Monthly Archives: September 2011

Something for The Weekend: recession fashion show

Recession fashion show

September has been a whirlwind of fashion shows and it doesn’t end here. This Friday high street takes a back seat as vintage and second hand shop recession takes to the Southbank Club for it’s fourth season A/W11 show.

Recession specialises in selling second-hand and vintage clothes and accessories and promises ‘a hilarious night out, that ends in a rush to the dressing room to grab the fabulous vintage clothes as the models try to protect their modesty’. Not to be taken too seriously, the show promises fun and entertainment if you’re sat on the FROW or the BROW – though limited VIP seats offer bubbly and goodie bags too.

All clothes that appear on the catwalk will be available to buy straight after the show so be sure to bring a full wallet as it’s cash only. If you can’t make the show be sure to check out recession (open 11am-6pm Thursdays to Saturdays) for vintage goodies. Owner Gill Loats promises a in-store experience  that begins with taking in sumptuous colours and getting a feel for for the clothes, ending with a purchase that suits you and your lifestyle.

Recession Fashion Show on Friday 30th September. Doors open at 7.45pm for a 8.15pm start at the Southbank Club, Dean Lane BS3 1DB. Tickets cost £5 (VIP £15). For more information visit the recession website or visit the shop (open Thursday-Saturday) at 8 Jacobs Wells Road.

Lust Have: Michael Van der Ham for Topshop

Michael Van Der Ham for Topshop

Yesterday’s post was a bit of a long one so I’m keeping things short and sweet today by declaring my love for Michael Van Der Ham’s new capsule collection for Topshop, in particular this gorgeous patchwork dress, above.

The Dutch designer is known for his love of textiles, his patchwork creations making up his signature style and for S/S12 this will extend into prints of his collages. There is something very tactile about the way he pieces together what should be apposing colours and textures that reminds me of a kaleidoscope - each piece is a scramble of different shapes that creates a whole new pattern.

His six piece collection for Topshop includes devoré blouses, billowing pantaloons and my favourite, this patchwork dress. In arecent interview with Grazia Van der Ham said he ‘wanted to keep it all really fun and aimed at a younger girl.’ Mission accomplished but unfortunately the collection isn’t available in any of the Bristol stores so if you want to snap up this silk dress (£150) you’ll have to buy it online.

Getting lippy with MAC

Lipstick applied by Mrs Keegan from Flickr Commons

Lipstick applied by Mrs Keegan circa 1930s from Flickr Commons

Yesterday I bought a lipstick. ‘Nothing new there,’ you might think, but this was actually a rather momentous occasion for me as it was the first lipstick I’ve ever bought.

Despite hardly wearing any make-up on a day to day basis I seem to have accumulated a heck of a lot of the stuff over the years. There are two-tone eye pencils bought in a fit of nostalgia from Hot Topic, glitter eyeshadows purchased for various fancy dress parties and of course some slightly more grown-up palettes and kits from Benefit, albeit with very whimsical packaging. I have nail varnish from goodie bags and magazine subscriptions, eyelash curlers and a dozen brushes I got as part of a set one Christmas and the odd, rarely worn lipgloss.

But the only lipstick I own is a scarlet red hue in a navy and silver tube that belonged to my mum. I remember a time when I would watch her primp and preen in front of the mirror every morning while I pottered about the room, trying on shoes that were too big for me and bouncing on the freshly made bed which would drive her crazy. When I came to Bristol for uni seven years ago she was clearing out some old make-up and offered me the lipstick. She didn’t wear it that often, only for ‘special occasions’ and so it was passed on to me to use. Like her I kept it for those special occasions, or when I was feeling particularly brave, it was attention grabbing red after all, but mostly I stuck to the safety of sticky lipgloss and tinted lip balm.

There is something so glamourous about applying a lipstick, something so sophisticated about a defined lip, that a tin of rose coloured Vaseline just cannot compete with. Seen on perfectly polished 1940s pin-up girls or even applied haphazardly in the back of a taxi by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the lipstick is a symbol of femininity, sexuality and beauty.

Beauty contestant applies lipstick

Beauty contestant applies lipstick, 1953, sourced from Flickr Commons

The sale of lipstick has even become a barometer for the economic world after beauty giant Estee Lauder’s chairman commented on the link between periods of recession and the sale of lipstick. ‘The Lipstick Index’ apparently showed that when times are tough financially, women look to smaller luxury items such as lipstick to treat themselves with.

Recently I’ve been craving a lipstick of my very own but despite the wealth of literature available in fashion magazines and online, I had no idea what shade would suit me or how to avoid looking washed out or worse, too try-hard.

Yesterday I decided to take the plunge by visiting the best place in Bristol for wow factor make-up – the MAC counter in Debenhams. I’ve treated myself to MAC in the past as I love the intensity of the pigments in their eyeshadows and their sleek black packaging but I have also been put off in the past as the brand is just so achingly hip. Limited edition Wonder Woman packaging, make-up artists clad head to toe in black and in your face colours… MAC make-up makes a statement! Intimidating, yes, but at the same time I knew I would be in safe hands.

Normally the counter is so busy that you need to book an appointment in advance to guarantee some face time with an Artist but luckily the shop floor was pretty quiet yesterday so I managed to get some advice from one of the girls who was lovely and so helpful.

MAC lipstick  in Speak Louder

My new MAC lipstick in 'Speak Louder'

I thought I would leave with a red shade but we talked through my style, eye colour and skin tone and decide to try out coral shades (apparently very A/W11). There worked really well, my Artist was patient and gave me her honest opinion. After a a little experimentation we hit the jackpot with the aptly named ‘Speak Louder’ lipstick and ‘In Anticipation’ lipliner. As soon as I’d finished applying it a smile spread across my face – this shade was The One.

The colour, applied directly from the tube, followed by a layer of lipliner and another coat of lipstick, stayed put throughout my yoga class and even after eating dinner which I was very impressed with. Even the smell is intoxicating – lipsticks from my mothers generation always smelt so fake, like plastic, but this one smells like vanilla. I have no idea if it’s meant to but if so then it’s a nice touch.

If I had the money I could have bought several more shades and liners but I my Artist did jot down the names of other hues that I should get including a subtle, daytime coral and a vamped up, neon pink that I would apparently suit, but ‘only when you’re ready to turn the volume up.’

I look forward to stepping it up a notch but for now I think I’ll stick to speaking louder…

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11 pt. 2

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11 Mango eveningwear

A family function in Cirencester prevented me from putting these up yesterday but here are a few more photos taken at the Quakers Friars catwalk show on Saturday, as part of the Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11. The show I watched featured clothes from Mango, see above, Reiss, Fat Face, Monsoon, Bank and LK Bennet to name a few.

I wasn’t overly keen on the more casual looks typical of Bank and Cult, preferring instead the ladylike looks from Monsoon, Mango and Reiss. Having said this I’m pretty sure I did spot what looked like a pair of crushed velvet skinny jeans on one of the Reiss models (see last photo in this post) which I found rather disturbing!

After my stint of live blogging I went in search of half the outfits I saw on the catwalk and also popped in to the new Mango store on Brigstowe Street. The selection is sooo much better than the concession in House of Fraser and I can’t wait for their launch event which takes place this Thursday.

Anywho, as promised here are a few snaps of my favourite looks. Did you see any of the shows yourself? Let me know what you thought of the looks by posting below…

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender stylist JP

Fashion Weekender stylist JP introduces the show

Cabot Circus Monsoon

Zahra blouse and brown cord shorts from Monsoon

Cabot Circus Monsoon yellow skirt

My favourite outfit from the show: yellow pleated skirt and chunky knit jumper from Monsoon

Fat Face A/W11

Menswear and womenswear from Fat Face A/W11

Cabot Circus Fat Face details

This is more from the mens range at Fat Face but I think I might try this look myself

Cabot Circus LK Bennet close up

Colour blocking from LK Bennet A/W11

Reiss A/W11

Loving the leather skirt and blouse look from Reiss A/W11

Cabot Circus Fashion Weekender A/W11

Fresh from BFW I’m now at Fashion Weekender A/W11 at Cabot Circus, blogging live under the iconic glass roof. Regular readers will know that this weekend is packed with free fashion shows, pampering treats and discounts at Cabot Circus and Quakers Friars, guiding us through the latest high street trends. Naturally I took it upon myself to check out what is on offer and so far I’ve not been dissapointed.

I’ve just seen an afternoon catwallk show at Quakers Friars featuring Monsoon’s Fusion line, Bank, Cult, LK Bennet and Mango.  I’m so excited at the prospect of the new Mango store which opened on Thursday, that after seeing the catwalk full of evening dresses I may have to pop in there as soon as I’ve finished writing this. Monsoon also impressed, see photo above, and I’ve fallen in love with the yellow chiffon pleated skirt you can see on the model to the right. The back features an exposed blue and gold zip and the sunshine yellow colour will not only brighten up these incereasingly dark days but also take you through to S/S12 as yellow has featured heavily in recent Fashion Week shows.

As I mentioned, today I’m blogging live from Cabot Cricus and I’m aware that I’m in the middle of central Bristol’s shopping hub, surrounded by Bristol’s best dressed. The rustle of those shopping bags is making me crave a little retail threapy and another catwlak show is about to start so I’ll post more photos from the day later on.

If you’re in Bristol this weekend be sure to take in a show and don’t forget to look out for discount booklets being handed out around Cabot Circus and Quakers Friars as all the retailers featured in the show are offering discounts over the weekend. Several Bristol style blogs are here reporting over the weekend so don’t forget to check out their posts too.