains to be seen if the major fashion houses will embrace the sombre mood induced by the ‘r’ word. The high street however, knows how the consumer mind works, and in particular, how females tend to react in times of a financial recession. Apparently we tend to perk ourselves up with small purchases such as costume jewellery, accessories and make-up. The so-called ‘lipstick index’ is something of an economic indicator that shows sales of lipstick are often going up, up, up when the economy is going down, down, down.

This new behemoth of a store will now doubt fill a void for many shoppers who want to treat themselves with a £3 t-shirt or £10 jacket. Whether the company is ethically sound or not is another matter but I have no doubt that Pri-mania will have hit the shoppers of Bristol before you can say ‘bargain-tastic’ and the opening will almost certainly encourage people back to Broadmead. The only shame is that I couldn’t make it to the grand opening to take pictures of what was undoubtedly clothing chaos. Luckily the BEP did the job for me. Check out a video here.

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Filed under Broadmead, Primark