Monthly Archives: June 2010

Life begins at 40…

Glastonbury Festival panoramaic shot
… or so it would seem for Glastonbury. This year was the festival’s 40th birthday bash and I had the delight not only of attending but also working for Worthy FM, the official Glastonbury Festival radio station.

I loved every minute and although I didn’t have much time to blog while I was there, I did note a few festival fashion do’s and don’ts…

Do… bring footwear for every occasion. This year we experienced something of a heatwave. Add to this that not a drop of rain fell for the WHOLE festival and you begin to question why there were folks traipsing around in their wellies.

Don’t… walk around with bare feet. That is just taking it too far…

Do… sport your floral garlands with pride – these head pieces are cute, feminine and are guaranteed to bring out your inner hippy. Avoid floaty florals though, and instead toughen up with denim and monochrome.

Don’t... think that by shaving a small chunk of your hair of a la Alice Dellal you will transform into a supermodel and socialite too. The amount of girls I saw with this undercut look was depressing and surely will only lead to your gran suffering from a mild heart attack the next time she sees you.

Do… bring a bikini. Be it swimming in the mud or bathing in the sun, this practical piece of kit will come in handy on countless occasions.

Don’t… forget the sun lotion. Burnt flesh is never a good look and will haunt you forever in your post-festival photographs.

Do… have fun with your look. Festivals are about fun, adventure, friends and the occasional spot of music. Who cares what you look like in your charity shop sailors hat or clashing patterns? So long as you’re having fun and you’re comfortable that is all that matters.

Wax On, Wax Off

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Waxed cotton jacket

I still remember the first Barbour jacket my father bought, an investment for taking our dogs for long walks along the river behind our house: the starchy, waxed cotton, the oily smell and the injection of country into an otherwise jean-heavy wardrobe.

Now waxed cotton jackets are enjoying a surge in interest in the female market, thanks to the likes of Lily, Peaches and Alexa, below, sporting the look at British festivals.

Alexa works a Barbour and Breton combo at Vfest. Image courtesy of Clareification

It is not hard to see the appeal of a decent waxed jacket for such an occasion – festivals can be a messy, muddy business and what better to survive than with a garment that is waterproof, mud proof and could probably pass for a picnic blanket in times of need. I have been hankering for such a jacket for a while now and as Glastonbury is fast approaching I thought I would see if I could hunt one down.

The Barbour brand is over 100 years old, British born and bred and a staple piece in the wardrobes of farmers, land owners and country bumpkins across the land. I can’t quite afford the price tag for a brand new jacket so I went to the next best place; RePsycho on Gloucester Road.

As predicted this retro/vintage store came up trumps with a large selection of well-loved (read:battered) wax jackets including a decent selection of original Barbour’s for £40. Many of these were traditional men’s jackets which just swamped me but this label-less women’s jacket, below, I ended up with more than does the job, and was a snip at £30.

Though not a Barbour, it is in great condition, has a gorgeous paisley lining and actually vaguely fits me. It is a little big but I think this just adds to the twist of pairing such a masculine garment with floaty, romantic dresses.

I’ll have more on festival fashion and what to pack later in the week but for now I’ll leave you with photos of my lovely new wax jacket…

waxed jacket

Damsel in ‘dis Dress

Yellow rose pint Tesco dress

Well, if I’m honest this post has not turned out the way I thought it would, namely because I didn’t think my dress would be holding me hostage! But before I get into my wardrobe mishap, I should probably start at the beginning…

This lovely white and yellow floral print dress with cut out detail is something I’ve had my eye on since spotting it on the web a few weeks ago. I love the cut, the print and the heart detail and whats more, this dress was advertised at just £22. Not from Primark or similar, but from the F+F collection at Tesco, of all places!

I very rarely buy any clothes from supermarket collections, mainly because I don’t live within any stores large enough but also because I’ve never really rated the designs or quality. However in recent months I have been pleasantly surprised at the caliber of deigns coming from F+F and George by Asda. The major brands seem to have really embraced S/S 10 trends and there have been some very slick designs, particularly in the summer dress department.

This floral number had been in the back of my mind so I was delighted when I spotted it last night on a late night visit to Tesco. In a true ‘meant to be’ moment, there was just one left in my size. After quickly trying it on I was sold and hurried to the till before anyone else spotted my find. Naturally I thought it would be perfect for an outfit post, which brings you up to speed with where I am, sat on the sofa and stuck in my dress.

That’s right, stuck. After taking a few snaps, see below, I went to change out of the dress and found the (supermarket quality) zip was stuck and would not budge. After being laughed at by the boyfriend via Skype, I’ve been forced to wait until he gets back from work to rescue me…

Yellow rose print Tesco
Tesco rose print dress

Graduate Fashion Week

Graduate Fashion Week 2010

For every fashion student there is a pinnacle event that signifies the end of your degree and three years of hard work, blood, sweat and (quite often) tears; Graduate Fashion Week.

Now in it’s 19th year, GFW is still the best place to see emerging British talent and put your fledgling brand on the fashion map. As always Bristol’s University of the West of England (UWE) will be sending their best designs down the runway, including Amber Hards’ creations, below.

Amber Hards' garment UWE

Amber, along with fellow UWE student Vanessa Harris, has been shortlisted for the Fashion Innovation Award which is sponsored by Hammerson, the owners of Bristol’s very own fashion behemoth, Cabot Circus.

The award is aimed at students who take a more ‘cutting edge’ approach to their designs and Amber made the cut by creating a knitwear collection inspired by the form and movement of jellyfish. Intricate methods and hooking techniques combined with innovative yarns secured a place on the shortlist and this is not the first time that UWE students have made an impression at GFW.

Amber Hards' sketchbook work UWE

Above: Sketches show the intricacy of Hards' knitwear designs

In 2007 UWE graduate Nick Thomas won the River Island Gold Award for his knitwear collection and in 2005 UWE alumni Jess Noy won the same award for her deconstructed denim collection.

The event itself attracts plenty of press attention and with schools such as Central St Martins taking part, some shows are sold out weeks in advance – the likes of Christopher Kane and the late Alexander McQueen have had their graduate collections snapped up off the back of GFW and the shows are truly inspiring for students and industry insiders alike.

Graduate Fashion Week runs from 6th – 10th June at Earls Court and the UWE show takes place at 7pm on Sunday. For more information and tickets click here.

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…