Swish 'n' Swap 'n' be stylish

Wednesday was the first Swish ‘n’ Swap swishing event at the Ashton Gate Stadium and I was invited to speak about image and dressing for your body shape before the swishing began. The event was held in aid of the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal Charity for the Bristol Children’s Hospital and the organisers, Grace and Vicky, raised £400!

As Grace said; ‘The idea behind the event was to show dedicated followers of fashion how style and glamour does not necessarily have to be compromised by ethical shopping and bargain hunting! We also hope to give everyone that comes along a really good time!’

For those of you who don’t know; Swishing is essentially clothes swapping. It’s a fantastic opportunity to de-junk your tired wardrobe and add new items that will update your existing outfits. What can be better; you get to re-home the unworn items that are clogging up your wardrobe, and swap them for something fabulous that you will actually wear. There’s always an eclectic mix of items to choose from so swishing is the perfect opportunity to try something a bit different and experiment with your style.

People started arriving at 7pm and the first half hour was spent hanging the items on the rails according to size. It was great that there was such a good amount of each size and so much choice. Then at 7.30pm, it was my turn to entertain the ladies. I talked to them about body shapes and how to dress to suit this. I really wanted the swishers to take home new items which would suit them and their body shape; rather than adding to the unworn items already in their wardrobe.
After about half an hour, the clothes were viewed, but not tried on. Then the countdown began; people shuffled towards the clothes they hoped to grab, some naughtily close to their desired item, and then.... all go. I stood on the sidelines, on hand to help with decisions as everyone grabbed what they wanted and rushed to try it on. There was no pushing or hair tugging, but it was frantic all the same!
The event came to an end at around 10pm with only a few items left swinging on the rails.
It was great fun and the evening left most of the women making their way home with some fab new additions to their wardrobe.

If you want a new outfit but don’t want to pay out, then swishing might be for you, you never know what you’ll find, just think; one lady’s junk is another lady’s treasure!

Visit their website to read more and find out about the next event! http://www.swish-n-swap.org.uk
All images courtesy of Grace Porter (Thanks Grace!)

Primark has landed!

I went down to Broadmead this morning to witness the opening of Primark’s largest store yet.

The queue snaked round the store and was buzzing, Primark staff were handing out balloons and Starbucks were giving away free mini coffees. Although the fuss wasn’t as huge as I’d expected, the girl’s queuing up didn’t disappoint as they let out excited screams on their way into the store.

The store is huge, so big in fact, that the vast space swallowed up the droves of people who’d waited patiently for it to open. Once inside, they seemed to disappear and it felt more like a regular shopping day.
The store was immaculate, I’ve never seen Primark look so tidy – T-shirts and jumpers were folded with military precision, a far cry from the chaos that normally hits you as you walk in.
There were a handful of protesters, pushing their placards’ in the faces of the young girls as they went in and out of the store. Primark has always had a fragile relationship with the public due to their inexpensive, fast, throwaway fashion. Many believe that the people making the clothes are paying a high price for our cheap fashion fixes. The police were on standby to defuse any problems with them but it didn’t look like this was going to happen. The shoppers certainly didn’t seem to be affected by the placards as they came out with armfuls of bags!

There’s about 100,000 sq ft of space housing menswear, womenswear, childrenswear and homewear and the store has created 500 jobs for the people of Bristol. Many people hope that the opening of such a large store will increase footfall back into Broadmead, which has noticeably dropped since the opening of Cabot Circus.

Bristol already has a fantastic range of shops catering for all budgets, tastes and needs. Primark has just added to this, and it seems that Bristol has welcomed them with open arms.

Were you there? What did you think?

The future of memorials??

The picture shows a Japanese family scanninig a QR-Code 2D image installed inside a niche - which automatically loads a photo album, a video of the deceased and access to the family blog on his moble 'phone.

For those of you who can use this technology, the image above will take you to our new micro-site which is good for 'dial-up' modems and old PC's as well as the new iPhone.