Category Archives: festivals

Style Spotting at St Pauls Carnival

St Pauls Carnival City Road

St Pauls Carnival is a huge event for Bristol that takes place every summer, bringing one day of African and Caribbean music, dancing and a large dose of cider to the streets of St Pauls and the surrounding areas. On Saturday the streets filled up with Bristolians eager to soak up the festival spirit after the carnival took a break last year.

Somehow, despite this country’s penchant for wet weather, this annual street party always seems to be a hot, sunny affair and with good weather brings the opportunity to dress like we’re in Rio, rather than the South West. Adults and children taking part in the parade danced past the crowds in a whirl of satin, sequins and feathers, but the crowds were equally colourful in their choice of outfits.

Body con jersy dresses, strappless maxis, pleated chiffon midi skirts, tropical prints and cropped tops showing off waists that had been honed and tanned for the occasion all made an appearance this year, as did flowers – pinned to ponytails or taking the form of dainty garlands (a bit like this one) sold alongside wannabe vuvuzalas and neon ‘wiggly worms’ on sticks.

I loved seeing the city soaked in colour and couldn’t resist taking my DSLR along to the parade to capture some of the costumes in action. Perhaps next year I’ll go as a cancan dancer…

Can can dancers at St Pauls CarnivalFloral hair bands at St Pauls CarnivalSt Pauls Carnival costumesSt Pauls Carnival parade kidsRed white and blue costumes at St Pauls Carnival

Ship-Shape and Glastonbury Style

Festival fashion at Glastonbury

For the last few Glastonbury Festivals, I’ve been lucky enough to work on site. I won’t say much but it involves tweeting, running around the festival site clutching a camera, and working with some of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Corny as it sounds, going back to the festival is like going back to a family – we eat together, laugh together and work together for eight days a year and have a blast while doing so. As a result I was so busy there aren’t that many photos of me in my festival outfits, but needless to say the kimono I found during the Cabot Circus Style Challenge was with me most days and fitted the relaxed festival vibe perfectly.

Glastonbury Hollywood signFeminism: The Unfinished Revolution at Leftfield, Glastonbury

Glastonbury is so big, covering so many different genres of music, not to mention comedy, politic, poetry and circus acts, that it’s a very individual experience for each ticket holder. Mine included seeing The Rolling Stones (a band my father got me into), teaching friends and co-workers how to apply glitter to their faces with hilarious results, and a rather liberating talk on feminism in the Leftfield tent.

Before the talk I was lucky enough to meet Lucy Holmes, founder of the No More Page Three campaign which was wonderful – the way she spoke with so much passion, energy and common sense really resonated with me. I’m not sure that Ship-Shape is the right place to start talking politics, media and feminism, but it certainly got me thinking a lot about what topics I’d like to cover in the future.

I was on Instagram quite a lot whilst at the festival so head over there if you want to see what I got up to, and if you attended Glastonbury – or watched at home – tell me what your favourite festival moment was!

Festival Fashion: Beauty Essentials

Festival beauty essentials

The words ‘festival’ and ‘beauty essentials’ may not sound like a match made in heaven, but if you’re going to Glastonbury this weekend (or Leeds, Bestival, WOMAD or similar in a few weeks time) then you could do worse than packing this lot…

Origins Perfect World Moisturiser – It doesn’t have to be Origins, but a rich moisturiser will do your skin wonders and help protect against wind and rain. Apply before bed to keep your skin hydrated throughout the night. If you’re prone to oily skin then opt for a lighter product – points for wearing one with an inbuilt SPF.

Simple Cleansing Wipes – Bring baby wipes for hands and general body cleaning, but don’t forget dedicated facial wipes as these are designed for the delicate skin on your face and will also be better at removing make-up and glitter.

Hair grips – Pick a packet of these up from Boots, Superdrug or similar and your hair will thank you. From pinning your hair in Heidi style braids or keeping a headscarf or hair garland in place, a handful of hair grips will serve you well at a festival. Bring more than you need as hair grips have a tendency to disappear very quickly…

Batiste Dry Shampoo - A travel size helping of dry shampoo is a festival beauty essential, especially for longer events like Glastonbury, where you’re unlikely to be showering for five days. Please try to avoid washing your hair under drinking taps at festivals – there are often very thirsty people waiting and queues can build up really quickly. Wash your hair the morning you set off, keep it fresh with a spritz of dry shampoo and bring hats and headscarves to help disguise any grease!

Carex Hand Sanitizer - This is a no-brainer product to bring with you. As well as using this after the dreaded festival loo visits, make sure you rub a bit into your hands before applying makeup or moisturiser to your face, to avoid transmitting germs and dirt.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Protection Cream SPF 50 – I have pathetic skin when it comes to sun exposure (according to the packaging of this sun cream the technical term is ’sun intolerant skin’) but make sure you pack a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25, even if the weather forecast is predicting rain. You never know what can happen with British weather and burnt skin at a festival isn’t fun!

Neal’s Yard Remedies Aloe Vera Cooling Spray – If you do get burnt then after-sun cream or spray can help to soothe your skin and ease that ‘burning’ feeling. This spray is light and smells delicious thanks to the lavender essential oils it contains.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara – I’m not one for wearing a lot of make-up at festivals – it’s a hassle and the warm weather can dry out liquid based products – but a sweep of mascara can help perk up tired eyes. I know there have been mixed reviews about Benefit’s They’re Real! but I love it for giving longer, un-clumpy lashes, so it’s made it’s way into my festival make-up bag.

Vasline Lip Therapy – A neutral lip balm like this has so many uses at a festival, from keeping lips chap-free to preventing blisters on your feet (yes, really) just make sure you was your hands before applying, otherwise the pot could become a hotbed of germs.

WH Smiths gold glitter pot - A festival wouldn’t be complete without a little frivolity, and glitter is a fun way to channel that. Apply liberally around your eyes or on your shoulders or hands using the aforementioned lip balm – apply a light coating of Vasline Lip Therapy in a semi circle around your temples and cheekbones and pat the glitter over the top with a dry finger.


Do you have a festival beauty routine or any tips you’d like to add? If so comment below!

Festival Icon: Florence + The Machine

Festival Fashion: Florence + The Machine
Mango chiffon dress / Topshop embroidered blouse / AllSaints cropped leather jacket / Isabel Marant real leather boots / Jack Wills leather jewelry / Accessorize Bracelet jewelry / Dolly Bow Bow Pink headband / Peacocks Belt

When Florence + The Machine played the Other Stage at Glastonbury in 2010, I was stood watching the show with some friends to the left of the stage. The sun was shining and in front of me was a girl of around 10 or 11, sat in a wheelchair and flanked either side by her parents. This girl had delicate features and long wavy hair, topped with a garland of tiny rose buds.

With every song Florence Welch sang, this young girl sang along, copying every word while moving her hands to the music above her head. Watching her was transfixing and reminiscent of the way over-excited congregations get in the Bible-belt churches of the US, except the music took the place of a religious experience. I was surprised that the songs evoked so much passion in someone so young.

As well as her emotive music, Florence Welch is also a style icon, especially when it comes to festivals. When we had to come in musical fancy dress at work a couple of weeks ago I picked Florence and wore a maxi skirt with red lips, glitter and a floral garland in my hair, and for the Cabot Circus Style Challenge it was Florence I was thinking of when searching for a kimono.

Welch has a unique style that incorporates brocade shorts suits, backless vintage dresses and a hippy vibe offset by a rock and roll air. I’ve tried to capture her style with this festival wishlist and if I thought I could relax while getting mud over a £170 backless beaded dress like this one from Mango, then I’d wear it in a heartbeat.

Is there a better example of festival style than Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine? I think not. If you disagree then share your festival style hero in the comments!

Something for The Weekend: Brisfest

Brisfest 2012

Bristol’s finest music festival returns this weekend to it’s spiritual homeland; Ashton Court. Brisfest promises a weekend of music, art, comedy and theatre, all against a backdrop of rolling hills and fields of deer at Ashton Court Estate.

I’m gutted I won’t be around on Saturday as I’m going to the Oxfam Fashion Blogger Meet, but I highly recommend you get your tickets now if you haven’t already done so. Tickets are selling fast and the line-up includes De La Soul, The Other Tribe and Babyhead. As well as music you’ll be able to find live graffiti, circus and cabaret acts and stand-up comedy.

If you’ve already bought your ticket then you’re sorted, but for those of you who still haven’t parted with your cash, remember this: tickets can ONLY be purchased in advance – there won’t be any tickets available on the gates! Buy online here or call for tickets on 0844 870 0000.