Category Archives: River Island

Under the Christmas Tree…

Jimmy Choo perfume and River Island bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Before 2012 comes to a close I wanted to share some of the goodies that found their way under our Christmas tree this year. From Bastise and Macademia Oil gifts at the South West Bloggers Christmas meet to (quite literally) cheesy Secret Santa presents, I feel very spoiled this year.

While this Christmas has been more typical than remarkable, that’s why I’ve loved it so much. From helping Mama Ship-Shape prepare the veggies for Christmas dinner, to playing board games with my sister-in-law and being unable to say no to second helpings of, well, anything, the past week has been practically perfect.

I hope you found what you wanted under the Christmas tree this year, and that you have a fantastic New Year’s Eve. See you in 2013!

#SWBXmas Christmas presents | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

#SWBXmas Christmas presents from The Birdcage, Bastise and Macadamia Oil

Christmas decoration from Bath Christmas market | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Benefit make-up | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Benefit make-up that I found in my stocking : )

Christmas decorations | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Secret Santa Camembert pot | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

The Camembert pot that a special Secret Santa bought for me…

Felt robin decoration | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

River Island bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Mama Ship-Shape bought me this gorgeous green quilted River Island bag

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Filed under bags, beauty, Christmas, River Island

BFW S/S 12: part one

BFW closing scene

Last Friday, along with 200 of Bristol’s best dressed fashion fanatics, I took my seat at Bristol Fashion Week’s first ever Live Blogging Event. Cribbs Causeway’s biannual event presents each fashion season from a high street point of view, through catwalk shows, pampering treats and discounts and competitions for all the brands that take part – hurrah!

I love going to BFW every season and I was interested to see how the Mall team would approach their first blogger dominated show. I didn’t see many laptops inside the tent but there was plenty of tweeting going on – particularly whenever a male model came on stage. M&S provided the pink fizz and fondant fancies, both of which hit the spot after a loooong week at work!

I took my seat with the lovely Amy from Annie by Amy and Charlotte of Charlotte’s Web and it wasn’t long before the lights went down and hosts Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton appeared on stage. This duo have been presenting BFW for yonks and I love the way Mark’s perkiness is tempered with Andrew’s bitting comments and the general banter between them.

Each scene of the show covered a key S/S12 trend, including pastels, sports lux and tribal prints, with the more predictable high street summer staples – wedding-friendly prom dresses, suits and beachwear. The difference this year is that with a blogger-friendly audience, most of us knew what to expect – those that went to LFW last September saw first-hand what trends designers were loving, and we’ve seen enough articles, trend reports and outfit posts to know that pastels are So Hot Right Now.

BFW opening scene John Lewis

BFW's opening scene, courtesy of John Lewis

It made sense then, that BFW chose to open with a candy cane scene from John Lewis, complete with bubblegum blue lips and giant cellophane collars. Half a dozen models striking robotic poses in pretty pastel dresses was the perfect way to open the show and I felt there was a heavy influence of Katy Perry, Meadham Kirchhoff, Lady Gaga and Louis Vuitton in there.

While I’m not sure I could pull off pastels, I did fall in love with the tribal print scene, mid-century Mad Men-esque outfits from Jigsaw, and gorgeous tropical prints by Oasis. I also loved the production values (is that even the correct term, or does that sound like the most pompous thing you’ve ever heard?) Basically, I loved the music, the graphic backdrops and the tightness of each scene – this season the added dance numbers and acting didn’t overpower the show, or the clothes. What did you think of the show?

I’ve got lots more photos to come, so there will be another post shortly, but for now here are some of my best bits of BFW S/S12…

BFW hosts Andrew Barton and Mark Heyes

BFW hosts Andrew Barton and Mark Heyes

John Lewis candy colours

Candy colours from John Lewis

Scene two- Next

The UK's biggest event this year, tackled by Next and some semi-naked male models

Scene four - tribal from M&S

BFW scene four - tribal prints from M&S


Ignore the model and look at what she's carrying! I'm a little bit in love with this Radley bag...

Radley Happy Camper Leather Grab Handbag

... the Happy Camper Leather Grab Handbag from Radley. It's not my usual cup of tea, but there is something about this bag that I just love : )

Scene nine - mid century Jigsaw

Mid-century chic from Jigsaw, with a wicked 50s kitchenette backdrop

Scene eight - nudes from Miss Sefridge

Nudes and blush tones from Miss Selfridge

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Filed under Bristol Fashion Week, Cribbs Causeway, high street, John Lewis, London Fashion Week, Marks and Spencer, Miss Selfridge, Next, photography, River Island, S/S12

Bristol Fashion Week A/W11 at Cribbs Causeway

Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton BFW A/W11

Yesterday I took a bi-annual pilgrimage to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for Bristol Fashion Week A/W11, eager to how high street brands have reworked this season’s trends. Each season BFW guides shoppers through key trends with the help of catwalk shows, shopping discounts and pampering treats. As always the shows are presented by TV stylist Mark Heyes and celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton, who were on top form again at yesterday’s show.

With retailers including M&S, John Lewis, Republic and Accessorize the catwalk show was packed with style, sass and on-trend outfits. Trends were diverse, including 40s vintage, 70s glamour, colour blocking and even a fetish collection using sheer fabrics and leather dresses from H&M.

French Connection short suit at BFWMarks & Spencer played with vintage, feminine styles and bold polka dot patterns – mimicking Stella McCartney’s now iconic A/W11 dresses  and I fell in love with their black spotty tights. According to those in the know (Heyes) these are an exact match to the ones worn at Stella’s show. Another collection I fell in love with was French Connection. Tailoring, blazers, shorts suits, see left, and sheer blouses all played a part, offset by playful black bowler hats. Gone are the days of suggestive t-shirt slogans and instead the brand continues to do what it does best – sleek lines and grown up cuts.

I’m a big fan of River Island and seeing their interpretation of 70s glamour was exciting as it it ticked so many fashionable boxes; clashing prints, muted tones, shearling coats and Missoni style zig-zag designs. Kimono cover ups extended the oriental theme that carried us through S/S11 and on the menswear front River Island delivered chunky knit jumpers that would look equally at home under a Christmas tree or next to a campfire in the midwest.

I took what felt like a million photos at the show, some of which you can see below, the rest of which I’ll post tomorrow. Did you go to the show? If show share the love by telling me what A/W11 pieces you’re lusting after below…

Shows continue throughout the weekend but spaces are going fast so don’t forget to visit the BFW website for more info on show times and ticket prices. If you can’t make it check back here for more photos from the show.

Autumn colours at John Lewis

Autumn colours at John Lewis

Phase Eight, River Island and Accessorize at BFW

Phase Eight, River Island and Accessorize at BFW

It takes two to tango with Lipsy and H&M

It takes two to tango with Lipsy and H&M

Colour blocking from Fenn Wright Manson at John Lewis

Colour blocking from Fenn Wright Manson at John Lewis

Fetish from H&M, Ann Summers and La Senza

Fetish from H&M, Ann Summers and La Senza at BFW A/W11

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Filed under A/W11, Bristol Fashion Week, catwalk show, Cribbs Causeway, French Connection, H and M, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, River Island

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

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

New Year, New Loot – Part Two

handm silk top detail

Welcome to New Year, New Loot – Part Two. If Part One was an insight to my fashion-forward mind pre-Christmas, then consider this post to be a look at how my brain works during the January sales.

Every year I read (and write) about how to shop successfully during the sales, what items to look for (the words ‘classic’ and ‘wardrobe staples’ spring to mind) and how to avoid the pitfalls and frenzy that only the January sales creates.

Then, every year I go and buy something like the layered vest top, below, simply because it costs a fiver and has a smiley face on it….

handm vest top

That’s not to say I won’t wear this vest (H&M) a lot – I will and it looks ace with black leggings – just that I get a little over excited at all those big red signs. This was my first purchase of a day out with some friends at Cabot Circus and while we were trying lace dresses and skater skirts I also came across this silk dress, below.

This has a tad more longevity and could work well as a dress or as a smart day-to-evening top when paired with some tailored trousers. The tie-dye pattern isn’t something I would normally go for but that is a benefit of sales shopping – a price drop allows one to try out new styles, colours or patterns, without the fear of wasting a lot of money.

handm silk top

Once I’d warmed up a little I found The One, below, the dress that respects the rules of sales shopping and that made my heart skip a beat. It is a flattering, feminine shape, has a unique pattern, a vintage vibe and, crucially, goes with lots of other items I already own. Sadly as with all sale items there was one slight flaw – there was only one size left, and it was slightly smaller than I usually wear.
vintage river island dress

You can see it in the photo above so I obviously bought it. Does it fit? Well yes actually. Would it fit a little better if I were half a stone lighter? Probably, but at least this way I have a goal to aim for… at least that’s what I’m telling myself…

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Filed under H and M, high street, River Island

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

Cabot Circus Spring/Summer pt. 1

Ted Baker geek chic

The fashion season has well and truly hit Bristol and this weekend is the turn of Cabot Circus to show us what we should be wearing this Spring. And Spring has well and truly sprung as shoppers crowed into the sunlit centre of Cabot – with a ceiling of blue skies lighting up the bright white catwalk outside House of Fraser.

After the success of their anniversary catwalk show in September, the fashionable brains at Cabot enlisted the help of stylist Ricky Partner to create the two shows that will rotate across the next two days, while choreographer Vicki Jackson ensured the models had the necessary moves to wow the crowds.

With scenes such as ‘floral’, ‘mid America’ and ‘Italian Riviera’ there were many trends to get through to what perhaps could have been one hour long show was split into two shorter segments, advertised as Show A and Show B. My stylish stallholder chum Amy accompanied me to Show A and we were treated to the best nautical, floral and boho chic looks from the likes of Ted Baker, A Wear, Urban Outfitters and River Island.

Men, women and kids were catered for, as were the diverse clientele of shoppers. I’m a bit of a sucker for the nautical trend which ticked all the boxes but I was pleasantly surprised at the ‘Boho Chic’ scene from Urban Outfitters, New Look and Dorothy Perkins. I was expecting the maxi skirts and off-shoulder tops circa 2004 but this new take on Sienna Miller’s favourite fallback was refreshingly modern, with plenty of denim and boyfriend blazers thrown in for good measure.

The ‘Mid America’ and denim scenes were rather bland and could have benefited from more diversity and accessories but the geek chic scene was spot on, with heavy, black rimmed glasses and nervous, awkward expressions to compliment the buttoned up shirts and prim blouses.

This season Cabot Circus have gone for quality over quantity and while merging both shows might have been a little too long for the average shopper, it would have been great to see more trends per show without having to come back at a later time. However this did give us the opportunity to explore more of the offers and talks within the ‘fashion and beauty playground’ in neighbouring Quakers Friars.

If you want to be part of the action then head down today or tomorrow for catwalk shows, competitions and talks – all for free! For more info and show times, click here.

Nautical but nice: models show of their moves in this season's cream and navy combo

'Mid America' look from Guess, Republic and Urban Outfitters

The men were kept in the loop with the 'Mid America' look from Guess, Republic and Urban Outfitters

Monsoon and Ted Baker

Bold colours and patterns characterise the floral trend, courtesy of Monsoon and Ted Baker

Clear blue skies provide the perfect accompaniment to the florals scene

Urban Outfitters show how to do the new 'Boho Chic'

Urban Outfitters show how to do the new 'Boho Chic' with cut-off denim, floral prints and leather ankle boots

Double denim from Zara, Next, Reiss and Dorothy Perkins

Models get the double denim treatment from Zara, Next, Reiss and Dorothy Perkins

'Beauty and the Geek' fashion for guys and girls

Peaches and cream: 'Beauty and the Geek' for guys and girls. Accessorise with heavy black rimmed glasses

Ted Baker, Fred Perry and A Wear tackle geek chic

Ted Baker, Fred Perry and A Wear tackle geek chic with checked shirts and demure blouses

Military looks by House of Fraser

Military looks by House of Fraser


Filed under A Wear, Cabot Circus, catwalk show, River Island, Ted Baker, Urban Outfitters

>Cabot Circus Fashion Show

>A new season in fashion is marked by events across the fashion capitals of the world. Although London Fashion Week has just ended, Bristol is catching up with shows across the city, from Stokes Croft to Cribbs Causeway. This weekend the fashionable folks at Cabot Circus are kicking things off…

A year ago today Cabot Circus opened it’s doors to the public and as press I was lucky enough to watch the celebratory events unfold. One year on and Cabot Circus are celebrating with two days of catwalk shows, make-up demonstrations, competitions and give-aways. Today I went down to see the first of several catwalk shows taking place over the next two days and got a front row seat to see what the stores will be showcasing this season.

The show focused on five popular trends; biker chic, knitwear, countryside tweeds, 1940s and the the ever popular decade on the high street: electric 80s. First up were the biker models. Despite clothes from Guess, New Look, G-Star and French Connection, almost all the looks were styled with black wet-look leggings and biker boots. Nothing wrong there but it would have been nice to see a twist on this popular look. A studded black cardigan from French Connection was a highlight, as was the biker jacket from New Look, with it’s studded shoulders, see below.

The knitwear portion of the show was fairly commercial, with looks to cater for all members of the audience, from students and young mums to middle aged women and businesswomen on their lunch break. The stand-out model was dressed by River Island, who have gone down a more edgy, expressive route in the last two years. The chunky bright necklace and fuchsia pink ankle boots gave more individuality to the look.

I particularly liked the ‘Tweed and Tails’ look that came next; with a mix of checks, tweeds and knits that echoed farmers wives and horse riding in the country. The stylists had paired tweed with tweed in the form of skirt/trouser suits but I would have liked to have seen a mix of layers to show how a fitted tweed jacket could enhance a number of more casual outfits such as skinny jeans or tea dresses for example.

To interject a dose of excitement the models performed dances with one another while parading down the catwalk and during the ‘Fabulous Forties’ section I was quite concerned that one model was showing off more than just her clothes! Luckily the model in question was wearing quite a fitted skirt but it goes to show that in shows like this it is not always wise to go for a front row seat! Once again many of the looks were very commercial but a pink feather shawl from Topshop (layered over a Kate Moss tea dress) proved that you can find unique, quality and on trend pieces for a reasonable price on the high street.

A surprise hit for me was the Dynasty-inspired finale. I’m not normally one for the 80’s trend but there were some gorgeous shoes, jumpsuits and dresses on show from Topshop, Reiss, River Island and Karen Millen. My favourite item which is already on my Christmas wish list is a cropped sequined jacket from Dorothy Perkins – gorgeous! Below are some shots of the show – unfortunately mostly the later half as I spent ages sorting out the settings on my camera.

If you’re interested in seeing the fashion show then get down to Cabot Circus tomorrow for more shows, give-aways and demonstrations, or click here for more info.

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Filed under Cabot Circus, catwalk show, Eighties, London Fashion Week, River Island, Topshop