Monthly Archives: July 2011

Festival Fashion: Bristol Harbour Festival

Ship-Shape & Bristol Harbour

It’s that time of year again! Bristol Harbour Festival, one of the largets free events in the country, has descended on our fair city. I’ll keep this brief as I’m sure you’re already out enjoying the festivities but don’t forget to check out this amazing, totally free event over the weekend. Events, performances, street food and heaps of festival fashion can be found in the Arnolfini, Queens Square, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Castle Park, the newly opened M Shed and of course the harbour itself. This is one of the highlights of a Bristolian summer so don’t miss out! See you by the cider tent! x

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

Sales and Stripes

Ah London, my second home and forever a drain on my wallet! For the last couple of days I’ve been catching up with friends, eating cupcakes from Lola’s, checking out the amazing Glamour of the Gods exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and killing time on Oxford Street.

Until this trip I had been careful to suppress my appetite for The Sales – choosing instead to work hard, go to a few festivals and avoid those dominating red signs wherever possible. I think it was this well-meaning abstinence that contributed to my frenzied attack on Oxford Street yesterday morning. It started with the search for the perfect Breton top and ended with several Mango, H & M and Next carrier bags.

I’m a big fan of Mango and it pains me that in Bristol we have to make to with a concession in House of Fraser, so I made an effort to enjoy the one located on Oxford Street. Buried under a pile of stripes I made my way to the changing room and returned victorious, with a white and navy striped t-shirt dress and a scarlet red and muddy brown cardigan which makes me feel like an extra in Harry Potter.

Stripes on Sale - L-R: H&M, Mango and Next

A quick browse found me a another stripe – this time in the shape of a vest with a breast pocket and column of buttons down the centre in Next of all places. The royal blue and white stripes are close to perfect but I still feel the perfect stripe is out there waiting for me.

Topshop, Zara and Uniqlo all caught my attention but it was H & M that came up trumps in the sales, with a colour clashing pink and red sundress, above, and  a slightly more subtle floral print dress and tunic, below. Hopefully this little spending spree has curbed my enthusiasm for The Sales but I can’t be held responsible if I pass by Urban Outfitters next week.

Fortunately I’m off to a cottage in the middle of Wales for the rest of the week so unless Topshop have opened a new store at the top of Mount Snowdon, my credit card and I should be safe.

Fade florals and salmon pink tunics at H&M

Sheer fabrics and brushed cotton

Something for The Weekend: Great Birds Exhibition

This isn’t fashion related but if you want a dose of culture this weekend that doesn’t involve teenage wizards then check out the new Great Birds of the British Isles exhibition. The Birds are an all female collective of urban artists (Dora, Milk, K148 and Amour) who paint, graffiti and photograph their way through life, bringing a fresh, feminine edge to their craft and doing it all right here in Bristol.

Following on from collaborations and exhibitions in Bristol and London the Birds are back and their opening party is this Friday. I’m off to a festival and gutted I won’t be able to make it but will head down to The Upper Gallery, Bridwell Street, before the exhibition closes on the 24th July.

For more info including opening times and party details, check out their Facebook page.

The Origins of Beauty

Origins goodies

In the build up to the wedding I tried my best to act like a grown woman and establish a decent skincare routine, become better acquainted with my hairdresser, eat healthily and generally take care of myself. As with most of the good intentions I make to myself on a daily basis, the majority of these fell by the wayside.

It was in fact Lorraine Kelly who kickstarted my skincare routine, by advertising a promotion by luxury natural skincare brand Origins, offering a free cleanser and skin consultation when you bought in an old skincare container to your local Origins counter. This was part of their annual Reduce, Reuse, Recycle scheme and as a brand I’d always wanted to try, I jumped at the chance to sample their products. During the consultation at Bristol House of Fraser I found that the brand also specialise in mini facials. For £15, redeemable against purchase, you can be pampered for 45 minutes with moisturisers, serums, face masks and face scrubs.

As a facial virgin I felt a tad nervous as I lay down on the table a week later, cocooned under a warm blanket as the consultant got to work, but five minutes in I wondered why I hadn’t tried this ages ago. As the owner of sensitive, dry skin I had avoided such treatments in the past, worried that I would leave with bright pink face, traumatised by a concoction of synthetic ingredients and vigorous hands. Thankfully this wasn’t the case – after a lengthy consultation and a slap on the wrist for not have a decent skincare routine in place, the lovely Michelle selected products packed full of natural ingredients that would hydrate my skin and give it that  all-important bridal glow.

By the end of the session, which included a hand and arm massage and an amazingly hydrating skin mask, I drifted out onto the shop floor in a state of utter relaxation. I treated myself to another facial before the big day (its best to leave a good three-five days between a facial and a special event) and although I’ve had to restrain myself thanks to a post-wedding financial slump, I think £15 is a bargain for such a relaxing, calming and hydrating facial.

If you’re nervous about taking the plunge into the world of facials then I would recommend a visit to your local Origins counter for a natural, luxurious treat. Oh, and for the authority on local beauty, don’t forget to check out The Bristol Beauty Blog too for skincare and make up tips and tricks.