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Issue 1 12 DECEMBER 2011



THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS P. 3-5 1. ‘Celebrity Style in Southampton City’, Izzi Bailey Reports on What Fashion Means to Southampton.

2. ‘Southampton City Council Cultural Quarter Enterprise’, Plans Revealed For a New Cultural Quarter in Southampton.

HOT TOPICS FOR CONVERSATION P. 6-7 3. ‘I’m a Lady’, Izzi Bailey discusses the forbidden subject of flatulence.

THE PLACE TO BE THIS WEEK… P. 8-9 4. ‘A Night in the Department Store’, Izzi Bailey reviews the Clothes Show Live 2011.

WHO’S IN THE SPOTLIGHT? P. 10-11 5. Profile on Vintage Store Owner, Catherine Wright.


CELEBRITY STYLE IN SOUTHAMPTON CITY Southampton’s fashion-forward troops invaded the high street today on their mission to update their wardrobe with new purchases inspired by their fashion icons. The style squad revealed what fashion means to them. There was a mixed review on the importance of fashion in the city. Amber Matson, 17, from Dibden Purlieu explained: “Fashion is very important. It expresses your character.” Miss Matson’s partner, Lawrence Fish, aged 17 also commented on the value of fashion: “It’s good to be on trend, but you shouldn’t have to follow the crowd. It’s each to their own, and you should wear what you like.” In addition students felt dressing up for a night out is imperative and explained they spend up to three hours getting ready. In contrast, some of Southampton’s inhabitants have broken away from following the latest trends and wear what they feel comfortable in. Timothy James Dickinson, 28, a Yacht master from Southampton, said: “I don’t really care what I wear, as long as it’s clean it will do.” This attitude was echoed by Paddy Tabiner, a 21-year-old music student: “Fashion is not important to me. Most people dress to be a clone, but I believe you should dress to suit your body and to identify yourself.” Paddy Tabiner added: “Girls should wear clothes that suit their physique.” Faux fur coats; jewel tone dresses; chunky knits, and large polka dot patterns are a few current trends that have flooded the high street this winter. Paris Thomson, a 19year-old fashion graphics student at

Southampton Solent said: “I like bright block colours and cut-out dresses for evening wear but I definitely don’t like thick eyebrows as a trend. I know straight away when a trend doesn’t suit me. I don’t wear maxi dresses and jumpsuits because of my height” The student also explained which trends are fashion faux pas, “I can’t stand it when guys wear tracksuit bottoms. I don’t like it either when they wear shirts out in the evening. It looks like they’re trying to impress.” Fearne Cotton and Victoria Beckham were reported, amongst others, as influential idols on Southampton’s taste in fashion. Francesca Parker, a 17-year-old sixth form student from Bournemouth said: “Kate Moss and Alexa Chung definitely influence my style. Cheryl Cole always looks amazing too.” Television presenter Alexa Chung has frequently appeared on Vogue’s ‘Best Dressed List’, this week she was spotted in a navy and cream polka dot dress over a sheer cream blouse. Fashion houses have manipulated Southampton’s style too. Helen Hennessey, 20, a fashion photographer student said: “Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen are my style inspiration.” Topshop/Topman was the favourite shop for shoppers in Southampton, Miss Selfridge and River Island were popular choices for finding current fashion essentials too. Many consumers said they now prefer to shop online on websites like and Furthermore, they said they would rather shop alone than with friends so they don’t feel pressured.


SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL CULTURAL QUARTER ENTERPRISE It was revealed today that Southampton City Council plan to revive Southampton with new plans to construct a cultural quarter in the heart of the high street. It is hoped the project will bring excitement and a hive activity to Southampton. Project leader Jill Low, who has 14 years of experience working in the arts, has worked on the project for four years, explained the £22 million cultural quarter is expected to regenerate the city when it launches in Spring 2015. The project leader said: “It is in the middle of the city that does need regeneration. I love Southampton, I love the people around the neighbourhood, I love the fact that there’s lots bus routes, art and cultural going on and lots of other things too. It’s a good nucleus for the cultural quarter.” Councillor John Hannides and Alistair Neill, both members of Southampton City Council, explained in their mission statement that the Cultural Quarter will be, “a place to nurture, develop and celebrate the city’s creativity and innovation. In short the Cultural Quarter will harness and direct the creative energy of the city as a whole.” The quarter will consist of two adjacent buildings on Guildhall Square. The South building will include the art gallery and 36 flats, and the North will provide space for performing arts, including a dance studio and two auditoriums. Both structures will have bars and cafes on the ground floors spilling out onto the high street to create a communal feel. Jill Low said: “The two buildings will be talking to one another, and will be a buzzing centre of activity that people will want to come in to whether it’s for a coffee or to watch a film.”

The buildings will be constructed with large windows on the ground floor, to allow passer’s by to look inside the quarter to see what is going on. Jill Low explained: “The windows will create excitement and less of a mystery.” The project leader emphasised the need to create an informal atmosphere in a modern building and to make a contemporary art gallery more accessible. The project, developed by Grosvenor, has received funding from a number of sources, including £7.2 million from the Arts Council and a further £2 million investment from the City Council. The project has a target of £1.2 million for fund raising and £150,000 is also being pumped into the project from the Art’s Fund every year. The quarter is expected to generate £21 million from visitor’s expenditure each year. It is anticipated there will be an extra 2000 jobs as a result of the cultural quarter as well as helping to bring in £175 million of private and public revenue to this area of the city. The project will also aid tourism in the city and potentially benefit local businesses. Jill Low said: “We want to attract tourists; we also want to attract people already in Southampton and the students here. It’s about creating a balance for everyone.” Low added: “It will generate lots more business. It is also intended to be for families, were we’re trying to bridge that gap when the shops shut and when the late night places for young people open, so more people can feel safe and feel as though they want to be entertained in the middle of Southampton.” The project leader explained how the development has overcome a number of set backs. The original developer passed the project onto another developer that


collapsed as a result of the recession. Due to the wobbly start, investors doubted the project would pull through. Partners in the development also disagreed with some of the original plans so the project was reworked. Ben White Communications Director of Southampton City Council said: “What’s really important is to recognise that public finances at the moment are dyer, you know that, and they’re not going to get better anytime soon, it has to have potential for commercial success and be something that is going to make money.”

Lowe explained local businesses are delighted that activity will be coming to the area in the city. Lowe added: “On the whole the attitude of Southampton’s residents has been very positive. There’s always the one’s on the Echo website telling you it shouldn’t be done and can’t be done.” There will be events taking place in the run up to the launch of the cultural quarter, including the Sea City attraction, opening in April next year.


I’M A LADY! To fart or not to fart? To let rip or to hold back? That is the question. My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly two and a half years, we have a trustworthy and honest relationship. However, I have one secret I have been keeping from him all this time, as well as every other girl, regretfully, I fart. I have done everything in my power not to fart in his presence. I have only experienced one mishap during our relationship, where to my shame, I farted out loud during a play fight, (uber embarrassing, I know!) to which my boyfriend was disgusted. I just didn’t see it coming, it was sprung upon me and there was nothing I could do. It was an accidental case of flatulence. “It was a mouse.” I cried unconvincingly, but my scarlet cheeks indicated otherwise, dammit! The noise is not the only give-away of a fart, the smell reveals your sin too. My friend, Jo had a similar incident to me while in bed with her boyfriend of four years. She farted, but fortunately it was silent. But she hadn’t got away with it yet as the stench was quickly approaching the top of the covers. Jo used her female initiative and wafted the covers down by her feet to release the pong that lay in the depths beneath them. “What are you doing?” Her boyfriend asked. “Nothing, nothing!” Jo replied. What a genius decoy! Boys however, find it hilarious to fart in front of their girlfriends. I’ve heard horror stories from friends that some cruel species of boyfriends fart in bed then trap their girlfriends under the covers to submerge them in the putrid smell. The official term for this awful offence is a Dutch oven. I simply cannot begin to understand how this

deemed acceptable? It baffles me; this torturous act should be illegal. My boyfriend candidly breaks wind in front of me and it’s become more frequent the longer we’re together. The first time he decided it was the right time to toot in front of me was about four months into the relationship. We were just about to go to sleep when suddenly, to my disbelief; he grabbed a lighter from his bedside table, wrapped his legs behind his head and lit his fart with the lighter. A giant fireball erupted from my boyfriend’s rear end. Unbelievable. Admittedly I did find the whole event quite funny, because boys are boys, they can somehow get away with farting publicly.

I’m a lady, well I like to think so, and farting in the company of your boyfriend is the most unlady-like and unsexy thing a girl could do. I believe the best way to drive a guy away is to fart in front of him. My boyfriend can’t stand the idea that I fart, so I do my best not to do a bottom burp while he’s around. Girls that fart publicly are the type of girl who appears on the television programme ladette to lady, which is basically a rehab for girls who are abusive farters and burpers.


I even endure hours of stomach cramps to stop myself breaking any wind and maintain my dignity while my boyfriend is with me. When the knots in my stomach are so tight and I feel like a might explode I casually leave the room for a drink of water. I insist that I can get it myself when my boyfriend offers to get a drink for me. All the while I’m actually thinking that would be lovely for him to get me a drink but when he’d come back, he’d be struck with the smell of hours of built-up farts let loose in the room. Around my best friends there’s no need to keep up appearances and I don’t feel the need to hold in a fart. We quite frankly find it hilarious and poo-talk is even funnier. At the beginning of the year two of my best friends and I travelled around South East Asia, we quickly learnt flushes in S.E Asia are crap, no pun intended, so we regularly found surprises left in the toilet from each other. It became a hot topic for conversation during are time in S.E Asia and we could laugh about it. The forbidden secret was no longer forbidden. Recently however, I lived the nightmare of all nightmares. I don’t know how my relationship with my boyfriend is still intact after what had happened. I was staying at my boyfriend’s house over the weekend and I needed to go for a number two, it was unavoidable and I really had to go. So I slunk off to the toilet upstairs, did my business, flushed the toilet, washed my hands, turned around and to my horror it

hadn’t gone down. Oh shit, literally. I froze for a moment, then panicked and flushed the toilet again. No luck. Bugger! I then frantically disguised my crime with toilet paper, at least then no one could see it. I sheepishly retreated back down stairs and had to tell my boyfriend, “Something wouldn’t go down.” He replied: “What do you mean?” to which I mumbled: “It wouldn’t go down” Eventually he cottoned on to what I was trying to say, after great difficulty as I could not bring myself to utter the words, but he simply laughed and said not to worry as the boys do it all the time. I wish the floor had swallowed me up, needless to say, I was so embarrassed. Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn would never have allowed such a thing to happen, nor would they ever break wind in public or around a partner. It is good to maintain some mystery in a relationship; it’s not deceiving or dishonest. Its just good manners and lady-like not to fart in front of your partner. Imagine if it was normal to fart like a trooper as you walk down the shopping isle beside your boyfriend? It’s the behaviour of an animal! But on the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be so shy? Maybe it’s rather liberating to be up front with our flatulence in the company of others? I for sure am not willing to find out, I cannot bring myself to let rip in my boyfriend’s presence comfortably, I can’t and I won’t! Ladies, there are some things that should be kept private in a relationship!


A NIGHT AT THE DEPARTMENT STORE Teenage girls, students, mums and daughters flocked together from all over the country once again to the Birmingham NEC. Visitors dressed in their best clobber and endured a hard day of walking around in their highest platform heels all just to look good for one of the most popular fashion events of the year. The hall was crammed with visitors clinging onto to their Lipsy and Rimmel glossy bags whilst crashing into one another as they searched for bargains and Christmas presents for family and friends. The hall was divided into four main sections; blue; purple; red; and pink. They were separated by colour co-ordinated carpets so visitors could easily identify different areas. The pink zone appeared to maintain most of the buzz through out the day as there was a constant hive of activity and included some amazing attractions such as a real double-decker bus branded as the ‘Elemis SpaBus’. The pink zone, not surprisingly, was the hair and beauty area, where they showcased some fantastic demonstrations for eyelashes, hair extensions, teeth whitening, fake tan and much more of the latest beauty enhancements. There was even a ‘Stop and Chop’ booth, where lucky visitors had the chance to have their hair transformed by a celebrity hair stylist in front of everyone and it wasn’t just a trim, young girls had their locks shaped into extreme celebrity hair styles! The pink zone was rainbow of glitter and glosses, the Benefit and Barry M stalls were particularly show-stopping, they were every girl’s dream of a pick ‘n’ mix of eye shadows and glitters, nail varnish, eye liners, lip glosses and every other beauty product under the sun. The zone was filled with pleasant sweet smells from the

perfume stalls including Juicy Couture Fragrances, it was a joy to walk around. The blue zone was another popular zone, consisting of popular high street brands such as Superdry and Drop Dead. It also had a few quirky vintage stalls which leaked into the purple zone which was promoted as the street style area. Another popular attraction in the blue zone was a luxury chocolate fountain stall – there really was nothing better than a combination of chocolate covered marshmallows and strawberries and hall full of 500 fashion and beauty stalls! The Hollyoaks lounge could also be found in the blue area, it was a cool chill out area for guests to rest their feet for a while, unfortunately there was no Hollyoaks stars to be seen for the majority of the day. The blue zone boasted some eye-catching platform heels adorned in sparkles and various animal prints and plenty of handbags to hold an abundance of new purchases from the other stalls. Red hot fashion brands could be found in the red zone for ‘seriously cool’ prices and a giant Top Gear truck with a driving experience simulator could also be found in the red zone, which looked a little out of place among the endless rails of clothes. The dance stage sat next to the red area where interactive dance classes were available, along with lots of dance wear so aspiring dancers could get kitted out. Unfortunately there were a few stalls across all the zones that failed to live up to the standards of the rest, you would expect to find them in the back streets of Thailand with tacky tops with the union jack plastered across the front that fall apart after a weeks wear and neon leg warmers that should never have been invented.


The highlight of the day was most certainly the Suzuki Fashion Show arena and true to form the catwalk was a lively and dynamic space which bought fashion to life through dance. This of course was none other than the Clothes Show Live. An exhilarating 45 minute show, the audience was provided with nonstop entertainment. With 350 outfits and over 40 models and dancers, the show captured the audience’s imagination with the theme of ‘A Night in a Department Store’. Mannequins came to life as models after 5pm and got up to all sorts of mischief, two of them even got married! The show began with a performance from X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, then the lights dimmed and everything went silent until the music filled the arena and the catwalk began. As the theme was ‘A Night in a Department Store’ the show progressed by travelling up the store in the lift to seven different floors including men’s wear, designer wear, women’s wear and lingerie. The female dominated audience approved of the men’s wear and men’s underwear with squeals of joy and ecstatic applaud for the gorgeous models. One model in particular was very popular and was recognised from staring in a recent modelling television show, ‘Dirty Sexy Things’ on Channel 4. Winner of Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, Jade, also appeared as a star in the show. On the music floor, Kimberly Wyatt from The Pussy Cat Dolls sang with Her Majesty and The Wolves, her performance stole the show with a dance routine that wowed the crowds.

Deep purples, tartan, florals and lots of sequins were the main trends to appear on the catwalk. The lingerie models fashioned some sensual superhero outfits in masks and oyster pink silk and chiffon boleros and capes, which was another strong trend. The show finished on the bridal wear and ended with a marriage and party for the models until they retrieved back to their mannequin forms for the next day’s trading in the store. The Clothes Show Live delivered a fun and enjoyable experience at the Birmingham NEC, as it does every year as the world’s biggest catwalk event. At 27 pounds for a standard ticket, it satisfies a younger audience in particular with what it has to offer. Visitors can leave after an exciting day of shopping with goodie bags filled with hair and beauty products at huge discount prices and they will already be looking forward to next years show.


CATHERINE WRIGHT’S ADOPTION AGENCY FOR CLOTHES Her round face is friendly and warm, and her hair is an untamed bundle of strawberry blonde curls, that resembles a lion’s mane. She wears big circular glasses, a leopard fur coat, and a red full-length patterned skirt from a charity shop, as she settles down she removes her fur coat to reveal a charming 1920’s black crepe lace house-coat; which she describes as a useful Halloween garment. To complement the look she wears a gorgeous gold bow necklace around her neck, which was originally a brooch but has been reinvented to be a delightful accessory - everything of course is vintage. Sipping from her coffee cup she made herself comfortable in her chair for the interview but she is immediately distracted by her iPhone and starts tapping away, or perhaps she is deliberately preoccupying herself to avoid the situation having not done anything like this before, it is hard to tell if she is nervous. She begins sporadically and jumps from one thing to another, unsure of where to start, “My name is actually Catherine Wright, although many people mistake me for being called Catherine Hepwright.” This frequent mishap is because Catherine owns a vintage fashion shop in Southampton called Hepwright’s. Catherine explains how it took a very long time before a name was decided for the store, “I wanted a name that seemed like it had been around forever, ‘Hep’ is for Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn and all the 1940’s jazz hep-cats. And ‘Wright is for me.” The business has just celebrated its first birthday in its new premises, although Catherine has been trading in vintage for a nearly seven years. Catherine has been submerged in fashion and vintage from a young age, her mother was an actress so she grew up in the theatre and in the dressing room tightening

her mother’s corset. As a teenager in the 70’s she was also surrounded by the “do it yourself ethos of punk and the new romantics.” She explains how as a young school girl, every Saturday afternoon she would plan to go to vintage sales with best friend Maggie. Her ‘evil’ step-mother was also an influential figure in Catherine’s past, she was a glamorous woman but a rubbish mum, whose idea of a day out for the children was a visit to Harvey Nicol’s. Catherine lurves a bit of Vogue, she claims this is from her step-mother’s imprint. Catherine’s upbringing appears to be the roots of her passion for vintage, but what does vintage mean to her? “Vintage is old basically. Anything over 25 years old is vintage.” The meaning of vintage is always evolving and Catherine appreciates this, she explains how she knows one day vintage will no longer be the trend, as with all trends, they come and go but Catherine’s love for vintage is unconditional. She loves recycling fashion, “I don’t think about what I can buy, but what can I reuse? There is so much stuff in the world. Why not reuse the beautiful stuff that already exists?” As well as clothes, Catherine adores art, music, old textiles and home ware, for example, the Hepwright’s shop counter is a recycled table unit given to her from her sister. Hepwright’s originally started on eBay, which Catherine says is a nightmare and she particularly dislikes answering queries on her sale items, “You gotta answer the bugger’s questions! Just read the damn thing!” Catherine started the business with close friend, Donna; they both had lots of beautiful old things not because they wore them but because they loved them. However, Donna pulled out of the business and decided to pursue her career as a musician so Catherine had to go in alone. The business grew quickly, from Catherine’s


bedroom to an old basement and eventually to some dodgy old office space, at this stage Catherine never imagined she could own her own shop and though it would remain solely as an online vintage business. Whilst nurturing the growing business, Catherine explains how she experienced a series of disastrous events, her teenage son, Bill, was very ill in hospital for some time and her younger daughter, Grace, had to under go surgery for a heart defect, as a single parent this was a particularly difficult time in her life. She also suffered two car accidents, neither of which were her fault, and both cars were written off, and as if things couldn’t get any worse for Catherine, her house burnt down. It would seem impossible for anyone to pick themselves up after an incredibly distressing time, particularly a woman who has suffered from severe depression in the past, but Catherine believes if none of the bad stuff happened, she would not have had the courage to buy the premises to open the shop. Suddenly Catherine’s iPhone goes off, “Shut up, shut up! Twitter twittering me! You’re nobody unless you’re on Twitter!”

She laughs and then continues to explain how she was able to start from scratch and reinvent herself following what she experienced. On the 22nd September 2010 Catherine signed a five year lease for Hepwright’s; she claims it is the biggest thing she has ever committed herself to but her love for the shop undoubtedly seeps out of this charming woman. What’s next for Catherine? Well her lease is contracted for another four years and she hopes by then it will be a business, or as she likes to call it “her adoption agency for clothes”, that she could sell at a profit, “Unless the economy kills us all!” She laughs. She is not concerned for the future and says she will see what happens when she gets there. Instead she appears to be living in the moment and loving every minute of it. So how can I sum up Catherine Wright? Well, I can only reiterate the explanation of a friend of Catherine, who once said Catherine is like a Springer Spaniel, excitable and completely mad! Catherine, however, describes herself more as a Labrador, a friendly sole with a waggy tail. I believe both explanations are well suited.


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