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th me ix
Issue 10 Monday 9 March 2009
0 0 0 , 10 ars e ye eage of tther th ing wa spr t Bath a
Take a break Sick of the student bubble? Then why not take to the jacuzzi?
By Ruth Symons
With essays and exams and general life, sometimes everything can seem a bit much and we can all feel the need for a getaway. Whatever your tastes and whatever your budget, spas can be a great form of escapism. Either set aside an afternoon of quiet me-time and escape the student bubble, or drag along your chums or mum for an alternative day out. Why not head to nearby Bath, where the Celts and Romans started bathing in Britain’s only naturally warm mineral-rich waters over 2000 years ago? Whilst the old baths still stand and are a popular tourist attraction, equally popular is the new Thermae Bath Spa. Easily accessible by train and only a short walk from the station the spa is visually striking even before you enter it. It is a beautiful example of how to combine old and new, with original Georgian architecture meeting the light glass and steel designs put in place when the spa was redeveloped in 2006. The spa is popular with all sorts: young and old, fat and thin, the health conscious and those just there for a bit of a treat. So you needn’t worry about your appearance as you whip oﬀ the enveloping mass of a plush bath robe (provided at a small cost by the spa). It’s not a catwalk, it’s a place to relax. Even the restaurant takes this into account, providing locally sourced food from salads and juices to naughtier goodies like burgers and wines. The spa is made up of the Minerva bath, an indoor pool (which was a city swimming pool until 1978), steam rooms, a café and, perhaps the best feature of all, an impressive open-air rooftop pool, which looks out onto Bath Abbey and accross Bath’s surrounding countryside. The spa also oﬀers treatments, and across the road there is a smaller separate spa, the Cross Bath. Not only is the whole place beautiful, but it has the added novelty of using water which is nealy 10,000 years old. If you want to make a night of it, and get the most for your money, the spa oﬀers a ‘Twilight Package’ for £37.50, oﬀering visitors 3 hours in the pool, the use of towels and robes, and a meal and drink for their money. Oh, and it’s romantic like hell. My explorations then led me to the Clifton
Relaxation Centre. Tucked away in residential Clifton, you might not notice the spa if you weren’t expecting it. The fact that it is essentially a semidetached house converted into a spa area and massage rooms makes it feel like more of a home-made experience than some other spas. There are moments when you are sharply aware that the Jacuzzi area probably used to be somebody’s drawing room. This lends the spa a character which was diﬃcult to place, but felt something like my idea of a 1970s commune. The sort where they all run around naked and practice free love. But the place seems lovingly put together and is awfully friendly. Calm and quiet is encouraged and there is one silent day a week. There are also special days for couples and a number of just women days. The centre has an indoor jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, and also has a rather charming outdoor area containing hot tub, relaxation garden, rustic outdoor sauna and cold plunge pool for the brave at heart. The outside features were overwhelmingly surreal, largely because they overlooked the back of the semi house. This encouraged me to consider the possibility of putting a jacuzzi in my own garden. It didn’t seem so ridiculous in that context. Every day could be relaxing without even the minimal eﬀort of leaving the house. The sauna was adorable, like a mature version of a Wendy house, and made me feel inexplicably Swiss. Waiting for my massage I went to the Relaxation Lounge, which is covered in invitingly low lying sofas and also boasts a couple of beds up ladders, a novelty which reminded me of my desire for a bunk bed as a child. And there were loads of bean bags hanging on hooks on the wall. Just in case. The massage was one of the most deeply relaxing experiences of my life. To anyone who has never had a professional massage, I can’t urge you strongly enough to give it a go. I left in a state of dizzied relaxation. And an hour after that I was caught slurring my words. Now that is relaxed!
Photo: Matt Cardy
Float back to the 80s
Minibreak away By Emily Leach
th me ix
Issue 10 Monday 9 March 2009
r e b m u The n game
For some people a simple trip to a spa just isn’t enough when it comes to the very serious business of relaxation. There are some very odd treatments out there, but we decided to check out the curious conception of the ﬂotation tank. Flotation tanks, or sensory deprivation tanks were ﬁrst created in the 1950s as a means to determine whether the brain kept itself running or was dependent on external stimuli. Essentially you ﬂoat around in the dark and silence for up to an hour. This is supposed to be an incredibly relaxing experience, recreating the feeling of calm felt on entering and leaving sleep (for any science geeks out there, ﬂotation brings about the transition of beta or alpha brainwaves into theta waves). In the 80s this was big stuﬀ - you may remember the Absolutely Fabulous where Edna gets trapped in her tank and has strange hallucinations - but, strangely, their popularity peaked and ebbed within the decade... I headed down to the Clifton Relaxation Centre, which boasts Bristol’s only
ﬂotation room. Frankly, it’s a very strange experience, and as I was told on arrival, is not for everyone. Equipped with ear plugs and inﬂatable headrest I lowered myself in, shut the door, and turned oﬀ the light. It’s strange being locked in a room with yourself, and the volume on internal thoughts turns disconcertingly loud. I tried to embrace the experience properly: it must be a replication of the womb, I thought, so I curled into the foetal position, which is apparently impossible to do whilst ﬂoating in only a foot of water. I promptly sank. The high water density and my stylish headrest quickly bobbed me back to my ﬂoating position, leaving me feeling a bit like a weeble and somewhat unsure what to do with my arms which took on a life of their own on either side of me. It’s not for everyone, and I don’t think it was for me, but I was unshakably relaxed for the remainder of the day. So if you’re looking for a new experience give it a go. And if you need some time out from the world, this is undeniably the ultimate metime. It really is quite unlike anything else.
Escape is deﬁned as the inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion. So why not trip away with friends to get away from everything? After all, it’s so easy. With credit being crunched around our ears it may seem an odd time to think about taking a holiday. But with Bristol airport just a bus or train ride away and ﬂights cheapening, a break away need not break the bank. Flights to Europe are costing as little as £14.99 and with cheap hostels available everywhere, a house trip away before the exam period looms, or for a friend’s birthday, is easy. Bristol ﬂies to such destinations as Gambia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Majorca and more, so you might have more options than you thought. Eastern Europe has become a favourite for student Brits-abroad. Cities such as Budapest and Bratislava promote cheap nightlife and accommodation with the chance to taste a diﬀerent culture. But beware of the Eastern alcohol measures. Furthermore, rumour has it that the strip
clubs in Budapest allow you to enter for free but charge you extortionately to leave! But why head to Europe when there are all the delights of visiting friends at other universities? Book in advance for super small prices on train tickets or try somewhere nearer to home. Bath makes for a great day out, and what could be more stylish than a day on the beach at WestonSuper-Mare. Try out the local line through Bristol which runs between Temple Meads and Severn Beach/Avonmouth. Hop on at the charmingly quaint Clifton or Redland stations and go on a bit of an adventure. Alternatively ﬂy from Bristol to other cities around Britain. Flights to renowned party city Leeds leave every weekend. Why not bring the Bristol spirit to another campus? Someone told me a brilliant plan of his mate’s whereby you visit a University everyday for a week, making sure you know an ‘accommodating’ girl at every stop. Not everyone’s idea of a relaxing week away but if sex tours are your thing and you want to save on the cost of a hotel…take your choice…
How many is too many?
So you’re back in bed and counting notches – his and yours. It’s unavoidable. He has to ask: What’s your number? Let’s face it once you’ve had sex his number and your number become the elephant in bed (and if two’s company, two plus an elephant is deﬁnitely more than a crowd). It is a question that never fails to come up, more political than politics and as ritualistic as religion: ‘how many guys have you slept with?’ will always be a question to leave you stumped. But how honest are you supposed to be about this stuﬀ? Especially when you actually like the guy? If you’re not fussed about him pick a number, any number, but if you are…tread carefully (around the male ego). It seems there are all kinds of potential pitfalls: say too many you’re a slut; say too few you’re virginal; say the same as him…and never expect to be back in his notch ridden bed again. It really is very distressing. You hate maths. And with inﬁnity facing you how are you supposed to pick a number that best deﬁnes you? You cannot be fooled, you and he both know: this is one All-Important Number. But then how many is too many? How many is too few? Is it no more than three or certainly less than seven? Are double ﬁgures double trouble or doubly impressive? Is it lame to have not hit double digits or are single ﬁgures the way forward (less is more after all). The most important thing to remember is that he doesn’t want a girlfriend who has more moves than him (you’ll have to save swinging from the lampshade). But then equally say a single ﬁgure and he might get suspicious or even worse start to see the ‘sister’ in you. It’s a tricky situation. The desire is to appear ‘informed’ but not ‘over-rehearsed’. A simple solution could be to subtract his number from yours, or yours from his. But a word to the wise: always call it even. Odds are so much more suspect. Just Hayley
th me ix
Issue 10 Monday 9 March 2009
nt a r u a t Res
Ja-panic attack: Cosmo There is not a sharp enough pencil to describe the horror of Cosmo, the new panAsian, all-you-dare-to-eat buﬀet on the Triangle. The place is a lesson in crashing mediocrity, vile cynicism, and loveless cooking; an experiment in just how low people will stoop in order to save a few pennies. You are press-ganged into paying on arrival. Whether they adopt this charmless industrial practice because they don’t trust people or because they feel that, after a meal so abhorrent, few would be willing to part with their money, is hard to say. After this you are led down, down, down, past the window seats which drew you in, past the buﬀets and into the nuclear bunker at the back. It is like eating in a submarine – airless, dark, claustrophobic, and unsettling. The Waiters seem like minions; all geared up with headsets, presumably connected to the restaurant manager if not the Samaritans. It seems almost redundant to mention the food, as you know by now that it’s
going to be nothing short of apocalyptic. But it seems churlish to write a restaurant review without bringing it up (which I almost did on several occasions). For a place that apparently prides itself on fresh, healthy cooking, the starters were either a postscript of this notion, or had been accidentally dropped into a deep fat fryer on their way to the buﬀet. The disconcertingly named ‘dragon’s balls’ were wan and sludgy and lacking in any discernible provenance, and the spring rolls were about as palatable as a jockstrap. The spare ribs were just about edible, and while the satay tasted OK, the chicken was alarmingly soft. Out of the frying pan of the starters and into the ﬁre of the mains. What have we here at our authentic Asian buﬀet? It’s sausage and chips! Who’d have thought it? Perhaps they were the best sausage and chips in town. Perhaps they would have rescued this car crash of a lunch. But we were there for Asian food, for better or for worse, and that’s what we ate. Let’s try some of the ‘chef’s special balls’
(what is this testicular obsession? It’s like a 14-year-old wrote the menu). Nope, they’re disgusting too. Lamb stir-fried ‘Mongolian style’ (sounds like a threat?) certainly helped to explain why Genghis Kahn was such a belligerent little bugger – if I had to eat this kind of swill every day I’d be waging some pretty serious wars myself. It was monstrous. Ditto duck pancakes, chicken madras, and Thai green curry – all just dire. In an attempt to rescue something positive from this abject disaster, we bravely had a sniﬀ around the pudding station, which yielded nothing but further disappointment. We left the bunker gratefully, vowing to never return. Surely this is a joke? Somewhere in the Midlands there must be a fat man in a loud suit having a ruddy good laugh at our expense. Because no restaurateur could open a place like Cosmo with a straight face and genuinely believe they were oﬀering their diners an authentic Asian experience. Sausage and chips? Pull the other one. James Ramsden
The beauty of this pasta dish is that the sauce is all made at the end in the drained pasta – simple as! Smoked salmon is surprisingly cheap, especially if you get the trimmings from Sainsbury’s. The trick with this recipe is not draining the pasta too thoroughly, as you need the water to provide a base for the sauce. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cut the broccoli into small ﬂorets, discarding the stalks. Two minutes before the pasta is cooked (refer to the pack as
brands diﬀer) add the broccoli and peas. Simmer for two more minutes and drain, reserving 3 tablespoons or so of the cooking water. Return the pan to a low heat and stir in the crème fraiche, smoked salmon and parsley. Stir in the lemon juice with a good drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and plenty of pepper and stir over a low heat for a couple more minutes. Serve in warmed bowls.
Tagliatelle with smoked salmon and crème fraiche Serves 4 * 400g tagliatelle * 200g broccoli * 100g frozen peas * 100g crème fraiche * 120g smoked salmon, chopped into small pieces 2 tablespoons ɖnely chopped parsley * Juice of half a lemon * Olive oil * Salt and pepper
IN CABOT Did you know that Cabot Circus cost £500 million to construct? Many would say money well spent. It has not only transformed Bristol’s cityscape but also the contents of its inhabitant’s wardrobes. The traditional Jack Wills uniform of Bristol students has been swiftly replaced by the emergence of American Apparel. Whilst Ugg boots still seem to be standing strong, why not slip your lycra clad legs into them and ditch the baggy trouser overhang? For a looser ﬁtting alternative hop across the road and visit another cherished addition to Bristol, Urban Outﬁtters. Apparently the amount of steel reinforcements used to construct Cabot Circus could extend from England to South Africa. If you don’t fancy traveling such a distance then head to Tampopo or Yo! Sushi for an Eastern eating experience. The world is at your ﬁnger tips at The Cinema de Lux. The Directors Hall Lounge oﬀers a variety of East and West and world platters from £9.95-£19.95 to enjoy with your ﬁlm. There is also live stand up comedy every other Thursday. If the sound of slurping spectators becomes too much, dine out at Coal. Flash your cinema ticket to beneﬁt from 20% oﬀ the price of your meal. The Terrace menu is also available, and take advantage of the lunch deal from £7.95. Enjoy the vantage point, looking down on all the shoppers. For your next random fact- Shake About oﬀers over 1000 ﬂavours of milkshake. The jaw-dropping menu will take you back to your childhood with tantalizing options such as black jacks, shrimps, marmite, coco pops, gobstoppers and then there’s always fruit. If you’ve already booked your ticket to the gun show then order a Body Builder addition to your shake. Regular size £2.50, large size £2.95, daily special £3.50. To conclude your trip head to House of Fraser to grab yourself a Fuze inspired look. However, if your credit card is beginning to wear thin, then you may be forced to venture back to Broadmead and dodge Vicky Pollard in the aisles of TK Maxx. Finally, to leave you with one last fact, the weight of 40 African elephants is equivalent to the weight of the bolts used to hold Cabot Circus together. Excellent. Sally Damms and Laurie Cantwell.
th me ix
Issue 10 Monday 9 March 2009
Dear Miss B, In an attempt to revive my brunette locks with summer on its way, I decided to buy a...
Last week on Clifton Close...
Dear Miss B
Dear Miss B
Dear Miss B
In an attempt to revive my brunette locks with summer on its way, I decided to buy a bottle of cheap hair bleach and do a DIY job. However I am now the not-so-proud owner of a carrot-tinged mane – the dye having gone horribly wrong. I’m not in a position to pay for a correction job at some swish salon so it looks like I’m stuck with it. Any tips to relieve me of the woes of my hair disaster?
For the last few weeks my underwear has seemed to have a mind of its own and keeps moving around my room. For example, I think I’ve left my knickers in my top drawer, only to ﬁnd that they’ve seemingly grown legs and trotted over to the other side of my room where they have found a new home on the ﬂoor. I was quite confused by this until I came home from lectures the other day to ﬁnd my boyfriend head to toe wearing my underwear (albeit he’d got the order of pants and bra the wrong way round – boys just don’t have a clue do they). I put two and two together and realised that my boyfriend was used as a means of transportation for my underwear and had just been putting things back in the wrong place. I’m also shocked at the prospect of my going out with a cross-dresser! Where do I go from here?
I am currently in a lovely relationship with a guy on my course. Things have been going really great. We are just about to ﬁnish our ﬁnal year at Uni and I am looking forward to lots of exciting things next year. However I feel that there is no future for us as a couple and he does not ﬁt into any of my future plans. The trouble is, he keeps going on about us travelling for a year together, and then moving in with each other as soon as we get back! We are on a completely diﬀerent wave-length. How can I let him down gently?
‘Chris Evans’ from Chandos Road
A passer-by ﬁnds Consula on the steps... It’s a good job I’m a nurse!
She’s not responding! I need an ambulance!
....but struggles to revive her. Who the hell do these belong too!!
Please don’t be tempted to buy another cheap hair dye kit with the intention of solving the problem. This will not work – unless you fancy a delightful shade of green or a bright yellow, which over-dying is sure to give you. Furthermore, what may look like a quick ﬁx in the form of spray-on hair colour from the fancy dress shop may not ease your predicament. Red-heads are fabulous though. Some of the greatest beauties of our time possess ginger hair. However I fear that with your case it will not be a gorgeously rich and even orange colour but more a patchy, frizzy disaster where the dye has run and spread its evil a tad inconsistently across your head. This is not a look that you want to go for, so this is what I suggest. You can get some lovely wigs these days that will tide you over for the last few weeks of term. Experiment with styles, sport a mullet if you so fancy! Or what about a lovely printed headscarf? Otherwise now’s the time to adopt a hat fetish. Think of all those hats out there, desperate for you to buy them, but in previous times you have shunned them in favour of parading around and displaying your lovely hair. Well, now you don’t have that luxury. Beanies, cowboy hats, boaters, balaclavas, visors, swimming hats... – go wild! You will ﬁnd a hat for every occasion.
Sickened from St. Paul’s Label your drawers and cupboards. “Suspenders/basques/granny pants go here….” etc. and a note reminding him to “Please put things that you have borrowed back where you found them”. Boys just need a little encouragement my love. How about gently oﬀering him a mini-tutorial, showing him the wonders of wearing a bra, push-up options available and which way pants go round. This should start him oﬀ on the right track - for many successful years of cross-dressing to come. Why don’t you take him on a little shopping trip, get him kitted out in something that he can call his own and designate a speciﬁc area in the room for which he can stash his secret collection away from prying eyes. Crossdressing not your thing? Do not condone his behaviour - scrap my advice and send him straight to Dumpsville.
Heartbreaker from Horﬁeld How tragic. He’s probably already chosen the engagement ring, is in talks with caterers and ﬂorists for the wedding and mulling over whether to paint your future nursery baby pink or baby blue. This calls for a bunny boiler red alert. Get out, and get out fast. However, mortifying as it may be, honesty is the best policy. Sit him down and tell it to him straight. That way he can ﬁnd himself a new life partner to go travelling with ASAP. If you really can’t do this then I have a couple of other suggestions. Got a mate that’s desperate to go travelling? Doll her up in your gear, change her hair to match yours and a couple of spritzes of your favourite perfume and I swear he won’t know the diﬀerence. Make sure you let her in on it though. Failing that, contract some horriﬁc debilitating infection or virus that will render you bed-bound for at least the next year and selﬂess beg him to go without you. Got a problem for Miss B? Let her soothe your pain by emailing: email@example.com
“What would you do next?”
This week: “I met my girlfriend’s parents for the ﬁrst time, only to realise I’d slept with her Mum!!” Meanwhile, Ed heads home to an angry Al... I’m cheating on you! I don’t love you anymore!
See you next issue for more of the Close...
th me ix
Issue 8 Monday 9 February 2009
Wadi Rum Simon Taylor-Gray Adventure here is portrayed through the stunning, sweeping landscape of the photo. It seems almost ﬁlmic, possibly fake in its sheer expanse and almost unending panoramic horizon. It represents a weath of opportunity for both physical and metaphorical adventure into uncharted territory. The tire-tracks of the trucks in the foreground of the photo pose interesting textures, and the ﬁgures on the trucks themselves capture the moment of drawing in the moment of solitude in the the silent desert. Camera: Canon 20D, 1/800 at f/18.
Next issue Theme six: April Showers. Email highres entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by 18 March.
The Epigram Photography competition will be running all year, oﬀering readers the chance to win hundreds of pounds of photography equipment. Each issue will have a set theme and the winning entry will be displayed on this double page spread. Each theme winner will be put forward to the ﬁnal round of selection, where the best entry of the year will win ﬁrst prize. Wide and versitile interpretation of the set themes is strongly encouraged.
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Issue 8 Monday 9 February 2009
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Issue 7 Monday 26 January 2009
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Issue 7 Monday 26 January 2009
: g n i r p S c n i r t e c d e l o M Ec s t e e M e g a Vint
Styled by Florrie Thomas and Sophie Warurton, Hair and makeup by Louisa Tholstrup and Jessica Hislop, Photos by Edward Jenkins, Clothes by Repsycho, Joy, Dutty Girls and Motel.
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Issue 3 Monday 3 November 2008
Style le sca
: t o h What’s
e r u t a e F
We bring you what’s hot, new and exciting from the frontier of fashion Ever had that sinking feeling when you’ve got 5 minutes to go before you have to leave, your bedroom ﬂoor resembles a jumble sale and the top that you thought would go with the skirt, just… doesn’t go? Fret no more my fashionable friend, a saviour is here, in the form of Touch Closet. Touch Closet is a brand new wardrobe-organising application on iPhone. The downside is, you have to have an iPhone or iPod touch. If you are lucky enough to have one, it could be the convenient, practical solution you have been waiting for. Touch Closet can be found in the App store, a part of the online Apple Store accessible through iTunes. Once you’ve downloaded the application, take photos of all your clothes, shoes and accessories (which can take rather a long time) and then categorise them by item and colour. You can now ﬂick through your cyberwardrobe anytime, a ny w he re , to help you plan what to pack for
we e ke n d s away, and wave good bye to that
pre-party outﬁt panic. Touch Closet keeps track of how many times you have worn each item and when you last wore it, allowing you to view your clothes separately or together in diﬀerent combinations. It is a particularly useful tool when it comes to shopping because, like your own personal stylist, Touch Closet can help you to decide whether that new top will go with your favourite handbag locked up at home at the click of a button. For those retail addicts out there, it also stops you buying things you don’t need! Another feature, Wish List, makes a list of where to get a particular garment from and how much it is, using information it automatically receives from the internet. Unfortunately, Touch Closet only includes US websites at the moment, but allows you to view pictures and compare prices quickly and easily. Look out for the webbased version, which you can sync with your iPhone, and ‘Touch Closet for Him’. The whole experience makes you feel like Cher from Clueless, only without the anachronistic Polaroidswelcome to fashion for the future! ` Rosie Helson
Pasty Legs Just beginning to re-emerge for a winter of black tights. Embrace the pale and interesting look
Having decided to book an appointment with the new style advisor service at Topshop Cabot Circus, I began having horrible visions of being poked, prodded and generally chastised for having hideous taste in clothes. Fortunately, this was not the case, and instead I spent an awesome two hours trying on some delicious clothes with my own personal stylist. If you haven’t heard of the style advisor service yet, it is another pitch-perfect oﬀering from the only brand on the high street to show at London Fashion Week. Topshop oﬀer a more laidback, fresh take on the traditional personal shopping experience, and there’s no obligation to buy; you could even go to an appointment just for inspiration. The appointments begin with the advisor asking some questions about your style and what you’re looking for. They then head out on to the shop ﬂoor to hand pick clothes and accessories for you to try on, whilst you peruse a magazine in the style advisor suite, a space reminiscent of a beautiful Parisian dressing room. The style advisors at Cabot Circus have some serious fashion credentials; one of them even designed a dress that was worn by Pixie Geldof. It is these girls that really make the service: they’re the kind of girls that you totally trust to update your look, and you’d also really like to go out for a drink with them afterwards! I ended up buying a vintage style sundress and printed top, both very on trend but also my style - which is exactly the winning combination the advisors hope to achieve every time. So, the verdict is that the style advisor service could well be the future of shopping. Plus, it’s absolutely perfect for the student budget-it’s free! Eve Worth
LFW: The Exhibition Half guerilla shop, half museum experience. Completely fulﬁlling way to spend an afternoon in West London
Winter Coats Feel that? It’s spring! Put awaty that bulky old thing, we’re bored of looking at it
iPhone ubiquity Since when did EVERYONE have one? The cool factor has disappeared.
Shoulder Pads Please no. We’re students. We can’t stand structure in our lives or our wardrobes.
Waxmill Bristol: The new fashion show in town
d’s worl me e h t of tes co tan. opia fghanis s A se fromaxmill u the W ion in t fash t agains gh rugs d
‘Swish’ your way to new clothes
What vintage can oﬀer in 2009
‘Swishing’ is the noise that certain clothes, particularly silk ones, make when rustled. It now also refers to ‘rustling’ clothes oﬀ your friends: yes, it’s true, clothes-swapping just got classy! This new social movement is spreading fast with new online communities, regular swishing events and mass media coverage. It promoted the three R’s of environmental godliness: reduce, reuse, recycle. Despite this some don’t believe swishing is such an ecological victory. Whether green-glam or greenwash, swishing is certainly fun and I set out to ﬁnd out more. Clothes-swapping events are by no means new, but Futerra, a PR company specialising in promoting the sustainable message, came up with an idea of setting up regular events and turning it into a party. You can picture it now: great music, nibbles and champagne, but most importantly: gorgeous clothes, for free! The only rule is that everyone must bring at least
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Issue 3 Monday 3 November 2008
one good quality item; whether a bag, belt, boobtube or bolero, one must feel proud to hand it on. Clothes and accessories are hung and strung around the party room for all to see and are allowed to rummage through for an hour or so. Then, the countdown to the opening of the swish begins…3, 2, 1… and boom! Any one can grab anything they can get their hands on, to keep forever! The beneﬁts for us girls are clear- combining clothes with chatting, partying and a guilt-free conscience. But what about the potential beneﬁts to the environment? We live in a consumer culture of fast fashion. The impact of buying new clothes is enormous, but all-too-often overlooked. An unimaginable 700,000 tons of shoes and clothing are thrown away in the UK each year, which goes straight to overused landﬁll sites. These sites damage the surrounding environment and can leach greenhouse gases, contributing to climate
change. All of this is without mentioning the inhumane conditions some of the clothes were made in. Some are cynical and claim it is ‘greenwashing’ as it reinforces the retail habit. However, if the swish stops people buying one thing that they do not need, then the swish was a success. Whilst buying from charity or second hand-shops can have feel-good-factor fashion, swishing is something that can be done in addition. By some it is considered an art, for others it’s a fashiontastic eco-friendly activity; one thing is for certain, swishing is catching on. It will not save the world by itself. It saves money and resources and is a small, but much-needed step towards making the world a more environmentally-conscious place. For a fantastic fusion of bargainhunting and ethical shopping, try a swishing party! Rosie Helson
Fashion forward or fashion backward? Vintage has become the style zeitgeist of recent years and is now synonymous with the most on-trend looks in fashion today. But, as every savvy shopper knows, ‘Vintage’ is just another way of describing second-hand – or what the fashionistas now term ‘Archive’ – clothes and memorabilia. So have we merely run out of ideas? Are we really moving backwards in the world of fashion? The Students’ Union recently played host to Blind Lemon’s Vintage Fashion Fair. With over 40 stalls, each bedecked with clothes and other relics from the past, the fair was a veritable goldmine for anyone interested in fashion from the 1900s to the 1970s. Browsing around, or rather, exploring like a curious child in Grandma’s attic, was the only way to unearth some of the gems hidden away at the fair. Interestingly, most of these items could easily be described as onseason trends for 2009. Trilby hats, I was told by one stallkeeper, have proved to be popular with girls, possibly as part of the ‘Masculine look’, oh-so-now in 2009.
Putting aside terms such as these, which have been bandied around by fashion magazines of late, there seems to be an obvious reliance on fashion’s past to produce the looks of today. Far from running dry, however, the stream of fashion trends inspired by the past has created a look for 2009 which is abundantly inventive and creative. So, hell! I’ll wear my 1950s trilby with my 60s fur coat and 70s geometric dress. Perhaps Vogue would disapprove. Either way, if you’re interested in vintage fashion or just enjoy looking at old toys and trinkets, vintage fashion fairs are a brilliant way to spend an afternoon. Up-and-coming fairs include: Blind Lemon Vintage Fair in Cheltenham, 15th March; Exeter Flea Market, 16th May; and Ashley Hall Fairs in Bath, 14th June. Emma Davies
By this point in the year, your nightlife will have inevitably become a bit samey, if not plain dull. You will have potentially gone to “insert club name here” for 16 consecutive Monday and Tuesday nights and even the thought of an evening of endless VK blues doesn’t inspire the same excitement in you as it once did. What you need is something new and diﬀerent. In March this year, Bristol will become host to an all-new event called Waxmill. Waxmill: Fashion/Music/Dance will feature international performers including the Shaolin monks, jugglers from the Russian State Circus and Funkstylers break-dancers. Student models will showcase fashion and underwear from top designer brands and local Bristol boutiques. Most importantly, all the money raised will support the charity POM354, which seeks to help Afghan farmers replace opium seeds with pomegranates, reducing the supply of heroin in the world. Waxmill will be held in Leeds and Edinburgh as well as Bristol and will be followed by Waxmill London at Matter at the O2 Arena, coinciding with Graduate Fashion Week in June. The show aims to create an event similar to Fashion Rocks or Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief that seeks to entertain whilst raising money and awareness for a great cause. However, unlike these highly-priced, exclusive events, the Waxmill shows will be aﬀordable and the tickets easily available t o everyone. If you’re interested in fashion, music or dance, there is no excuse not to jump on the Waxmill wagon and support a very worthwhile cause. Florrie Thomas
th me ix
Issue 10 Monday 9 March 2009
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TO A CAPRICIOUS FRIEND
Joseph Addison In all thy humors, whether grave or mellow, Thou ‘rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow; Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee, There is no living with thee, nor without thee. ĕp’i-grām’ - A short poem, especially a satirical one, with a witty or ingenious ending.