Category Archives: fashion magazines

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.

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Filed under ethical fashion, fashion magazines

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Diana Vreeland The Eye Has to Travel Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

It’s always exciting to take a glimpse inside the minds of the fashion editors, writers and stylists who put together the magazines and curate the pages that readers want to pour over, buy into and, most recently, tweet about or pin up.

In 2009, The September Issue went behing the scenes at Vogue and examined the relationship between editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and creative director, Grace Coddington. In the 2012 documentary, The Eye has to Travel, which I watched recently, the focus is on another Vogue tour de force, Diana Vreeland.

Vreeland wrote for Harper’s Bazaar for 30 years before taking the helm at a magazine that, at the time, was producing such groundbreaking imagery and fashion, Vogue, in 1963, before moving into exhibition curration in the 70s until her death in 1989.

Vreeland lived and breathed fashion, and one of the creatives she worked with commented that she would often tell models to ‘make an asset of their assets’ – towering girls would be put in heels and every quirk would be celebrated to the extreme. I love this idea and it fits in seamlessly with the way designers and photographers were pushing the creative boundaries of fashion at the time.

The documentary uses interviews with her peers and family, overlayed with her words from television appearances and interviews between Diana and her biographer, George Plimpton, who helped her write her memoir, D.V. David Bailey, Richard Avedon and Angelica Huston also make appearances, as do the covers and fashion stories that she helped to create.

I think the film was shown at the Watershed last year but if, like me, you didn’t get around to seeing it, it’s well worth renting or scouting out on Love Film Instant, which is where I found it. Not convinced? Take a look at The Eye Has to Travel trailer, below.

Image source


Filed under fashion magazines, Vogue

Company High Street Edit

Company HSE

I mentioned in last week’s Rock The Week post that I’d started devouring the S/S12 edition of Company High Street Edit, and now I’ve pretty much finished reading it, I thought I’d share its awesomeness with you. Almost every page has a carefully folded top corner, pointing to a piece of clothing I now covet, or a page layout that I love. This happens with none of the other magazine I read regularly.

That’s because Company’s biannual fashion offering is a delight to read and a feast for the eyes. I find that every page has something to offer me, and even if I don’t like a particular trend (I’m looking at you, peplums) I find a caption, a hairstyle, or illustration to enjoy. This collage/scrapbook style design has now been adopted by Company for it’s flagship monthly title – since the redesign three issues ago, the magazine has shifted to a more fashion-heavy publication, with gorgeous matt paper and a new compact size.

I don’t want to give too much away if you’re planning on buying a copy yourself, but this issue features some beautiful clashing florals, street style, a hilarious article on customer service by Katie Mulloy and a rye look at some surprising FROW figures.

My memory card reader is playing up and I can’t find my camera lead (because we STILL haven’t finished unpacking yet) so you’ll have to make do with a few photos taken on my mobile phone, and suped up with my Poladroid app. The fact that I’m using a computer programme and smart phone to give my photos a vintage feel has not been lost on me!

Company HSE-pola

HSE flip flops-pola


Filed under Company, fashion magazines, high street, S/S12

Rock The Week

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

Company High Street Edit S/S12

  • Company High Street Edit S/S12. I’ve geeked out before  about how much I love this biannual magazine, and this season is no exception. I’m only half way through it and I already have a shopping list as long as my arm, plus an ongoing admiration for the amount of awesome prints there are on the high street this season.
  • A random Thursday on North Street. I don’t venture down to Bedminster/Southville that much these days, but after a long day at work, S and I decided to spend the evening drinking and ranting about life in The Spotted Cow, and eating lots of divine tapas in the Tobacco Factory. I had a wicked and unexpected evening and I look forward to more of the same once summer arrives – The Spotted Cow has a fantastic beer garden!
  • DIY. It’s been a bit of a dividing acronym in our new house, particularly when I had a spirit level dropped on head, and when Mr Ship-Shape trapped his finger while trying to open a canister of poly-filler stuff, but the house is starting to look good and a few more boxes have been unpacked – hurrah!

Page One

  • Page One. On Friday night I went to see Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times, at the Arnolfini. This was followed by The Benn Debate 2012, a debate on how the recent phone hacking scandal has affected the public’s confidence in journalists and the newspaper industry, featuring a panel that included Christopher Jeffries and Mike Norton, Editor of the Bristol Evening Post. Both were utterly fascinating, particularly the film, which I would recommend to media types and anyone with a vague interest in the decline of traditional print media and daily newspapers.
  • Bristol Fashion Week. It’s only days away and I can’t wait to see the show on Friday. I mentioned in my Something For The Weekend post that the link to buy tickets was broken, but fortunately it’s fixed now, so if you want to come along, click here for more info.

What has been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below….


Filed under Bristol Evening Post, Bristol Fashion Week, Company, fashion magazines, high street, Rock The Week, 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

Rock The Week

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

fashion magazines

  • Magazine culling. I’ve written before about my love of magazines – not just fashion but food, photography, even the GQ (male) shoes supplement – if I like the cover, I’ll read it. I’ve been doing a bit of spring cleaning though, and this weekend turned my attention to my ridiculous pile of magazines. Plonking almost half my collection in the recycling box wasn’t easy, but it did mean I got to spend a good few hours reading old copies of ELLE, Grazia, Company etc and ripped out a few must-keep features and fashion spreads.
  • Daylight. Even before Bristol enjoyed a glorious weekend of sunshine and blue skies, I was ready to chat away about how awesome it is now that the slightly lighter evenings have arrived. Spring is almost here and not long after that comes pub gardens, afternoons in the park and bare legs – hurrah!
  • Six Items. This week I blogged about the Six Item Challenge, a campaign to highlight the effects of fast fashion through challenging fashionistas to wear just six items of clothing for the duration of Lent. To find out more and see how the participants are coping, visit their blog.

Clothes, Cameras and Coffee blog

  • Another ethical fashion post, not from me but the talented Roz, of Clothes, Cameras & Coffee., who discusses the merits of eco-friendly red carpet outfits, and her experience of the Fru-Gal Challenge – another way of confronting our increasing reliance on fast fashion and cheap clothing.
  • And finally… pancakes! Every Pancake Day ends with me lamenting that we really should try to eat pancakes more than once a year, because they are awesome. Every year, 12 months go by before I make another batch of pancakes. There’s no photo of my creations (served with the classic topping of sugar and lemon juice) because I was too busy eating them!

What has been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below….


Filed under charity shop, clothes swap, ethical fashion, fashion magazines, Rock The Week, vintage

Rock The Week

Rock The Week is what I hope will become a new feature here at Ship-Shape & Bristol Fashion. Lots of other bloggers do this kind of thing in various guises, but in a nutshell Rock The Week is a chance for me to take stock of the last seven days and jot down the best bits on here.

Sometimes I don’t think we take enough time to reconginise the good things in life – it’s always easier to moan about the bad – so Rock The Week posts will be my antidote to this. As I’ve been a bit slack on the blogging front lately (technically for the whole year!) this week will feature a few highlights from the last couple of weeks…

company magazine new look

  • Company magazine revamp – new size, new matt paper and new typefaces and illustrations. This latest incarnation of the magazine has more than a passing resemblance to it’s biannual High Street Edit and despite my initial resistance to the size, it’s actually darn handy in it’s ‘handbag friendly’ form. Style Bubble has written a great post on the new look here, which also mentions the utter brillance of teen fashion mags.
  • Pounding the pavement – I’ve been hibernating from life over the last few months but I’m finally back to running two or three times a week. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m ready for the Bath Half Marathon in March but I’m getting there.
  • Something for (almost) nothing – picking up a book on vintage style for £1 at a sale at work. Vintage Style: Iconic Looks and How to Get Them by Sarah Kennedy is packed with pages for every goddess of style from Jackie O and Twiggy to Bianca Jagger and Joan Jett.
  • Sh*t Fashion Girls Say parody, which apparently reminds my sis in law of me. The worst part is I know I’ve made those Blair from Gossip Girl comments a million times…
  • An Eye For Fashion at MShed. Last year on of my favourite photographers, Martin Parr, held a retrospective at Bristol’s newest museum, and now the late, great fashion photographer Norman Parkinson and his work are on show. I haven’t had a chance to go yet, thanks to a manic week at work, but luckily the exhibition is on until 15th April so there is plenty of time to see this slice of fashion history.

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Filed under Company, fashion magazines, photography, Reading List, Rock The Week

The LOOK Show SS/11: Part Two

As promised, here are a few more photos from my day at The LOOK Show SS/11…

NOTE: When I saw the flower displays I instantly thought how gorgeous they would look at a wedding – I wonder now I have been inflicted with the bride-to-be status that I will always feel this way when I see a flower arrangement I like – I can only hope this attention to detail passes once I’m hitched : )


Above: champagne and gorgeous flower arrangments

The LOOK Show SS/11

Above: Polly and I at the LOOK Show


Above: Alexis Jordan performs at the LOOK Show

Dorothey-Perkins-retro-dress at the LOOK Show Ss/11

Above: Retro print dress from Dorothy Perkins


Above: Boyish tailoring from Uniqlo

Polly-at-LOOK Show SS/11

Above: Polly is OK


Above: Block colours from River Island


Above: The LOOK-Show goody bag

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Filed under catwalk show, Dorothy Perkins, fashion magazines, LOOK magazine, River Island, The LOOK Show, Uniqlo

The LOOK Show SS/11


Between editing some of the 200+ photos I took on Friday and channeling Lady Gaga for a friend’s birthday celebrations, I had very little time left yesterday to actually write about the LOOK Show SS/11. Suffice to say it was so much fun, especially as my pal Polly came with me, and between celeb spotting (inc. Olivia Palermo and Sophie Ellis-Bextor) and champagne sipping we mingled with the other fashionable guests and dined out on nibbles by M&S – and that’s before the show even started.

I must say I wasn’t expecting the LOOK Show to be such a well rounded event – most Fashion Week shows are a fast-paced, get in and get out affair with very little room for mingling and canapes – in contrast LOOK magazine, in partnership with some of the best loved labels on the high street, put on one of the funnest shows of the season.

After arriving in London I met up with Polly and we queued dutifully outside Victoria House along with hoards of fashion-hungry women dressed in leather, heels and red lipstick. Fashion bloggers, members of the press and avid LOOK readers mingled with one another once inside, sipping champagne, dressing up for photobooth snaps and craning their necks to look at the next celebrity to step through the door. I stopped joining in after managing to cover a Hawaiian shirted waitress in several glasses of champagne, smashing the empty flutes over the painted concrete floor with aplomb…


Above: The fashion-hungry queue outside Victoria House

LOOK Show-sign

Above: The LOOK Show sign


LOOK's editor Ali Hall poses for the paps with Sophie Ellis Bextor

After picking shards of glass off the floor and apologising profusely, I took my seat and waited for the show to start, getting a glimpse of New York It girl Olivia Palermo, below, in the process. Once the lights went down and show began the ‘who’s who on the front row’ debate settled down and our attention fell on the catwalk. SS/11 trends of 70s glamour, Mad Men influenced tailoring and bright, clashing colours were evident at New Look, Warehouse and Mango while M&S and Monsoon provided a more classic outlook, with crisp white shirts and printed silk kaftans respectively.

French Connection busted out their ‘London’ dress, a special limited edition design created to celebrate London Fashion Week, along with tan leather skirts and bell-sleved blouses. H&M focused on blocks of bold colour with coral, orange, yellow and emerald green standing out while River Island, who got the largest cheer of the show, wowed with grown up tailoring and some lovely floral prints.

At the end of the show the three finalists of the LOOK/Lorraine Curvy Supermodel competition took to the catwalk with LOOK editor Ali Hall and GMTV’s Mark Heyes to reveal the winner, Lindsey O’Hagan, 19, who wore a refreshingly genuine look of surprise as she accepted her bouquet of flowers and hugs from the runners up. Although only a size 12, this victory for Lindsey will hopefully pave the way for more ‘plus size’ models to strut their stuff on British catwalks in future seasons.

After the show we made our way to the retro photobooth and with a little help from the lovely New Look folks we donned hats and sunglasses, making full use of the wind machine while we pulled faces in front of the camera. A few peach mojitos later and we were, sadly, ready to leave. I had an amazing day and met some lovely people and could still pinch myself that out of the 40,000 odd readers to apply for tickets I was lucky enough to win a pair.

I hope everyone had as much fun as Polly and I did and all I can say is roll on the LOOK Show AW/11! More photos to follow…


Olivia Palermo takes her seat for the show


H&M rainbow brights


French Connection limited edition 'London' dress


The finalists of the LOOK/Lorraine Curvy Supermodel competition


Mark Heyes congratulates winner Lindsey O'Hagan


Ship-Shape & Bristol Fashion is OK at LOOK


Peach mojitos and photobooth snaps

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Filed under catwalk show, fashion magazines, H and M, London Fashion Week, LOOK magazine, S/S11, The LOOK Show

Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist

reveal kinckers article

I opened a recent copy of Reveal magazine yesterday to be confronted by a pert looking bum in a pair of frilly tangerine coloured knickers. The headline ‘Knickers Can Improve Your Mood’ and the subsequent article made me, in the style of Carrie Bradshaw, begin to wonder… just how important underwear is to British women?

I’ll hold my hands up and say that as I read this I happened to be sporting some old, slightly sporty grey kickers with a mismatching pink and green bra. I couldn’t help but tug at the bottom of my skirt when the article revealed that a survey by Always found that 56.3% of us wear sexy underwear in a bid to feel more confident.

I for one am a big fan of decent underwear – quality cuts, soft fabric, matching sets and even clashing colours. I also believe that a decent pair of kinckers really can improve your mood – yesterday I was all over the place, late for work and generally a little down, which I blame on the aforementioned grey pants. As soon as I picked that pair out of my chest of drawers, I just knew my day wouldn’t be as good as if I had plumped for the green and pink ruffled pair that matched my bra.

Now I’m not one for matching all the time – I happen to like clashing prints and colours – and what I wear on a day to day basis has nothing to do with what the boyfriend likes, but I do think most of us could do with an underwear overhaul. I recently wrote a post on owning too many clothes for Running in Heels and I think that wardrobe chaos, along with greying undies, can play havoc on your mood.

You may not believe me but I bet if you started every day opening your knicker draw to sets of fresh clean matching underwear you would have a smile on your face before you even sat down for breakfast.


Above: M&S underwear - proof that you don't need ruffles and lace to have great looking underwear

Regardless of your taste or budget, make time for your underwear and your life will be better for it. Get rid of anything with sagging elastic, moth holes or washed out – if you save these for laundry days then at least shell out a few quid on some cheap cotton knickers that fit well – try LaSenza, M&S or Toshop.

For the top draw stuff, and perhaps some Christmas stocking fillers, head to Harvey Nicks in Cabot Circus or Oyster:Me in Clifton, or try St Nicks Market for some handmade cheap frills.

This post shouldn’t feel like a lecture, and if you don’t think your underwear has any effect on your mood, confidence, sexiness or sass then pay no attention, but tomorrow morning pick your favourite pair. Throw on a matching bra and take solace in this; even if your mood doesn’t improve, if you get hit by a bus you’ll look fabulous… ; )

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Filed under fashion magazines, Running in Heels, underwear