Monthly Archives: March 2010

Ding Dong!

Just a quickie as I’m currently in Bournemouth with the Ship-Shape clan but thought I would post this picture of me in a certain white dress. It is not The One but I have had fun trying on dresses with Mother of The Bride today. This number is a lot more traditional than I thought I would go for but I’m loving the huge flower corsage on the hip.

Bristol Fashion Week pt. 2

After a memory card drama and some cyberspace transfer thingy that I still don’t entirely understand, I’m now in possession of some more cracking photos of Bristol Fashion Week. Images are courtesy of my partner in crime for the day, who accompanied me to Thursday’s show at Cribbs. Below are some of her best shots…

The Jane Norman black lace and power pink collection that had us divided
Lady Gaga headgear and graphic prints on the Next models
Dorothy Perkins culottes – swoon!
Polka dots, navy and cream – lovely!
Prim and proper detailing in monochrome for John Lewis
The men get suited and booted by Cecil Gee

Bristol Fashion Week pt. 1

What a day! I’ve just come back from an afternoon at Bristol Fashion Week at Cribbs Causeway, which started today amid the heavy rain and wind. In case you were wondering, BFW is the bi-annual fashion event that showcases what all us Bristolians should be wearing over the coming months, that takes place at The Mall at Cribbs, running from today until Sunday 28th March.

Expecting just another Spring/Summer fashion show my partner in crime and I were delighted to fit in a whole day of activities including a free foundation consultation, info on what colours suit us and a goodie bag packed full of discounts to use in the Mall.

The nibbles and bucks fizz, courtesy of Marks & Spencer, soon made up for my soaking wet hair and damp clothes and we soon found ourselves in the hands of GMTV’s Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton who hosted the show. Matching monochrome suits and self-promotion aside, these dandy gents provided the entertainment between scenes and even attempted to master the underwear as outwear look – with humorous results.

John Lewis kicked off the event and, along with fellow BFW sponsor Marks & Spencer showed strong collections that could compete with some of the younger brands. Acid pink tights, bright prints and rather exciting scallop edged coat from Jersie were on the agenda in the first half while the department store giant later showed off with a Sex And The City inspired take on florals and tailoring.

Marks & Spencer attempted a literal take on the underwear as outerwear look with mixed results but their nautical and ladylike dresses (think navy, sailor red and lots of polka dots) were a hit in the second half of the show.

Menswear and childrenswear were also catered for, with the likes of Bank, River Island and USC representing military and double denim trends.

The late Alexander McQueen received a tribute from the presenters and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga pumped out from the speakers as digital prints from Next strutted down the runway. The bright colours, figure hugging silhouettes and stylized head-gear made an impact as the models danced in a jerky, robot style, faces covered by yards of black netting that Gareth Pugh would be proud of. I was surprised by how moving the scene was and the late British designer’s essence was clear to see in the futuristic, graphic prints, bold colours and use of trip-inducing accessories.

Dorothy Perkins were also a surprise hit, bringing back not only culottes but navy and white polka dot culottes! The outfits were nautical, quirky and terribly girly, and have succeeded in making me covet a pair of navy blue culottes, oh, and maybe a floral pair too… but I digress. Fashions from Karen Millen were graphic blocks of monochrome with hints of electric blue, with tailoring inspired by the infamous Herve Leger bandage dresses.

The black lace and powder pink collection from Jane Norman had myself and my fashionable friend divided – mini pink trench coats and black lace ‘bodies’ were Parisian chic in one corner and more French maid in the other.

Before we knew it the show was over but we managed to entertain ourselves for the rest of the afternoon, armed with our goodie bags and a renewed sense of anticipation for Spring/Summer 2010 collections. We even had a colour consultancy and make up tutorials but more on that later. I won’t divulge too much only to write that apparently my must-have colour is, shudder, coral…

There are a few photos below but I’ll post some more once my memory card reader has stopped conspiring against me.

Tickets can be yours for less than a tenner so if you would like more information about tickets and show times, please see The Mall website. Shows run throughout the weekend and the event end on 28th March.

Andrew and Mark introduce the show
Marks & Spencer with a literal take on the underwear as outerwear trend
More Marks & Spencer, working ladylike tailoring and nautical polka dots
Competition winner Barbra after her M&S makeover
Body con corsets and leather from Marks & Spencer
Next pays homage to Alexander McQueen with digital prints
Menswear goes military at River Island
La Senza teamed up with USC for the double denim trend
GMTV’s Ness works polka dots on the catwalk

John Lewis come over all Sex And The City in the second half of the show

Lust Have: A Telephone Headpiece a la Lady Gaga

I just saw the much talked about Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce ‘Telephone’ video for the first time and am now wishing this kind of headwear was more common, but then maybe it would be less fun? While the video was packed with a staggering amount of costume changes and props by Gaga favourites Jeremy Scott and Jean de Castelbajac it was a retro baby blue telephone that stole my heart.

The (and I use this term loosely) hat is by Fred Butler, the fantastically eccentric prop designer cum accessories genius who has created head pieces, jewellery and body adornments for everyone from Patrick Wolf to Skunk Anansie. After working for set designer Shona Heath after graduating from Brighton University, Butler set out on a one woman mission to cover the globe in quirky, colourful and out of this world designs.

If you like what you see and want to know more then head to the Fred Butler website.

Company High-Street Edit

One of the reasons I love the blogsphere and the internet in general is that news, ideas and opinions get passed around like Chinese whispers; more often than not something starts out with one meaning and by the end of the game it has a totally new one.

Blogs are so subjective and as a reader one can pick and choose what pieces of information to retain, what posts to comment on and what links to click. As something of a magazine junkie it didn’t take much persuasion from a post by Disney Roller Girl to convince me to go out and buy Company High-Street Edit, the new bi-annual fashion bible from Company magazine that focuses on all the trends hitting the high street over the coming months.

I walked on by the first time I saw this title peeking out at me from the shelves of the corner shop, dismissing it as another Elle Collections, or Vogue Catwalk pull-out but if I had only flicked through the pages I would have scooped it up with my Monster Much and headed straight for the till. DRG has written a great post on the High-Street Edit so I’ll focus my attention on the design of the magazine, which I think sets it apart from its rivals.

Firstly, the choice of typeface; courier, aerial and label maker. This combination of edgy, contemporary, if slightly over used fonts with traditional sans-serif makes for a fresh, youthful look, perfect as Company is aimed at twenty-something women. The black text is offset against white backgrounds and cut out shapes of garments, key words are underlined and white boxes allow text and images to stand out against the page.

The matt, grainy paper (possibly recycled but unlikely) only adds to the concept of the magazine; this is not just a catalogue of seasonal looks from the catwalk there are interviews with top fashion bloggers, features about the wearability of the latest trends and tips on how to customise garments to update your look. Ripped edges and backgrounds of lined paper, fabric and newsprint should look cliche but don’t. Instead they turn a fashion magazine into a great piece of design.

After the recent house move I had to make difficult choices about what magazines I would keep and what, sob, I would cull so it is great to have found a title for the permanent collection. Fashion and magazines are two addictions I’m happy to have and I look forward to seeing the next issue in September. If you want to get your hands on a copy then head down to your local newsagent now!

Images are layered with ripped edges and enhanced by the juxtaposition of straight lines
Collages of text and images give the blogger interview a scrapbook feel
Pages vary from simple and graphic like the spread above, to textured and busy below
Lace, gingham, newsprint and illustrated backgrounds don’t over crowd the information