Bristol Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014

One of my favourite jobs of the year is helping to co-ordinate the live bloggers day at Bristol Fashion Week. The heat was definitely turned up this season, as the stylists went for a tropical flavour…

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This carnival queen closed the show, which ended on a high with beachwear inspired by glamorous Rio.

There was also a touch of spice thanks to a Bollywood inspired beach scene from Ann Summers, which really brought the house down in the fashion pavilion…

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I’ve always loved the pink/orange combination, so this was probably one of my favourite scenes in the show. The colours were so sharp and reminded me of my native land Seychelles, which really has a special place in my heart.

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Of course there were the obligatory florals for Spring/Summer. The standout ones for me were these tropical shifts from Ted Baker (at John Lewis) which offer a more sophisticated take on a very popular trend.

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I was really impressed with the offerings from John Lewis this season. They’ve brought in a range of new concessions to up the fashion ante and it’s really working. I especially have my eye on this flattering nautical inspired one-piece, which is modest yet glamorous and perfect for giving an hourglass silhouette.

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Nautical looks like the one above are a perennial favourite, but resident stylist Mark Heyes recommended adding a flash of yellow to our wardrobes this season to update the look.

I’m a little bit in love with this very simple dress from Bank Fashion, which is business on the front and party on the back, with a cheeky neon yellow strap.

56Finally, one style staple I’ll definitely be investing in this summer is the 7/8 trouser. It’s great for elongating legs, and I love the clashing prints of the trousers and jacket in this look, which was also from Bank.

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I took so many pics at Bristol Fashion Week that they didn’t all fit on this post, but if you want to see more, check out my Bristol Fashion Week Board on Pinterest. 

 

Harvey Nichols Bristol Spring/Summer fashion

Bristol’s fashionistas were out in force this week at the Harvey Nichols Spring/Summer show.

Zingy neons, graphic prints and structured dresses were top of the pecking order this season, as evidenced in their colourful finale.

This 3.1 Phillip Lim jumpsuit really caught my eye – it’s classic, flattering and owes more than a little nod to classic YSL. (Plus, it’s a snip at £850, I’m sure you’ll agree!)

This look was part of the mellow yellow/new rave scene and I just loved the bold print on the skirt. Although it’s striking and fashion-forward, I think it’s one of those very flattering cuts that would work on lots of body shapes.

Metallics featured heavily in this season’s show, but they were toned down with pastels and whites, which make them so much more wearable for the daytime.

This gorgeous poppy-coloured dress was beloved by lots of the bloggers in the audience. It reminds me of a striking Azzedine Alaia number worn by Alicia Silverstone in her Clueless days, and definitely made me nostalgic for the simplicity of those 90s designs.

I’m a little bit in love with this coat, which I think is by Giambattista Valli, paired with this MSGM dress and Nicholas Kirkwood booties. Oversize jackets are really stylish when worn with a simple shift like this, and it’s definitely a look I want to try this year.

Who doesn’t love a sweet little gingham print? Mixed with florals, this has more than a touch of Alice in Wonderland about it, which is just so adorable.

Having attended last year’s show, I had really high expectations of this one, and although it wasn’t quite as grand it did deliver on the fashion creds. One thing that did let them down was the lack of accessories – for me it felt a little under-styled, however a show of this size and pace means there was probably little time for fiddly accessories during quick changes.  Overall though, I am a fan of the simplicity of the designs this season and felt that the collections were really well curated.

South West Bloggers cocktail night

After Bristol Fashion Week, a few of us bloggers met up for cocktails and a catch up. Don’t you all scrub up well?

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It was lovely seeing some new faces at our little event, as well as a few of the old favourites as well. We all indulged a bit in some dessert cocktails which, after a day on your feet chasing down the latest styles, went down a little too easy!

We’re hoping to do lots more meet ups in the coming months and we’d like to meet lots more of  you next time, so do keep your eye on the South West Bloggers Facebook page, where we’ll post details of all the upcoming meet ups.

Style crush: Kylie

Kylie has always been a style crush of mine, but I especially loved this dress she wore on The Voice this week…

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You can’t go wrong with an LBD (or LND? In this light, it looks a bit navy…), and the sheer polka dot overlay on this is just gorgeous. It reminds me a little of the ones at Christopher Kane this season, although it’s probably got a bit more longevity because polka dots are a perennial favourite. I think Kylie’s dress an Yves Saint Laurent and costs over £1,000, so sadly it will always be out of reach for me unless Ms Minogue decides to donate it to her local charity shop, in which case I’ll be down there in a flash! We are a similar height and size too, so if you are thinking of offloading it, Kylie, just let me know!

It’s funny that a Saint Laurent dress caught my eye this week because I’m currently in the middle of reading this book about his life…

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It’s a fascinating read, especially since I didn’t know too much about him beforehand. I’ve always loved his clothes as they’re classically elegant and extremely French, but I didn’t realise how revolutionary he was in terms of bringing Dior into the modern age. If I ever win the lottery, I think at least one of his pieces will be on my shopping list. For now, they live in my scrapbook of dream dresses…

Dress pic: @KylieMinogue

Outfits for a summer wedding

claire and gina editMy good friend Claire (we call her Claire Bear) is getting married this summer in Santorini. She’s pretty laid back about her wedding dress, but I’m in full-on scavenger mode to find an outfit to wear for her big day. I think I may be worse than the bride! Greece is incredibly hot in August, so it has to be something light and breathable, but at the same it still needs to be formal and chic. Most of all, it needs to be forgiving – I’m planning to eat a lot! Here are some options I like so far…

1Closet cream polka dot tie dress, £42, New Look

You can’t go wrong with a polka dot print, and I love the structured Roland Mouret-style shape of this dress. It’s great that it’s nipped in at the waist, but has nice detailing on top, which is flattering on pear shapes like me. This one could be a winner!

 

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Deco Tulip Dress, £45, Oasis

I love the bright colours on this dress and the Mackintosh inspired tulip print. It’s belted, which always add a little flair to a dress, if you ask me, and the fabric looks nice and light, which would be perfect for Greece. It’s also got a slight kick flare, which would be great for dancing in. I think I’d wear this with a nice, simple pair of strappy sandals.

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Miss Real Cotton Satin Tulip Dress, £16, New Look

This one called to me because of its ballerina-like hue and the simplicity of it. It’s the kind of thing Natalie Portman might wear, which in my eyes adds several cool points. I think it’s the kind of style you’d have to try on, as satin can be quite unforgiving, so I’d need to see if it covers enough lumps and bumps to be worn in public! I’d add a little thin black belt and possibly a nice headpiece with this one, like a light pink feather.

5Open back dress, £45.99, Zara

I’m only showing you the back of this one, as the front is pretty unremarkable, but I just loved the cut out at the back.  It’s very plain and simple, which I like, although I think some well placed accessories could really bring this little number alive. I’d add a statement necklace at the front, and some killer heels in silver to bring the party to this one.

4Oriental Butterfly Print Skater Dress, £60 Oasis

This is quite a pretty-pretty style and probably a little fussier in terms of print than I would normally buy, however it’s lovely and light and has a neat little cut out detail on the back which makes it ideal for the conditions. This one is a real contender, so I think I’ll need to pop in store and try it on.

Have you seen any cute dresses which would make a good addition to my watch list? Leave me a comment and let me know! The hunt is still on…

Bristol Style Spots: Be At One

There’s a new cocktail spot in town which I’ve sampled on your behalf. You’re welcome, Bristol!

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You may not realise this, but I’m actually a London girl originally. I went to school near Richmond and regularly go back there to visit pals. One of the things Richmond has which Bristol didn’t (until recently) was a thriving cocktail bar scene. Oh sure, we have a few here in Bristol. But there wasn’t the choice and variety you could get in London. One of my faves was Be At One on Richmond Hill, which has a fantastic selection of cocktails but none of the pretension you can sometimes get in these places. So, I was really excited to hear that they were opening one on the Triangle and I got in touch especially to bag myself (and some work pals) tickets to their VIP opening here.

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It definitely didn’t disappoint. We were the very first customers and the staff were really excited to see us…as you might be able to tell from this photo above! (Sorry it’s a bit fuzzy, we took it on my phone!) It’s located on the site where Hermanos used to be, but it’s had a complete makeover, with a Moroccan inspired twist to the decor. It feels quite upmarket and trendy, without being intimidating, which we liked. The music (which included quite a few Kisstory classics) was also great, and after a few cocktails, we did have a bit of a singalong, which the bar staff seemed to enjoy. (They’re polite like that!)

It took us quite a while to make our choices as there are over 250 cocktails on the menu. Luckily, they’re all grouped into sections, depending on which spirits you like best. There’s also a section for ‘dessert cocktails’, many of which are ice cream based, so that’s where I started! If you’re a mojito lover, there are also several takes on that classic to try – our favourite was the ‘twisted mojito’. I think my favourite one overall was the ‘porn star martini’ (pictured below), which includes passion fruit liqueur and a shot of prosecco on the side.

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There’s not much to be had in the way of food, but they do sell these gourmet hotdogs, which are covered with crispy onions, pickles and cheese and are really really sinful. We ended up having a few between us as they were super tasty and did a nice job of soaking up all those cocktails.

The thing we remembered most about the night was how lovely everyone was. Of course, they bring in a special team of people to help make the launch go smoothly, but in general the atmosphere was really friendly and the staff were so damn cheerful.

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We’ll definitely be back there again soon, as I’m hosting a South West Bloggers cocktail night at Be At One right after the Bristol Fashion Week blogger’s day. To find out more and register for your free tickets, click here.

Bristol #BlogClub

The first rule of #BlogClub is, tell everyone about #BlogClub*

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Blogging can be quite a solitary activity, so once in a while it’s good to step out from behind your computer and interact with other humans. It’s good for your soul and, if it’s Blog Club you’re attending, it can also be good for your blogging, as I discovered this week.

This monthly gathering was set up by Hayley of Bonjour Blogger and hosted by the lovely folks at VAN with the aim of getting bloggers together to swap tips and renew our enthusiasm for blogging.

This week’s topic was writer’s block, which everyone admitted to suffering from at different points. We all had different reasons for it – some, like me, do it for a living and so the block comes from viewing it as ‘work’. Others were anxious about what people might think of what they’d written, and felt pressure after reading other blogs to keep up intellectually. This spun me out a bit because usually I forget that anyone else might read this and to be honest, this is my space to be silly. It hadn’t occurred to me that people seeing this might think that silly is all I do.

Having said that, I do think there’s a space in this world for silliness. #BlogClub was full of intelligent, resourceful women of different ages (although I think I may have been one of the oldest in the room) and I learnt things from everyone. I was super impressed by Emily from Pretty Please, who manages to juggle uni with all sorts of activities, including organising her own blogger events. I was super impressed by all of them, to be honest. But if there’s one thing I hope I passed on, it’s that blogging doesn’t have to be serious all the time.

The point (for me, anyway) is to have a little fun with it. That’s true even if you’re doing it to help hone your writing skills and enhance your career prospects. No one wants to hire a robot. You need to have personality, humour and heart, which all of these ladies have in spades. People need to remember you. Even if it is for saying that Siri sounds like a sexy butler…. *ahem*.

*P.S. I totally nicked this intro from Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion, but I figured she wouldn’t mind, since it is the actual rule.

P.P.S I’m not in the photo, because I took it. I was too full of cake to even consider being in front of a camera.