Dress to Impress – October 4th

Downton Abbey Fashion (Sybil, Mary and Edith, pictured): Hobbs’ Autumn/Winter collection is woodland inspired, with quirky animal prints and winter berry hues. The great outdoors is reflected in country kit with the Downton effect very much in evidence .

This autumn/winter 2012 is synonymous with deep berry shades, warm textures, cinched in waists and beautifully tailored military and traditional styles, as seen at Jasper Garvida among other shows. With the blustery weather coming in fast – can you believe there was a mini heatwave this time last year? – why not wander into the winter garden with Dress to Impress, at Milsom Place, tomorrow? The event is running from 5.30pm – 8.00pm and features Hobbs, Phase Eight and Traffic People – offering 20% off-, as well as goodie bags, drinks, nibbles and a personal service throughout the evening. From the catwalk to your wardrobe, see how the trends translate to your wardrobe. And when you’re all shopped out, pamper yourself with a free mini treatment by Medikas Medispa in the Octagon – and if you’re feeling peckish pop along to Yo!Sushi and enjoy 20% off when you produce a Dress to Impress flyer.


The finale

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, A/W 2011 Paris Fashion Week. Photograph credit: Chris Moore

Well, what a Bath In Fashion! Such a FANTASTIC event! What did you most enjoy? Amanda Wakeley? Manolo Blahnik? Karen Nicol? Do tell me about your experiences from last week, I’d love to hear about them.

I will leave you, this post and blog – with the wonderful vision that is the Fashion Museum‘s Dress Of The Year. The dress is from Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen‘s A/W 2011 Collection. It caused excitement prior to William and Kate’s wedding, as speculation swirled as to the designer Kate would choose to create her wedding dress. The ‘Ice Queen’ dress – seen above – was the finale star from Burton’s collection. Ultimately of course, Burton did create Kate’s extraordinarily beautiful dress.

Hamish Bowles, International Editor at Large for US Vogue, chose the Dress Of The Year 2011. He said: “Nowhere are Sarah Burton’s unique skills better exemplified than in this magnificent dress that dazzlingly updates the tradition of the robe de bal, looking back to the crinolined Second Empire creations of Charles Frederick Worth and the mid-century masterworks of Christian Dior, but with a cut, technical treatments, and embellishments that are uniquely twenty-first century.”

>> The ivory tulle bodice of the dress is fully embroidered with 3D organza feathers. Each feather is individually hand crafted, fully or partially embroidered with silver and white thread and bullion. The gown has an organza skirt consisting of 31 panels, hand embroidered with miniature eagle motifs using silver and white bullion.<<

I was lucky enough to pop in to see the dress yesterday after the brilliant talk on Subtraction Cutting by Julian Roberts. It's astonishingly beautiful. I recommend visiting the museum for the fabulous Sport and Fashion exhibition too – the fantastic skiing outfits from the 30s and 50s – not to mention the 1880s cream wool suit Park Tobogganing Club in London – had me in awe!

For now, I must say goodbye and it has been a pleasure! Love, BFG xo

Interview:: Bath’s Banana Republic Manager, Joanne Harrington

What trends will we be seeing Banana Republic to be stocking this spring/summer?
Spring/Summer introduces feminine glamour to polished separates, inspired by Bel Air, evoking memories of American Stars from the silver screen golden era. Chic is definitely back and the new season see’s effortless shapes, distinctive finishes and tactile fabrics with plenty of colour and print. Elegant staples from Cropped and Slim Ankle Pants, Sweaters with colour blocking, striping and tipping, luxurious Blouses in clean silhouettes and feminine pintuck detail, Blazers, our quintessential Classic Trench Coat, Wrap Dresses in an endless choice of options and Tailoring that captures versatile, modern work wear.

Menswear is all about tucked in styling, perfect tailoring and clean coloured Sweaters, masculine , soft wash Shirts and dark Denim.

Summer see’s us working in partnership with the amazing fashion designer Trina Turk, famous for her brightly coloured prints and breezy resort wear. Banana Republic’s sophisticated Safari style is going California cool with a 60 piece line including swimwear, towels and sundresses. The Palm Springs “cocktails by the pool” lifestyle is the key inspiration for the colours, styles and prints.

What items do you particularly like?
I’ve invested in some key Spring/Summer staples and also updated my wardrobe with pops of coral and vibrant red, florals, spots and animal print. I love our Classic Trench Coat in Almond, perfect for this time of year and amazingly affordable at £125, the perfectly versatile Sheath Dress, great for day to night and the cropped pant in hot pink!

How would you describe Bath’s style?
I think that it’s incredibly diverse due mainly to the demographic of the City. There is such a wide variety from on-trend, preppy Teenagers and fashion conscious Students to yummy Mummies and City types. There is always a nod to glamour on a Friday and Saturday evening as well as an elegant and sophisticated older generation. The amazing thing is that Bath’s retail offers a plethora of choice to suit everyone’s individual tastes and style.

How does Banana Republic feel about being Bath In Fashion’s sponsor?
It is an honour for Banana Republic to be involved with such a prestigious event as Bath in Fasion. It is such an exciting time each year and creates such a buzz for the locals and visitors to Bath.

What are you most looking forward to during Bath In Fashion?
Without question Manolo Blahnik in conversation with Iain R Webb discussing “The Art of Shoes”, I think it will be an incredibly insightful, fascinating evening. And of course the Spring/Summer ’12 Collections Fashion Show, I can’t wait to see us dazzle on the catwalk!

What do you love most about Bath?
I moved back to Bath having left the city to live in London for 13 years a year ago with my husband and 2 year old daughter and I haven’t regretted the decision one bit. The City’s beautiful architecture never fails to disappoint and neither do the wonderful people who live here. I love being an hour away from the stunning Cotswolds landscape and enjoying Sunday lunch at my local, The Chequers, is always a real treat!
Finally 7) How will Banana Republic be involved in Bath In Fashion – apart from being its brilliant sponsor!

On Wednesday 28th March we participated in the Spring/Summer ’12 Collections – Catwalk at the Guildhall at 2pm and 7:30pm. On Thursday 29th March from 5pm – 8pm we took part in Bath Life Fashion’s Night Out where we offered customers 25% off full price merchandise whilst enjoying a cocktail and canapé. On Saturday 31st March I took part in an event called “Fashion your Future” along with a number of industry experts at Komedia from 11am – 12:30pm and I also participated in a second Fashion Show called “The Perfect 10” all about key foundation staples for your wardrobe. Finally from Friday 30th March – today (Sunday 1st April) we will be offering a compliamentary “gift with purchase” to those customers who spend £50 or more with us in store, whilst stocks last!

J’adore Bertinet Bakery!

I went to the Bertinet Bakery the other day, here – the bakery is visually beautiful, pastries piled high, adorning the windows, whilst the counter houses cakes of splendour – its scent is of delicate butter and stirring coffee, whilst its decor is clean and neutral with a smattering of France. J’adore!

Here’s a little blurb on the treats they have in store for Bath In Fashion:
Bertinet Kitchen and Bakery is catering to the fashionistas flocking to Bath this week for Bath in Fashion 2012. As exclusive stockists of Biscuiteers biscuits in Bath, they are selling their Handbag biscuit pops based on real designs including Burberry and Lulu Guinness bags and gorgeous tins of bootylicious shoes and bags. Biscuiteers are well known for their witty and distinctive iced biscuits and are regularly commissioned to create bespoke designs for all sorts of clients including fashion houses.

Saturday shopping! From discounts to makeovers – let’s celebrate!

– Taken from Bath In Fashion website-
Saturday Street Style – Saturday March 31st

Today’s the day when fashion inspiration comes alive on the streets! Throughout Bath, in celebration of Bath in Fashion, many shops are offering some great offers and promotions, so hit the shops, hit the streets and enjoy some of what Bath in Fashion has lined up for you right across the city:

The Bath Chronicle brings you….
Head to the centre of town, right outside the Roman Baths, where The Bath Chronicle is behind a range of fashion-related happenings to liven up your Saturday….
• Pick up some great style tips for the season ahead in a series of presentations throughout the day in The Chronicle marquee;
• customise your own t-shirt and be photographed in it for a chance to win an i-pad;
• have a free mini make-over from one of The Body Shop’s make-up artists who’ll also have some samples for you to take away;
• The team from Artizan will be on hand in the afternoon to talk hair, give you some gorgeous goodies from Aveda and even a hand massage

The Chronicle marquee hosts an informal series of style guides on the hour and half hour, repeated throughout the day between 11 and 4 and featuring professional models from ShootDHS, plus presenters:

• Emmeline Stevens from The Image Consulting Company, will be talking you through how to work seasonal trends to perfectly complement your style and body shape. Accessorising with gorgeous pieces from Fabulous, Emmeline will be styling models on stage, and demonstrating the importance of well-fitted lingerie!
• Zac Fennell – co-director of Artizan, stylist to Olympic Champion Amy Williams and members of the Bath Rugby team, and a finalist on national TV’s Great British Hairdresser – will be demonstrating some glam fixes for party hair and simple techniques you can work at home; plus some brilliant tips on how to get the most out of your hair – and your hairdresser;
• Gabrielle Paxton, who – before she set up Bath’s chic personal styling company, Voila Styling – was a personal stylist for fashion giants Whistles and French Connection. She’ll guide you through The Perfect 10 building blocks to create the ultimate wardrobe; and show you how to inject the key looks for this season to bring you bang on trend.

Around the city
• Pose in Bath in Fashion’s On-the-Street Photo Booth where, from 10 until 3 in Milsom Street you can step in to the booth and work your own look with a gorgeous Jasper J Conran shoulder bag worth £70, exclusively designed for Debenhams. Upload your image to Facebook and be in with a chance to win the bag itself.
• Southgate is always a great destination on a Saturday and on the 31st the Heart fm team will be on hand offering face painting for kids; and there’ll be a ladies’ lounge in Little Southgate for women looking for the perfect place for a pamper. While you’re there, have a mini consultation with personal stylist, Emmeline Stevens.

In-store fashion shows:
• Get to Boots for its 11 am children’s fashion show and you could walk away with one of 10 free outfits for 0-6 year olds, plus there are 2 extra outfits for one lucky winner.
• Debenhams children’s fashion show starts at 2pm
• Marks & Spencer’s children’s show will run at 12 and 2
• Gap Kids meets Russell & Bromley: Pop in to Russell and Bromley where mannequins will be dressed in Gap Kids’ latest; or get your kids’ feet fitted by Russell and Bromley’s experts when you visit Gap Kids; both stores will be offering fun for kids between 10 and 5 with face painting, balloons and giveaways. Plus, when you make a purchase in Russell & Bromley, you’ll get a discount voucher for 10% off any purchases from Gap on Saturday 31st

Interview:: Julian Roberts

Picture from BBC website.

Please could you introduce yourself, your occupation and where you’re based?
I’m Julian Roberts, I’m a fashion designer that specializes in innovative garment construction. I currently work with the British Council as a Fashion Adviser for international exhibitions and educational programmes, and with the Royal College of Art in London where I lecture MA Mixed Media Textiles. I travel all over the world demonstrating new ways to cut garments, and supporting British schools of fashion thought.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
It’s varied and nomadic, and I get to meet really talented people all the time. I’m continuously inspired by practical people who roll up their sleeves to make new things, and solve problems. Every month and year is different. There are good things happening everywhere, often the best on shoestring budgets.

How did you get into fashion design, film-making – and teaching?
I got into fashion by copying my brother who was a punk/mod/skinhead/new romantic/casual through the 80’s/90’s. I then stopped dressing up and started getting obsessed with how garments are constructed and mediated. Film became the best way to tell the story of this process and find a bigger voice. My job as a teacher came about because i encountered a lot of very scared and confused people who couldnt get their heads around how to make garments, so I started showing them my weird way of making things. The more you teach the more you learn about people’s responses. They test drive your ideas and show you completely innovative new directions. It’s important to share ideas. People who don’t share ideas usually don’t have many good ones.

Could you describe the feeling, showing at London Fashion Week?
Fashion Week is scary as hell and very exciting to show at BEFORE you reach that goal, but like anything as soon as you achieve that goal you surpass it, and really need to find another high goal, otherwise you keep repeating yourself. I personally don’t see the point of repeating the same goal endlessly, so as much as I love showing clothes in front of audiences, I like to have long breaks from doing so. London Fashion Week is a very exciting platform to witness and be around, I’d love to show at LFW again one day, but not in a way I’ve ever shown before.

What inspires your work?
Everything around me inspires my work, Fashion is like a sponge, it absorbs everything… music, graphics, sculpture, architecture, science, sex, history, politics, tv and film, the internet, the weather, and all your flipside moods. It all mixes together in fashion to make a cocktail of inspiration. So i just keep my eyes and ears open.

Could you describe ‘Subtraction Cutting’ and how you came to invent it?
Subtraction Cutting is an approach to garment making that is quite relaxed, allows for mistakes to be made, doesn’t use much numerical maths, is very experimental and fun, and allows non-experts to make complex garments in very short time frames. It often deals with negative hollow space, and unusual viewpoints or ways of looking at garments. It came about through two decades of experimentation, trial and error and showing people how to cut garments. I’ve honed my skills slowly, I’m in no great rush. Slow tortoise wins the race. Fashion too often runs about like a headless chicken changing its opinions every five minutes. It’s good to work on a solid project like Subtraction Cutting that may well be influential beyond my own lifetime.

What do you like about Bath?
I love Bath’s shops and architecture, it’s got a lovely ambience to the place. It’s a nice mixture of past and present. I spent a few long summers in Bath when I was a student, and some memorable christmas’s too. It’s beautiful all year round. The fashion course at Bath Spa University is really unique, and Louise Pickles who runs it, is a fantastic role model for aspiring fashion students and tutors alike. If I weren’t living in Brighton and working in London, I’d be living in Bath Spa.

Julian Roberts will be demonstrating his unique and revolutionary pattern cutting method, ‘Subtraction Cutting’, live on Sunday April 1st. Tickets are still available, here.

Hello BATH!:: Late night shopping tonight!

Bath’s shops will be keeping their doors open late tonight and there will be discounts abounding – in celebration of Bath’s fashionable event. Get shopping!

From gorgeous independent shops like Found, to beautiful high street boutiques, such as Toast and all that is held within the snazzy Southgate Centre

Interview with Amanda Wakeley

What trends can the Bath In Fashion audience expect to see in your spring/summer collection?

There is an emphasis on fluid, continuous drapes contrasted with tough bridle leather accessories. There are statement prints, Deco beading and bright turquoise, ocean colours.

Look: 12 Amanda Wakeley S/S 2012

Look: 14 Amanda Wakeley S/S 2012

What inspired your collection?

The New York socialite, Nancy Keith, or Slim as she was popularly known, inspired the chic and effortless look of this season. The clean lines, relaxed tailoring and fluid drapes are all inspired by her strong, unique but also easy and attainable look. It was how she wore her outfits that was so captivating.

Could you describe what it is like putting on a catwalk show?

Backstage is always very hectic, the pressure is really on to make sure everything runs smoothly and in such a short space of time so much can go wrong. There’s a real sense of achievement at the end of it, though, when it all turns out how you imagined.

Look: 38 Amanda Wakeley S/S 2012

Look: 39 Amanda Wakeley S/S 2012

How do you feel about coming to Bath to show your S/S 2012 collection?

It feels so right to show this collection at Bath In Fashion. The Forum is the ideal backdrop for the Art Deco aspects. It’s also great to be able to replicate the whole styling of the London show in such a grand setting.

How would you describe Bath’s style?

There is an effortless ease about the style in Bath that I really admire; it suits this collection perfectly.

What do you like about Bath?

I love the grandeur of the architecture in Bath. It’s very similar to where I grew up in Chester, the symmetry and balance really resonates with me.  It’s also steeped in Roman history which gives it an almost magical quality.

You can watch Amanda Wakeley’s show on Thursday 29th at 2.30pm – for more info. click here.

Interview:: Karen Nicol

Taken from Karen‘s exhibition Couture Comforts

Please could you introduce yourself, your occupation and where you’re based?
Karen Nicol, mixed media textiles designer working in gallery, fashion and interiors.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
The freedom and challenge to be creative all the time.

Taken from Karen‘s exhibition Couture Comforts

How did you get into embroidery and mixed media?
My mother and sister were embroiderers so I didn’t want to do that, I desperately wanted to do something with a bit more street cred. I wanted to do fine art at college, but when I did a small textile block in my first year, I realised mixed media/embroidery was such an amazing subject with so much more breadth… My mother and sister and now both painters.

What do you like most about a) gallery b) fashion c) interiors?
Gallery allows me scope to work in 3D and with no material constraints, I can paint and burn or anything that makes the mark I want and it doesn’t have to be washed or dry-cleaned. Fashion is fabulously exciting, an adrenalin rush, constantly changing and challenging. Interiors has the excitement of scale and the challenge of repeat.

Taken from Karen‘s exhibition Couture Comforts

What inspires your work?
Anything and everything. Fashion, Museums, flea markets, shops, people nature…on and on. I carry a notebook and camera with me and draw or photograph anything that catches my attention visually, whether it suits what I’m doing at the time or not. I’m a car boot addict too and collect in a magpie manner, again, anything that catches my attention; I’m passionate about ‘qualities’ dry, wet, rough smooth etc.

An example of one of Karen‘s fashion pieces.

How do you work with a fashion designer?
I go at the beginning of the collection and see the initial workings – silhouettes, moods, themes, sometimes comprehensive, sometimes as thin as ‘something funky’ and then go back and sample, experiment and develop textile ideas. Then back to the fashion designer, before work directly on to the initial garment, for the show.

An example of one of Karen‘s lace pieces.

What are you looking forward to working on next?
I have a solo show coming up in New York in November. I’m also working on a pitch for table fabrics for a minor Royal wedding in Monaco.

An example of one of Karen‘s interiors pieces.

What do you love about Bath?
Such a beautiful city, vibrant and young, yet dramatic and sophisticated. I can’t believe you can live amongst that amazing architecture.

Karen will be showing seven ways of working, from her forthcoming book, ‘Embellished…new vintage’: cutwork, pleating, sewn strip, fagotting, foldover, sequins and tuft, on Saturday, March 31st. See here, for more info. [Note: The event has now sold out.]

Video with Louise Pickles

Louise talks Bath In Fashion, the Bath Spa University fashion course, contacts, stylists and the excitement for BIF as it develops. 

  • Manolo Blahnik – Headlining BIF 2012

  • Banana Republic – Main Sponsors of BIF 2012

  • Amanda Wakeley Catwalk Show at BIF 2012

  • VOGUE.co.uk

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