Tag Archives: fashion magazines

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Diana Vreeland The Eye Has to Travel Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

It’s always exciting to take a glimpse inside the minds of the fashion editors, writers and stylists who put together the magazines and curate the pages that readers want to pour over, buy into and, most recently, tweet about or pin up.

In 2009, The September Issue went behing the scenes at Vogue and examined the relationship between editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and creative director, Grace Coddington. In the 2012 documentary, The Eye has to Travel, which I watched recently, the focus is on another Vogue tour de force, Diana Vreeland.

Vreeland wrote for Harper’s Bazaar for 30 years before taking the helm at a magazine that, at the time, was producing such groundbreaking imagery and fashion, Vogue, in 1963, before moving into exhibition curration in the 70s until her death in 1989.

Vreeland lived and breathed fashion, and one of the creatives she worked with commented that she would often tell models to ‘make an asset of their assets’ – towering girls would be put in heels and every quirk would be celebrated to the extreme. I love this idea and it fits in seamlessly with the way designers and photographers were pushing the creative boundaries of fashion at the time.

The documentary uses interviews with her peers and family, overlayed with her words from television appearances and interviews between Diana and her biographer, George Plimpton, who helped her write her memoir, D.V. David Bailey, Richard Avedon and Angelica Huston also make appearances, as do the covers and fashion stories that she helped to create.

I think the film was shown at the Watershed last year but if, like me, you didn’t get around to seeing it, it’s well worth renting or scouting out on Love Film Instant, which is where I found it. Not convinced? Take a look at The Eye Has to Travel trailer, below.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/47473402 w=400&h=300]

Image source

An Eye For Fashion: Norman Parkinson exhibition @ M Shed

Norman Parkinson Life magazine 1963

Norman Parkinson, Life magazine, 1963

I must confess that I haven’t actually explored M Shed further than its bloomin’ tasty cafe – raspberry and white chocolate muffins, need I say more? – and 2nd floor gallery space, for a Martin Parr retrospective. I went to the later again this week, to see Mshed’s latest exhibition, An Eye For Fashion, featuring original vintage prints by the late, great Norman Parkinson.

Parkinson was a British fashion and portrait photographer who shot for Vogue, Queen and Life (among others) over a career spanning almost 60 years. He was truly a revolutionary in his field and is cited as an inspiration by many photographers, fashion editors and designers today, so it is wonderful to see his work, on loan from the Angela Williams Archive, here in Bristol. The exhibition features rare prints of Parkinson’s fashion stories, notably from the 1950s and 1960s, that feature the likes of Jean Shrimpton, Vicky Stevens and Enid Boulting.

To bring relevance to its local surroundings, An Eye For Fashion aslo features high street clothes from the 50s and 60s, as well as photos and descriptions of how Bristol’s shopping hub, Broadmead, was evolving during this period. It provides a stark contrast to the Broadmead that exists today, overshadowed by Cabot Circus and slowly wilting, drowning in shop closures and unsavory characters.

I was surprised to find the waist-cinching elasticated belts I wore in my late teens were actually copied from mid-century ‘waspie’ belts, and I found myself comparing more candid snaps, like the one above, an unused shot for Life magazine, to the kind of poses that crop up on my Facebook news feed. There were of course many glamourous photos, such the Vogue image of a model in an elegant evening gown from 1960, at the back of the exhibition. It was here that I overheard to older ladies recounting their own experiences of a ripped dress at a fashion function around the same time – it sounded like quite the scandal!

Norman Parkinson for Queen magazine

Norman Parkinson for Queen magazine, 1960

As well as the exhibition, which would delight photographers and fasionistas alike, I also took the time to wander around the harbourside and soak up the sunshine – a rare treat for Bristol at this time of year!

The harbourside comes alive in summer, and there was a hint of this on Wednesday, with an ice cream van parked outside M Shed, two school girls bunking off under the Balmoral to eat their lunch, and an accordionist playing by the bridge. It may only be March, but with the lighter evenings and (slightly) warmer weather, I feel like spring is just around the corner. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos on my phone, the results of which are below.

M Shed An Eye For FashionM Shed museum Bristoledit Mshed1Bristol harboursideBristol Harbourside

An Eye For Fashion runs at M Shed until 15th April, entry costs £5/4 bit is free on the last Wednesday of each month. For more info about visiting the exhibition click here. There is also the M Shed Vintage Weekend coming up, which looks awesome, and is happening 24th-25th March. 

Norman Parkinson images sourced here.

The LOOK Show SS/11: Part Two

As promised, here are a few more photos from my day at The LOOK Show SS/11…

NOTE: When I saw the flower displays I instantly thought how gorgeous they would look at a wedding – I wonder now I have been inflicted with the bride-to-be status that I will always feel this way when I see a flower arrangement I like – I can only hope this attention to detail passes once I’m hitched : )


Above: champagne and gorgeous flower arrangments

The LOOK Show SS/11

Above: Polly and I at the LOOK Show


Above: Alexis Jordan performs at the LOOK Show

Dorothey-Perkins-retro-dress at the LOOK Show Ss/11

Above: Retro print dress from Dorothy Perkins


Above: Boyish tailoring from Uniqlo

Polly-at-LOOK Show SS/11

Above: Polly is OK


Above: Block colours from River Island


Above: The LOOK-Show goody bag

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Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist

reveal kinckers article

I opened a recent copy of Reveal magazine yesterday to be confronted by a pert looking bum in a pair of frilly tangerine coloured knickers. The headline ‘Knickers Can Improve Your Mood’ and the subsequent article made me, in the style of Carrie Bradshaw, begin to wonder… just how important underwear is to British women?

I’ll hold my hands up and say that as I read this I happened to be sporting some old, slightly sporty grey kickers with a mismatching pink and green bra. I couldn’t help but tug at the bottom of my skirt when the article revealed that a survey by Always found that 56.3% of us wear sexy underwear in a bid to feel more confident.

I for one am a big fan of decent underwear – quality cuts, soft fabric, matching sets and even clashing colours. I also believe that a decent pair of kinckers really can improve your mood – yesterday I was all over the place, late for work and generally a little down, which I blame on the aforementioned grey pants. As soon as I picked that pair out of my chest of drawers, I just knew my day wouldn’t be as good as if I had plumped for the green and pink ruffled pair that matched my bra.

Now I’m not one for matching all the time – I happen to like clashing prints and colours – and what I wear on a day to day basis has nothing to do with what the boyfriend likes, but I do think most of us could do with an underwear overhaul. I recently wrote a post on owning too many clothes for Running in Heels and I think that wardrobe chaos, along with greying undies, can play havoc on your mood.

You may not believe me but I bet if you started every day opening your knicker draw to sets of fresh clean matching underwear you would have a smile on your face before you even sat down for breakfast.


Above: M&S underwear - proof that you don't need ruffles and lace to have great looking underwear

Regardless of your taste or budget, make time for your underwear and your life will be better for it. Get rid of anything with sagging elastic, moth holes or washed out – if you save these for laundry days then at least shell out a few quid on some cheap cotton knickers that fit well – try LaSenza, M&S or Toshop.

For the top draw stuff, and perhaps some Christmas stocking fillers, head to Harvey Nicks in Cabot Circus or Oyster:Me in Clifton, or try St Nicks Market for some handmade cheap frills.

This post shouldn’t feel like a lecture, and if you don’t think your underwear has any effect on your mood, confidence, sexiness or sass then pay no attention, but tomorrow morning pick your favourite pair. Throw on a matching bra and take solace in this; even if your mood doesn’t improve, if you get hit by a bus you’ll look fabulous… ; )

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…