Category Archives: Vogue

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

Something for The Weekend… FNO, Making Things Club and Doors Open

Radley Vogue FNO event

Looking for a fashionable fix this weekend? Read on…

Vouge’s Fashion’s Night Out is an annual event that takes place across cities the world over each September. If you’re London based you can enjoy numerous events, discounts, product launches and gigs around the Bond Street/Oxford Street/Knightsbridge area tonight. Here in Bristol there isn’t quite the same level of activity, but Harvey Nichols and Radley (at The Mall, and their Quakers Friars store) are getting involved so visit their websites for more info or pop in for a visit from 6pm tonight.

Saturday is Bristol’s Doors Open Day 2012. This annual event sees over 60 historic venues open their doors to the public for behind the scenes tours and events. While it’s not exactly a fashionable fix, art and design venues taking part include the Bristol School of Art, the RWA and Spike Island. Some venues require booking in advance so check out the website in advance before planning your trip!

Making Things Club, Bristol

Calling all crafters! Sunday evening sees Cafe Kino on Stokes Croft host another monthly Making Things Club. The event kicks off at 5.30pm and costs a mere £5. The evening promises ‘unlimited making, music and fun’ and this month the club will be working with image transfers. Check out their Facebook event page for more info.

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Filed under Fashion's Night Out, Something for The Weekend, Vogue

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…

We'll Take Manhattan

  • We’ll Take Manhattan on BBC 4 last Thursday – Did you see it? Did you want to be Jean Shrimpton? Or any model in 60s New York? Or working for Vogue? Or perhaps you had a guilty crush on Aneurin Barnard’s David Bailey? No? just me then… If you want to see the actual shots Bailey took of Ms Shirmpton on their jolly to New York, click here (thanks to @swonderfulBride for the original link).
  • Pintrest – possibly the most addictive and time consuming internet fun since Wikitrails. Although I’ve had the account for a while, I’m still getting used to it. Let me know if you’re on it too or have any great tips on who to follow for style inspiration.
  • IFB’s New Year blogging goals – not so much goals as tips for setting them, this article breathes life into my blogging bones, particularly when work/life/the world is so busy at the moment. A must read for anyone new to blogging or those dragging their heels after Christmas.

Clothes Swap

  • Clothes swapping – a Friday night with wine, nibbles, gossip, good company, AND the possibility of a whole new wardrobe? Like, like, like. I’m a big fan of clothes swaps and held a clothes swapping party at my place a while ago. This time all of us came away with some new treasures (and, crucially, less than we bought to begin with) and the unwanted threads are going to a charity shop so everyone wins. I’ll write a longer post next week about my finds but for now the picture of clothing carnage, above, will have to suffice!
  • New blogs – my good friend and Bristol-based stylist, Amy, has take the plunge into the world of blogging. She has ridiculously good taste and has been my shopping partner in crime on more than one occasion! Take a look and say hello here.

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

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Filed under charity shop, clothes swap, photography, Rock The Week, vintage, Vogue

Ship-Shape does… Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out

 Vogue FNO London logo

After a whirlwind trip to London for Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out I am seriously considering going on a diet. Clothes, shopping and glamour aside, my dinner on Thursday was made up of popcorn (sweet AND salty), frozen yoghurt, cupcakes and gin. All important food groups I’m sure you’ll agree, but nevertheless I felt a little below par the next day!

Having never been to FNO before I was somewhat overwhelmed at how London’s shopping hub (Oxford Street, Regent Street, Mayfair and surrounding areas) transformed into one massive fashion shoot. Models, designers, celebs and bloggers joined thousands of shoppers in sipping champagne, posing for photos and Bangle Bowling at Hermès.

At first I felt empowered walking into stores like Burberry and Roland Mouret, sipping champagne, ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ over spotting designers (Christopher Bailey and Mr Mouret himself) and enjoying a visual splendour of clothes and accessories that I normally only get to see on the pages of Vogue or Elle.

But as we power walked our way across London, squeezed through crowds only to join endless queues and marvel at those who did all this and more in a pair of skyscraper heels, I couldn’t help but feel a little small. Wearing flats didn’t help (brown leather and tweed ankle boots from Primark), but I think more than that it was the realisation that, like most shoppers there, the next day life would go back to normal. Like a hoard of fashion-hungry Cinderellas, the party would last for one night only before the comedown of real life – bye bye Birkin, hello housework.

That’s not to say we didn’t have fun ambling tipsily through the city, lusting after clothes or making a few minor splurges at Zara and Forever 21. You can see a selection of photos from the night below, including my gorgeous knitted dress from Zara – picked up in the sale, of course – this Cinderella is still on a budget after all…

Frozen yoghurt at Juicy Couture

Frozen yoghurt at Juicy Couture

Shoes and cake at Hobbs on Regent Street

Shoes and cake at Hobbs on Regent Street

Bangle Bowling outside Hermes

Bangle Bowling outside Hermes

Excess and glamour at Juicy Couture

Excess and glamour at Juicy Couture

Zara knitted dress bought at FNO

Zara knitted dress bought at FNO

Forever 21 waterfall jacket  and Zara t-shirt

Forever 21 waterfall jacket and Zara t-shirt

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Filed under A/W11, Fashion's Night Out, London, Vogue, Zara

September Fashion: Gok Wan and Fashion’s Night Out

Fashion's Night Out 2011Gok_Wan



I may still be smarting from the end of another blissful summer (sob) but in fashion terms at least, the arrival of September is like celebrating New Year’s Eve and I can already feel a smile spreading across my face when I think of what stylish delights there are to come over the next few weeks.

This week Bristolians can look forward to the return of ‘Auntie Gok’ to Cabot Circus and Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out. This Wednesday Gok Wan assembles his travelling catwalk under the glass roof of Cabot Circus as part of a new series of Gok’s Clothes Roadshow.

The format is slightly different this time, as designer labels have been kicked to the curb in favour of budget buys. This means high street outfits as seen in previous catwalk shows will now be pitted agaisnt outfits that cost as little as £50. As always the public get to vote on which looks they prefer so if you want to cast your vote make sure you get down to Cabot Circus for 5pm.

On Thursday the fashion world unites for Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out. This international celebration takes place in cities across the world from New York and LA to Milan and London. From 6pm onwards shoppers can hob nob with designers, sip champagne, indulge in the latest A/W11 trends and shop to their hearts content.

I can’t wait to check out Oxford Street and Covent Garden in London this year but Bristolians don’t need to miss out as Harvey Nicks in Quakers Friars is also taking part in FNO. If  you know of any more FNO events in Bristol or are heading to another city to enjoy the fashion festivities tell me about your experiences and share your shopping secrets by commenting below.

Filming for Gok’s Clothes Roadshow takes place this Wednesday (7th Sept) at Cabot Circus from 5pm. Fashion Night Out events are taking place across the country so visit the Fashion’s Night Out website for info and links to events in your area.

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Filed under Cabot Circus, catwalk show, Fashion's Night Out, Gok Wan, London, Vogue

The Best Things In Life Are Free

kylie-minogue-cover ELLE

This is just a quick post to comment on the little surprises that life can throw you. As I was walking up to my friend F’s house in Bishopston I noticed a bunch of magazines and CDs sitting on the wall of a front garden with a sign saying ‘please help yourself x’. I don’t know how long the unwanted bits and bobs had been there but by the time I walked passed there were still a handful of Vogues from 2002/3 and, as luck would have it, the current issue of ELLE!

While I could have easily swiped up most of the magazines I thought I would stick with ELLE as it is current and has some fantastic summer fashion features, cooing over my find the rest of the way.

So often magazines and newspapers are chucked in the recycling bin (which is of course far better than just chucking them away) but this was a really sweet way of de-cluttering and recycling at the same time. Will have to think of this next time I’m forced to part with my own fashion magazines…

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Filed under Elle, fashion magazines, Vogue

>Luella Hit By Recession


Luella S/S10 image courtesy of Vogue style achieves

As I was browsing on the UK Vogue website this morning, I was shocked to see that the fantastic British fashion label Luella has announced plans to cease trading.
Created by Central St Martins graduate and onetime fashion editor Luella Bartley back in 2000, the Luella brand took the fashion world by storm after its first season and Bartley was soon hailed as one of the ‘bright new stars’ of the design world. Making a name for herself with quirky, feminine designs, Bartley has received many accolades since starting the brand, most notably winning New Designer of the Year in 2000 (Elle Style Awards) and Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2008.

Image courtesy of Le Fabuleux Mia

According to the Vogue report, the brand’s global licence Club 21 has “reluctantly taken the decision not to invest further in its relationship with Luella Bartley Limited.” The rippling effects of this current recession do not seem to discriminate; effecting all businesses and communities alike, even the seemingly unstoppable fashion industry.
If well established design houses like Luella can be hit by such a blow, it is worrying to think about what the future of design holds for graduates and fledgling fashion designers and their peers.
Another one bites the dust as they say, disappointing to see such an eccentric, fun label disappear, though hopefully Luella will return in some form or another.
Liberty London Girl and the Guardian both have good reports on this for further reading.

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Filed under British Fashion Awards, Elle, Luella Bartley, recession, Vogue

>The September Issue

>Legendary Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour stars in this fashion cinema verite documentary following the production of the magazine’s September issue, the highest grossing issue of the year.

Documentary maker R.J.Cutler and his crew followed Wintour, below, and the rest of the fashion team over a period of nine months, witnessing firsthand the trials and tribulations of working for the most powerful magazine in the fashion industry and it’s notoriously hard to please editor.

Featuring interviews with key members of the editorial team both in and outside of work, the film sheds a reveling light on Wintour and the highly influential part she plays within the magazine.

What has often plagued Wintour are the rumors of her ‘ice queen’ persona but in The September Issue she comes across as efficient with a no-fuss approach to shoots, designers and the magazine in general. Personal details such as her childhood are revealed and the film even captures her in her Long Island retreat, talking candidly to her daughter, Bee Shaffer, about her career aspirations (Bee wants to go to Law School while Wintour would like to her to get involved with editing). This gives a softening edge to Wintour’ sometimes cutting demeanor.

Film critics have praised the documentary for it’s eye opening glimpse into the fashion industry and as a fashion journalist I also found the insights fascinating. In an interview on R.J.Cutler commented on being an outsider looking in; “I get to float into these worlds – and I get to float out of them when I’m done. And while I’m there, I get to be curious and fascinated and kind of live in a state of wonder”.

Watching the team try to navigate Wintour’s moods and direction was both humorous and enlightening but for me the real star of the show is Grace Coddington. British model turned journalist turned creative director, Grace started at American Vogue on the same day as Anna and is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Many of the highlights of the film involve Grace, either as the camera follows her on fashion shoots or as she battles with Wintour to keep her much-loved spreads in the magazine.

The September Issue is a must for any fashionista who loves their magazines and wants a glimpse into the ultimate fashion bible. The film is showing at the Watershed until this Thursday.

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Filed under Anna Wintour, fashion magazines, Vogue