Boutique of the week: Garment Quarter, Bristol | Fashion

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Garment Quarter is made up of two shops carrying an eclectic mix of labels.

Bristol regularly tops “best places to live in Britain” lists for its green spaces, buzzy music venues, and thriving theaters. Its boutiques are similarly quirky (Papersmiths is a must for stationery buffs, while Dig Haüshizzle is brimming with unusual antiques). The Cabot Circus mall, in comparison, might seem mainstream, but look closely, and between the big high street names are plenty of independent treasures.

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The range incorporates everything from Vivienne Westwood to Jeremy Scott’s “trash couture”

The Garment Quarter, slap bang in the middle of the shopping center, is one such gem. It’s actually two shops — one men’s, one women’s — both of which have an eclectic mix of designer labels that are impeccably tailored to the Bristolian customer. The owner, John Reid, has filled the women’s rails with everything from corseted gowns by Vivienne Westwood to gingham-printed jeans from Victoria Victoria Beckham, Versus Versace biker jackets and checked overcoats by Paul Smith.

As well as more classic occasion wear — frothy confections from the fashion pack’s favourite Self-Portrait, for example — Reid likes to bring in edgier capsules. This season it’s the Moschino designer Jeremy Scott’s “trash couture”, which has whimsical phone cases (one has a mousetrap on the back) and all manner of slogan T-shirts. The phone covers might be strictly for millennials, but the “Couture is an attitude” tee is surely for everyone.

23/25 Penn Street,
Bristol
BS1 3AU;
garmentquarter.com


I am so thankful for an opportunity to write articles for both The Times and The Sunday Times, you can check out my top-tier cleansers as featured on their Beauty segment! Do you guys have any favourite boutiques we should check out? I would love to go for an explore!

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Five of the best cleansing balms! | Beauty

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Angel Balm 

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£55, Alexandra Soveral (alexandrasoveral.co.uk)

They say:  A must-have, multi-functional balm for any beauty routine.

We say: Fashion editors swear by Alexandra Soveral facials — her celebrated massage techniques are the only thing that can reverse the fatiguing effects of back-to-back shows — and apply the Angel Balm religiously between appointments. As well as being a brilliant cleanser, this beeswax-coloured balm also doubles as a regenerative mask, lip salve, and even a cuticle cream so you get plenty of bang for your buck. It smells heavenly, thanks to rose geranium oil, and left my skin feeling soft as a baby’s and much more moisturized after only one cleanse. I’ve never been keen on masks but must admit that the feeling of essential oils soaking into my skin was the most pleasant 20 minutes I’ve spent in some time.

Multi-Miracle Glow 

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£45, Charlotte Tilbury (charlottetilbury.com)

They say: A multi-transforming, multi-miraculous skin remedy: a deep-cleansing face balm with anti-wrinkle benefits, a regenerating mask and a “go-anywhere” SOS remedy that you can use on cuticles, elbows, heels and shins. 

We say: Charlotte Tilbury’s glow cream has an impressive CV. It’s a multitasking cleansing balm, overnight mask, and body cream and also promises anti-wrinkle benefits and the ability to transform your figure into the “body of an angel”. No wonder it has the word “miracle” in its name. It’s enriched with sea buckthorn and cranberry seed oils so it has a super-glossy texture. I loved how easy it was to spread across my face and smooth into the crevices — just one cleanse later I felt as if my skin had been given a proper deep clean. It also works brilliantly as an overnight mask, especially if your skin is dry, dull or in general need of TLC. A thin layer is all you need and you’ll wake up with smaller pores, baby-smooth skin and the kind of subtle glow that you get from a two-week holiday somewhere sun-soaked.

 Nourishing Cleansing Balm 

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£18, Pixi (cultbeauty.co.uk)

They say: The Nourishing Cleansing Balm removes all traces of your makeup while nourishing your skin, leaving it silky-soft.

We say: Pixi really had to prove itself after the cult success of its Glow Tonic and it’s hit a home run with its cleansing balm. The formula, enriched with almond oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E, melts from a solid balm into a wonderfully rich oil when applied, leaving your skin feeling pampered as well as squeaky clean. It’s a particularly good option if your skin has to battle the drying effects of central heating. Simply apply the balm straight on to dry skin, watch the day’s grime slowly disappear from your face then rinse with a damp cloth. My skin felt as if it had a layer of moisture on the surface post-cleanse, which was particularly good at relieving the dry patches under my eyes.

 Truly Gentle Cleansing Balm

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£22, Harbour Elements (harbourelements.com)

They say: The Truly Gentle Cleansing Balm is a luxurious concentrated gel oil which melts into the skin and transforms into a feather-light milk when rinsed with water.

We say: If your skin is easily irritated by artificial fragrances and harsh formulas, Harbour Elements has the solution. The cleanser is 100 percent plant-based so there are no tricks up its sleeve, just a trio of lovely oils — camellia tea, avocado, and jojoba — that are packed with fatty acids and antioxidants. All you have to do is massage the gel into your skin with damp fingertips and splash with warm water to create a creamy milk before rinsing off. The chamomile helps to soothe inflammation, while the calming coconut extracts left my skin blissfully make-up-free but without that horrible stripped-back feeling.

 Nourishing Cleansing Balm 

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£44, Diptyque (spacenk.com)

They say: This natural formula is enriched with oils and waxes to soften your skin, while vitamins A, C, and E give you an added glow.

We say: This beautifully thick balm is everything I want from a cleanser. The scents of rose and geranium mean it’s a comforting mix of masculine and feminine — like burying your head in your boyfriend’s old jumper. The formula contains a soothing blend of sweet almond oil, jojoba esters, and hazel seed oil, and can be left on like a mask while you’re scrolling through Instagram until you’re ready to wash it off. You’ll notice your makeup glides off if you work the balm into the skin, using four fingers in tight circular motions over the chin, cheeks, nose and forehead. Like Diptyque’s fragrances, a little goes a long way so you can use it sparingly and skin will still be suffused with the amazing floral scent.


Can you believe I was published in The Times?! I am so thankful, but what did you guys think? Comment below if you have tried any of my top 5 cleansers- let me know what you think or if I have missed any out!

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Stick it to the pink! | Fashion

     Never a girly girl, the colour pink had previously always alluded me. I had always wanted to become Avril Lavigne (her classic 2004 look of course), from the wannabe punk to the teenage emo phase; all side fridges and myspace poses. I was ‘cool’, or ‘edgy’, (or ‘a sheep‘).
     So imagine my surprise when the elusive pink trend began to pop up on my Instagram and I was quickly enamored. The ornate nature of pastels to whimsical OTT fuschia, my online shopping baskets were quickly filled with all shades Barbie.
   Pink was a prominent trend throughout the catwalks (maybe as a way for us Brits to remember colours?). Chanel threw pink about in its Cuba-inspired resort collection, whereas both Topshop LFW AW’17 runway and Célines 2017 Spring collection used the shade as a form of visual Prozac – It just makes me so happy!
     So, how can you actually wear this statement colour?Instead of buying a whole new wardrobe, you can just invest in a STATE.MENT. PIECE. aka those fricking beautiful Gucci wallpaper flats or Zara’s long pastel coatHowever, most of my edit is focussed on accessories. Accessories are the easiest way to sneak a pop of colour and elevate your look ready for spring (as seen in my Kenzo edit!).  If you need some more inspiration, Gregory Robert is the poster boy for wearing head-to-toe pink in a wearable way.
Stick it in the pink

White dress
£41 – zara.com

Long vest
£26 – zara.com

Sam Edelman pointy toe flat
bloomingdales.com

Bottega Veneta leather handbag
£1,955 – portero.com

OOAHOOAH white handbag
£49 – saksfifthavenue.com

Boho jewelry
£13 – gojane.com

Bulgari rose gold jewelry
£22,830 – truefacet.com

Topshop beret hat
£18 – topshop.com

     What do you guys think, will you integrate the pink? How would you wear it? Other than carrying around this Charlie Brown diary of course.
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P.S. Who spotted the cheeky Dior PFW’17 update? (;

First Long Distance Date of 2017! | Cambridge, UK

My boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for 2/3 years, and Joah has recently just moved even further away for a studentship (selfish).

I have just graduated from my postdoc  (roughly 7 hours away by train or 4 hours away by car) and this was the first time I’d been able to see him in 2017. I was so excited! One of my friends Lizzie is from Cambridge and she lives a fabulous life of poetry readings, kayaking, and life-drawings.

He picked me up from the train station and we were off to explore one of England’s most beautiful and historic cities.

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The Oxbridge prestige can honestly be felt in the air; a smog of self-importance and privilege. The beauty of the campuses and city itself transports you back in time, a time where only scholars and doctors wanted a liberal education. You had to be bright, especially bright. The sort of intelligence that liars say they can see in newborn babies kind of bright.

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It was interesting to see how this ancient city had tried to integrate itself into modern times. What they had kept vs. what they had rejected. For example, higher end high-street stores like Whistles and Reiss inhabit most of the non-university / non-religious buildings.

Cambridge kept the high-street.

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Customer service or general pleasantness to seemingly anyone. They are not so interested.

As someone who spends half of their time in London, in which resides over half a million more people than it was built to accommodate, and Exeter, one of the countries richest suburban areas, I feel like I have a pretty low standard for customer service/people in general. Rarely am I aghast from others rudeness. Cambridge was another level. Groups of students smack into you if you don’t get out of their way and a number of homeless people were openly mocked and ridiculed.

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That being said, Stephen Fry went to Cambridge University and he is a national treasure! Despite our negative experiences, we were on the look out for some of the positives which had drawn Stephen Fry, amongst others, to their cobbled streets and Kings College would definitely be near the top of the list.

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Kings College lies beside the River Cam and is considered one of the great examples of late-English gothic architecture. Their chapels stained-glass windows are thought to be the finest of their genre and the college as a whole is thought to be emblematic of Cambridge.

Tour books and Wikipedia do not offer a quality in which Kings College is meant to represent, so I’ll leave that question open to you.

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By this point, we were pretty hungry. After exploring the restaurants by the River Cam for any vegan food we settled on Côte Brasserie for brunch. The food was fine; I got the impression that they may have been taken aback by their popularity that afternoon. On a quieter day, they may be more attentive.

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Still, we were on our brunch date and goddammit if we weren’t cute so I didn’t really care that service was a little slow.

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While walking off brunch we stumbled across a beautiful wedding dress store. Joah rushed ahead like the stereotype he is, but the layout and hidden quality of the store made me pause and take a photo. It was the most instagrammable store in Cambridge!

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Finally, our day was drawing to a close but not before we went into the Cambridge University Press (where our love for non-fiction was fully realized like the nerds we are) and Hardys Sweet Shop!

 

I love sweet shops like this, they are reminiscent of that Candy Man scene in the beginning of Willy Wonka; jam-packed with every kind of confectionary fancy. Plus, given the rise of free-from diets both Joah and I could indulge a little. He picked up a sugar-free milk chocolate bar, and I grabbed some vegan chocolate with honeycomb *drool*.

 

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Although I probably would not return to Cambridge to continue looking at the buildings, I loved our explore around the city. I’m sure we only scratched the surface of what Cambridge has to offer and I want to believe that we just caught it on a bad day — fingers crossed.

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Rachel Green Realness at Topshop Unique | LFW AW17

The Topshop Unique LFW AW17 would have made season 3 Rachel Green weep with joy. The 90’s nostalgia was strong with a clever use of primary colours and multilength layering; mixed with 60’s colour palettes, 70’s zip details and an 80’s  oversized androgeny. Topshop Unique translated their looks across three main trends:

 

Colour Blocking.

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Flowy Florals.

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Contrasting Textures.

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Pictures from: Topshop Unique

 

 

 

Italian Travels: When in Rome…

Deadline. Junkfood. Deadline. Panic. Deadline. Coffee. Deadline. Hand in. 12pm. Packing. 4pm. London. 7pm. Stanstead. 3am. Flight. 6am. Italy. 8am.

 

The first week of my Italian travels was spent in Puglia, down near the heel of the boot. Puglia was the vacation for a foodie like me so I was excited to see how the rest of Italy, especially the northern states, would compare. From this point on I traveled alone, which given my eye-watering history (Prague anyone?) was pretty nerve-wracking.

 

Rome is the perfect city to wander aimlessly around. There is a timelessness quality which makes the city feel simultaneously ancient and modern; the plethora of history at every turn is juxtaposed with the selfie-stick jungle.

I headed in the general direction of the tourists big three: the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Forum, and the Trevi Fountain. On route, I stumbled across the San Pietro in Vincoli, a minor basilica which famously houses Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. Unfortunately, I am a complete moron and missed the statue! I was too busy focusing on the classically beautiful ceilings and the prayer candles. A couple of hours later, when reading ‘Top Things to See in Rome’ I realized my stupidity and rushed back only to find that the church was closed for the day!

 

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On of the most striking things about Rome is its recent revamp; everything was a sparklingly white and the city center was (mostly) graffiti free. Never had Italy looked more like Germany — a fact I’m not sure they’d be too happy about?

 

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Once I had gotten to the Colosseum it was like stepping back in time. The once political and socio-economical hub of the Roman empire sprawled across the center of the capital in a kind of grandiose district of columns and bricks. The Colosseum is still haunted by the people that used to flock to the games and the museum on the upper levels has collected the knick-knacks and souvenirs from the crowds. You can even see the ancient graffiti carved into the brick: gladiators, swear words and declarations of love.

 

These two pictures of the graffiti are probably two of my favourite pictures from Rome. They were not born from blueprints, nor from the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. They depict neither politics nor socioeconomics. The graffiti forms a connection between us and them; between ancient Rome, the Globe Theatre and a standard football ground. We have always wanted to make a mark, to say that we are here. Plus we are inherently narcissistic enough to think that others will care who our top gladiators are (mine is Judy Simpson btw).

 

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At this stage, I had wandered around Rome in the classic Italian sunshine for over 6 hours with only one 500ml water bottle (filled up twice!). Feeling a little light-headed, I was trying to find somewhere to sit down when I came across a Barbie exhibit at the Complesso del Vittoriano. Close to deliriousness and with a solid millennial enjoyment for ‘ironic’ entertainment, I decided to seek shelter in Barbies Dream House.

I decided to not take any pictures inside the exhibit because it was creepy. A Silent Bones-esque murderer would have been comfortable. Although to be fair, a 5-year old would have probably thought it was *goalz*, (and a 5-year old murderer would be staring at you through the holes in the portraits).

I managed to escape through the rather anti-climatic exit door at the end of the exhibit and continued to drift until I found a little restaurant/cafe between the Trevi Fountain and the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a church on the way back to the station. The decor was charmingly rustic, the coffee was strong and the chill of the mango sorbet was very much appreciated. Although the cafe I went to did not boast a broad vegan menu, there were several eateries around the city centre with a wide list of vegan options. I swear that Italy, the home of cheese, pizza and pasta was easier to navigate as a vegan than the UK.

 

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Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Sant’Ignazio Church) was originally dedicated to the Founder of the Society of Jesus to be used as the college chapel. The inscription over the door (according to the tour guide I was sneakily trying to listen to) reads ‘School of Grammar, Humanity, and Christian Doctrine. Free’. Yet, as you enter the church you enter a space of pure luxury. The ceilings are intricately designed and painted in typical renaissance style with the theatrical focus on the painted on dome towards the back. Yeah, the church was too poor to commission a real dome, so the painter Andrea Pozzo painted a seemingly 3D dome. The optical illusion only really works from certain angles; if you are unaware of the trickery, the dome appears to bend and wave like a Dr Seus drawing.

As well as the coloured columns and unusually gothic statuettes, St.Ignatius had recently commissioned an art installation of a number golden trees. The trees, the leaves on the trees, and the apples that hung from the leaves on the trees were all cut and molded out of metal. They are meant to represent the relationship between man and nature and therefore between us and God. Planted at the base of columns and archways, the trees were used to divide the large darkened hall into a series of intimate (read: even darker) ‘rooms’. Due to the hush of the shadows, St. Ignatius was one of the few churches I had been to which felt like a place of worship rather than simply a tourist interest.

 

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No one can be lost in Rome, primarily due to the volume of tourist destinations. I left to stop off in Naples and Latina before finishing off Italian travels in Milan. Keep an eye out for the next post!

 

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<— Click here for my last post!                                              Click here for my Puglia post! —>

Keep your head in the game | Disney-fy your workouts.

‘New Year, New Me’ – the mantra of every January since the birth of the calender. Every new year we analyse our lives (often with a little help from the unattainable goddesses of Instagram) and determine that we can do better. We can be fitter, healthier, more productive. We can be bigger, smaller, more social, and less tired. We decide to go running every morning before work, before a healthy breakfast of a broccoli medley and a single shot of Peruvian espresso.

Before you know it, it is the middle of March and you’ve been eating the same leftover curry for the past three days. Trainers collecting dust in the corner, you binge on the next ‘unmissable’ show on the Netflix conveyor belt.

We all know this pattern (right?!). We have such good intentions when the clock strikes midnight, how can we keep it up for the rest of the year? We need to make it fun. I don’t know about you, but running might be the most boring ‘popular’ activity around. Listening to dance music when it is socially unacceptable to dance is weird, and no matter how beautiful the view, it is difficult to get any gumption without any emotional investment.

     Introducing the Disney Workout Playlist!


 

 

Nostalgia at its best, the Disney playlist is full of those key musical numbers which had you living in their fantasy world. Box to ‘Make a Man Out of You’, Spin with ‘Can’t Wait to be King’, or run away from all your responsibilities to ‘Let It Go’.

Live in your fantasy world of princesses and frogs and you will want to go the distance (geddit?).

 

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__ Click here for my quarter-life crisis playlist __