Category Archives: New Look

S/S12 Fashion Show at Cabot Circus

American Apparel

Yesterday I took a trip to Cabot Circus to see one of their S/S12 fashion shows, which is part of a weekend of catwalk shows, pampering treats and discounts. The show I watched was a good mix of current trends, featuring the likes of Oasis, American Apparel, above, LK Bennet and Next.

I managed to miss the rain showers and had the pleasure of sitting next to Christina from Just So Fashion for the show, and chatting to Dan from Last Style of Defence afterwards, before rushing back home – via the Topshop sale (more on that later) – to tackle more DIY and put our bathroom back together.

Anywho, enough of my domestic dramas, what about the show? While the usual S/S suspects were out in force, such Crew‘s nautical, preppy look, but there were also some fantastic takes on this season’s trends, most notably pastels from New Look, and a novel take on mid-century chic, mixed with vibrant prints, from River Island. The show combined some great choreography – an element of local catwalk shows that I’m not normally that keen on – such as the workwear scene by Next, which you can see below, and a fantastic scene from River Island, featuring the most glamourous 50s housewives I’ve ever seen, complete with yellow Marigolds and fluro washing baskets.

American Apparel and Bristol’s Garment Quarter provided lashings of nonchalant cool, while the later bought a touch of designer brilliance to the show with a show-stopping Vivienne Westwood Red Label dress and sophisticated menswear from Unconditional. After the finale of pastels from New Look, which included mint chiffon pleated skirts and lace dresses in the shade of Parma Violets, I poped behind the catwalk to the live blogging lounge, which you can read about here.

I had a lovely morning at the show, and it was great to see some familiar faces, too. Did you catch one of the shows yesterday? What ws your favourite trend? If you couldn’t make it yesterday then fear not, there are several more shows taking place underneath the glass roof of Cabot Circus today – click here for show times and more info.

Florals at Oasis

Floral dresses at Oasis

American Apparel

Clashing textures at American Apparel

River Island

River Island offered an updated version of 50s housewives

Workwear by Next

Workwear by Next

Garment Quarter

Understated preppy from Garment Quarter

Christina from Just so Fashion captures the action

Bright whites at Mango

New Look balloons

Pretty pastels from New Look



Filed under Garment Quarter, Mango, New Look, Next, photography, S/S12

Live at S/S 12 Fashion Weekend at Cabot Circus

New Look S/S12 cabot Circus

New Look S/S12 pastels at Cabot Circus

It’s the weekend, hurrah! I’m here, live, (I feel like a children’s TV presenter typing that) at Cabot Circus, for their weekend of S/S12 fashion shows. I’ve just watched the first show, featuring Oasis, New Look (above), American Apparel and River Island, and now I’m about to have a nosy round at some of the shops that featured in the show, all in the name of research, of course! This event is taking place across today and tomorrow, and there are plenty more shows to see if you didn’t catch one this morning, including a dedicated Harvey Nicks show in 10 minutes! I’ll post later with more snaps from the show, but for now, I’ve got some shopping to do. See you later! x


Filed under Cabot Circus, New Look, S/S12

Motel: Vintage dresses and sunshine

Motel vintage floral dress

Motel vintage floral dress

Last week I was walking down Park Street when I spotted Motel’s sale window, and I couldn’t resist popping in for a quick look. I’m pleased I did, because I found their £5 vintage sale rail and fell for this dress, above. As it was ‘£5 each or 2 for £7’ I thought it would be rude not to try on a few more vintage pieces, and didn’t find it hard to find another dress to take home.

I’ve been a huge Motel fan since I moved to Bristol for university seven years ago. Back then Motel’s shop on Park Street was called DNA and was the same brand, just a different name. At the start of every term, when my student loan got a top-up, I’d treat myself to a haircut from Toni & Guy and a dress or top from Motel. I loved the printed, loose tops and wore them until they were literally falling to pieces. Now Motel’s body-con prints are stocked in Topshops up and down the country, and the Park Street shop has shifted its focus to vintage and upcycled garments.

After I found these dresses I took them home to photograph, but my usual way of shooting in front of my huge windows just didn’t do them justice. And, since the weather was so glorious at the weekend, I thought it would be rude not to photograph them in the sunshine!

So, here are a few snaps of me in the garden, kindly taken by Mr Ship-Shape, who, despite a few initial protests, quite fancies him self as a bit of a David Bailey. I’m still quite new to being in front of the camera, so you’ll have to ignore my head tilts and hair covering my face, and instead focus on how gorgeous these dresses are! I love the floral print and cut of the first dress, and although the peach and white stripped dress (an old M&S number) is a bit large, it should be easy enough to take in at the sides for a better fit.

Motel vintage floral dress

Vintage floral dress, Motel / suede belt, vintage / grey knee high socks, H&M / tan cowboy boots, Primark

Peach and white M&S dress from Motel

Peach and white striped dress (originally M&S), Motel / black and gold belt, vintage / white canvas wedges, New Look

Peach and white striped Motel dress

Check out the blue sky - no Photoshoping required!


Filed under H and M, Marks and Spencer, Motel, New Look, Primark, shopping, vintage

Hell Hath No Fury…

Primak floral trousers

… like a women scorned and in possession of a credit card. The term ‘retail therapy’ was made for a lover’s tiff, a hard day at work or family stresses. I don’t know about you but some of my best style decisions have been made during a period of sadness or anger (most notably a perfectly fitting pair of Topshop jeans purchased in the break-up fug of October 2004).

A significant shift in life can prompt major changes in the wardrobe department and while my life is pootling along quite nicely at the moment, it didn’t stop a domestic dispute with my other half becoming a perfect opportunity to make the most of the sales at Cabot Circus yesterday.

New Look and Zara are two staples in my wardrobe – I’m constantly impressed with what they both have to offer, New Look in particular has become a real fashion contender in the last five years. Zara offers timeless, elegant basics and statment pieces that walk the line between exciting and reliable – pieces that you know will become instant classics.

Add to this that both these stores just happened to have items I had been lusting after for months – in the sale – and you have a situation that might have to eventually involve my bank manager. However with a bad mood in tow and a thrill for  a bargain I was more open to taking risks (see Primark’s floral golfing trousers, above). I even threw caution to the wind by falling in love with a full price polka dot skirt with woven tan belt, below, from New Look.

More photos to follow once I’ve road-tested all this loot but for now I am basking in the glory of my therapeutic sales trip and contemplating a online session too….

New Look salesNew Look sales detailsZara sales pieces

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Filed under Cabot Circus, florals, nautical, New Look, Primark, Zara

Something for The Weekend… Oxvamp and Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender

Geek Chic at Cabot Circus

Bristol is catwalk central this weekend, with not one, not two but three days of fashion shows! First up is the Oxvamp event which I mentioned last week. The event has already sold out but if you didn’t manage to get your hands on a ticket fear not – Ship-Shape will have plenty of info and pics from the show for you to enjoy next week.

Next up is the Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender. This two day event starts at 11.30am tomorrow and runs across the weekend, with nine catwalk shows taking place under the famous glass roof. The shows will take place throught the day and there will also be beauty demos and dsicounts gallore for Cabot Circus shoppers.

There will no doubt be vintage, clashing brights, florals and 70s inspired looks to drool over, with Urban Outfitters, New Look, Harvey Nics and River Island just a few of the stores taking part. Last year was a blast so I’ll be back with my camera and taking over the Blogging Lounge during one of the shows on Saturday, tweeting about the best looks and of course writing a blog too : )

All the shows are free and you could bag yourself some bargains to boot so what are you waiting for? For more info about the Fashion Weekender visit the Cabot Circus website and for all you need to know about Oxvamp, check back here in the next couple of days. Have a great weekend!


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Filed under Cabot Circus, catwalk show, New Look, oxfam, River Island, S/S11, Urban Outfitters

Bristol Fashion Week S/S 11

Bristol Fashion Week tent at Cribbs Causeway

Bristol Fashion Week tent at Cribbs Causeway

Bristol Fashion Week S/S 11 is here, and so is my seasonal round-up of the event. Once again the bright pink show tent landed at the Mall in Cribbs Causeway this week and while international fashion weeks may have finished, Bristol is only just getting warmed up. The event kicked off officially on Wednesday evening, with daily catwalk shows and a Beauty Zone in The Mall, packed full of free treats for shoppers to enjoy.

Any Twitter followers out there will know that I’ve been ridiculously busy with writing deadlines this week and pretty much chained to my desk (barely seeing a glimpse of the gorgeous sunshine we’ve had in Bristol) but I couldn’t wait to get away from the computer and attend the BFW press show yesterday afternoon.

Andrew Barton and Mark Heyes were back at Cribbs to present the show and I have to say they were on top form yesterday. The boys have great banter but in previous shows this has veered towards cheesy: not this time – Andrew was borderline biting with his wry comments about the royal wedding and the festival look – apparently he’d rather stay in with a nice bottle of Shiraz.

BHS Black jumpsuit The show itself was great – I don’t want to ruin it for anyone going but the opening scene was a corker. John Lewis kicked things off with a floral theme and denim, festival fashion, wedding outfits and beachwear all cropped up.

I surprised myself by being dran to a gorgeous black jumpsuit from BHS, which I haven’t been in since the time abut ten years ago when they used to do a cracking Christmas display and joke presents. I’ve always found their window displays a little dated and lacklutre but as I say, this jumpsuit and corsage combo, left, presently surprised me.

As I’ve said before on Ship-Shape, Spring/Summer always tends to err on the side of caution with denim, maxi dresses, florals etc and the show at Bristol Fashion Week was no exception but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it forces designers to update and refresh popular trends.

I loved the safari chic look from Warehouse – they had a nude quilted leather jacket that looked divine paired with paper bag waistband trousers, while M&S had some very Mad Men style ladylike printed dresses, accessorised with cutesy umbrellas and rather dashing escorts. Oasis showcased a navy lace dress that could be the cool double of Erdem’s firey red number and there were some cracking pieces by Cath Kidson and Jager for John Lewis.

The choreography was refreshing – a mix of dance routines with a strong theme for each brand, from Rio carnivals at Wallis to gothic horror with a Dirty Dancing twist at River Island. The festival scene, complete with a rendition of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer on a cardboard guitar by one of the child models had the crowds dancing and clapping with applause.

As well as catwalk antics we were also treated to mini cupcakes and bucks fizz, and beauty treats and goodies galore inside The Mall’s Beauty Zone, not to mention lots of discuonts to spend at Cribbs at a goodie bag full of treats – much needed after I accidentally skipped lunch!

There is more to say and more photos to follow but I’ve got to get back to the grindstone. Take a gander at some of my snaps from the day, below, and if you’ve already been to BFW or are planning on going let me know what you thought by leaving a comment : )

Bristol Fashion Week runs at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway from now until Sunday 27th March. Tickets start at £8.50 and shows run throughout the day. For ticket information visit the Cribbs Causeway website.

Stunning violinist and model 'Lettuce' opened the show

Jager at John Lewis

Jager at John Lewis

Oasis at Bristol Fashion Week

Oasis at Bristol Fashion Week

Chiffon blouses at M&S

Chiffon blouses at M&S

Wallis channel Rio at Bristol Fashion Week

Wallis channel Rio at Bristol Fashion Week

Andrew Barton and Mark Heyes at Bristol Fashion Week finale

Andrew Barton and Mark Heyes lead the Bristol Fashion Week finale


Filed under Bristol Fashion Week, catwalk show, Cribbs Causeway, denim, high street, Marks and Spencer, New Look, Next, River Island, S/S11, weddings

Oops, I did it again: New Look S/S11

Peach blouse New Look

There is no excuse, other than that I lack willpower. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day and I couldn’t help but do a spot of window shopping as I soaked up the rays. Given what happened at Primark a few weeks ago I should have learn’t but as I walked past New Look in Cabot Circus I couldn’t help but be drawn, like a moth to the proverbial flame.

Although I find there is less innovation in the S/S seasons (what’s that? Bright colours? Florals? Nautical? Why fancy seeing you here!) I do find it the most exciting, high street wise, as it means summer is but weeks away. Days become longer, Sunday afternoon trips to the park become de rigor, and soon, very soon, we will no longer need to think about umbrellas, mittens, coats and jackets – we can walk outside with a pair of sunglasses and a smile, knowing (as much as one can know about British weather) that everything will be fine. Sure we can layer up but we do so because we can, not becuase we have to in an attempt to avoid frostbite.

Anyway, where was I? Oh right, New Look. New Look were a big brand when I was younger but somewhere between college and graduation I was distinctly nonplussed with their seasonal offerings. When Cabot Circus opened a couple of years ago I was impressed with the New Look store – huge space split over two floors, spacious changing rooms and an amazing shoe department. I think they have a strong position on the high street and have a great mix of seasonal trends and basic pieces and I’m always tempted by one thing or another, my most recent trip being no exception.

I was looking for a lace waistcoat I spotted at the branch on Oxford Street a few weeks ago but then became distracted by some gorgeous blouses and bright t-shirts. As I walked towards the changing rooms, barely visible under my pile of treasures, I knew it wouldn’t end well – I wanted EVERYTHING! But i do have some willpower, so instead I settled for two gorgeous, slouchy blouses in a blush pink and 70s salmon colours, plus a black and cream tunic with exposed zip.

Did I find the perfect lace waistcoat? No, but given how productive this trip was I’m happy to go back and search for it again : )

New Look S/S 11Pink blouse with vintage beltBlack and cream tunic with exposed zip New Look S/S 11

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Filed under Cabot Circus, nautical, New Look, Primark

New Year, New Loot – Part One

xmas presents
Thanks to a mystery bug I’ve had a fair bit of time on my hands today so, aside from napping and the odd bout of nausea, I’ve been playing with my camera and all the lovely new treats that came my way over Christmas*.

This year, Christmas stocking aside, Mother Ship-Shape took me shopping in Bournemouth to find a few festive goodies. I love surprises – planning them, being on the receiving end, knowing about somebody else’s surprise (I’m not fussy) – and usually insist on knowing nothing about gifts that might be coming my way. Year after year I’ve had some cracking surprises but this year the shopping trip saved my poor mother from the hassle and panic of buying for a surprise-aholic and also guaranteed everything would fit properly.

I tried on numerous pairs of tailored jodhpur style trousers before finding this stone-coloured pair from New Look. Thanks to my pre-wedding health kick they suit sitting both high on the waist or lower on my hips. They also go rather nicely with my gorgeous new Dorothy Perkins blazer, below. I adore the slight ruching on the pockets and the slouchy feel of the lightweight cotton, and the taupe colour is close enough to beige to be a wardrobe staple, but far enough away from camel to make it too A/W 10.

I also finally managed to get myself a pair of brogues from River Island. A cross between a loafer and brogue, the hidden laces make these shoes far more versatile and I can’t wait till Spring to pair them with bare legs and summer dresses.

Somewhat surprisingly, I gravitated towards very similar garments and came away from Christmas with a practically complete outfit – a rare feat for my shopping trips, as Part Two of this post will show you…

Slouchy pockets and turned up cuffs make a perfect S/S blazer

Slouchy pockets and turned up cuffs make a perfect S/S blazer My new stone coloured trousers came complete with brown knotted belt

My new stone coloured trousers came complete with brown knotted belt

river island brogues

Brogue + loafer =?


*Sadly not the new Jamie Oliver cookbook – at the moment that is only adding to the nausea feeling : (

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Filed under Christmas, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, River Island

Dispatches: Fashion’s Dirty Secret

I’ve just come back from a romantic trip to Venice and I was planning on putting up a few outfit posts and general holiday snaps but instead I thought I would write about what I’m currently watching, which is arguably more important than me prancing around in front of the Rialto bridge.

After getting back from the airport minus M, who has gone off on a business trip to Germany, I thought I would catch up on some telly when I came across Dispatches: Fashion’s Dirty Secret. The documentary, which aired last week, investigates the working conditions in UK factories that supply the likes of New Look, Topshop and Peacocks (these links will take you to the ethical polices for each brand).

From what I’m seeing the main issues seem to be subcontracting within approved supply chains and while the point of the documentary is to be ‘hard hitting’, having seen documentaries like this before, I am not as shocked as I should be that this kind of labour is taking place in Britain.

Most savvy shoppers will have seen the likes of BBC Three’s Blood, Sweat & T-Shirts and be aware that cut-price fashion can come at a cost. I wrote a post about cheap frills myself earlier this year and have become increasingly aware that in the fashion industry, words like ‘ethical’ and ‘organic’ are bounced around with little care.The shock factor with this film is that the long hours, poor working conditions and barely-there wages are happening to workers in Leicester.

Most of the brands approached for a comment either denied all knowledge of the work and/or agreed how it contravened their ethical trading policies. It’s hard to love high street when a programme like this shoots down brands such as New Look, which I had always naively assumed was sounds its fashion responsibilities.

Take a look and see for yourself what the real cost of a £25 jumpsuit or Breton t-shirt is and have a read of Ethical Trading Initiative website where there are details on New Look’s reaction and response to the film.

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Filed under ethical fashion, high street, New Look, Peacocks, Topshop