A colourful fashion blog supporting independents & sustainable fashion in Bristol and beyond

Monday, 1 July 2019

How I became a slow fashion blogger

The No Debutante blog has been going for nearly 8 years in July! It has progressed from a pregnancy fashion blog to a lifestyle and fashion blog that supports independent designers, sustainable and slow fashion. 

There are no more shopping hauls or 'top 5 faves from the high street' posts as I am just not consuming fashion the way I used to and that's a good thing!

June's purchase a pair of mens leopard print trousers from the Urban Outfitters sale

At the most I figure I am buying one fashion item a month and that item is always considered on whether I need it and will I really wear it and most importantly, does it support slow fashion? 

Don't get me wrong. I love fashion, I love design, colour and print! I just don't follow trends anymore or dedicate myself to big fashion designers, which is maybe the wrong way to go for a fashion blogger and journalist, but I'm just being honest with myself and my ethics. 

Layering up in three independent designers creations including earrings by Kashaya Makes, Jacket by Kuccia & Duvet Days trousers

I am not a saint in supporting slow and sustainable fashion either. I love trainers and I am not completely against buying from the high street, I just don't buy that often and I don't crave for the next big thing, not even with trainers! 

I buy fashion items when I love them and limiting yourself helps you to see more clearly, which in turn stops that fast, random purchase, that you just had to buy, but never wore....

The importance is to get the balance right, in these images alone, featuring six of my outfits from the past couple of months, 10 items are from independent designers, 4 items from the high street, one was a present (and was handmade), one item was fashion salvaged and one item is vintage. This includes accessories and footwear too! I am happy that only a quarter of the things I have worn, originally came from the high street! I am going in the right direction! Small changes mean a lot! 

Print clashing in a fashion salvaged jumpsuit and Balulu jacket (upcycled from bedsheets). 

The way I blog has changed too. I used to beat myself about not blogging enough from my style posts to the latest trends and shows. When instagram came along it changed the way I shared my style forever. It's much easier to share one image a day or a week, it expresses your style perfectly whilst reaching a wider audience.

I could have given the whole blogging malarkey up but I still loved writing and wanted to encourage people over to my blog. Things changed again once I started supporting independent designers as this was a new edge on what I had previously been doing (the same as all the other fashion bloggers....yawn), it felt good to support and promote independents and they were also kind enough to share the love and direct their followers to my blog too! 

The No Debutante blog also got me the job as fashion editor at Bristol 24/7 magazine. It's done me proud! 

Vintage meets leopard print (left) my amazing new Bikini Kill t-shirt bought for me for my birthday by Phil (right)

I am not sure about the future of blogging but I will continue to blog at my own pace and hope you enjoy my little posts and that they inspire you in some way!

Do follow what I am up to on my social media platforms too - Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all under the @nodebutante name 

Big Love & slow fashion xx

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Two worlds collide

For those who haven't been following the No Debutante antics over the past few weeks on social media, this is a quick catch up covering the side of Love Saves the Day that doesn't feature in my articles as fashion editor for Bristol 24/7

Here's some moments of friends and fun that happened at Loves Saves The Day festival here in Bristol, alongside a gig with my band Mono Dots for the M32 Skate Jam after party at The Chelsea Inn, that I managed to squeeze in between the two day event! Phew! It's been a busy one, but that's how we like it! Find out what happens when my two worlds collide!

 Love Saves The Day 2019

Hanging out with our festival faves The Fashpack including the lovely Joh Rindom from That Thing and the hilarious Zoe Zedhead, plus the No Debutante partner in crime, sister fashionista, " I only exist in this realm" Rachael. 

The No Debutante chosen outfit for the Saturday was this amazing pair of Lucy and Yak X Emotional Waterfall dungarees which are just the comfiest thing ever, worn with a crop top on this gloriously sunny day at LSTD. 

Getting my glitter did by Zoe Zedhead and hanging with independent designers Pluma and Balulu! I acquired the sun visor after a few large rum cocktails but it seems to match nicely with my Zedhead pom-pom earrings!

The No Debutante LSTD Sunday outfit (above left) features my fave catsuit by Mannerswear, a bumbag purchased at the festival by Butchi and Gosmos, the antique kimono given to me by an elderly neighbour - who thought I might wear it - (Thank you Mary!) and my lovely new XL tassel earrings by the brilliant Bristol designer, Dakota Rae Dust that arrived just in time for the weekend!

Love these girls!

A couple of amusing shots from the Sunday including Zoe Headhead and NOT Idris Elba and Rachael with the tallest, most fabulous drag queen at LSTD coming in at 7' 2"  (well, she was wearing ridiculously high platforms). 

The M32 Skate Jam After party gig at The Chelsea Inn (Saturday Night)

Rocking those festival vibes in a punk mash-up with my band Mono Dots at The Cheslea Inn at the M32 Skate Jam after party, where local skaters had come together to raise money for the skate park underneath the M32, here in Bristol. 

The Los Savages  - an awesome surf-skate band of goofballs that features Mr Debutante on trumpet.

My new favourite band Tropical Nightmare!!! A- MAZING! 


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Dressing for a Great British Summer

It seems we get less and less time to adapt and think about what to wear in the UK. With heatwaves in February to snow in April, our wardrobes have to be on red alert! 

A transitional wardrobe would usually see us adding layers or wearing less as the seasons change, but in the UK, we don't know where the hell we are, or what to wear, on a daily basis!

I was so excited to be showing off some flesh, albeit short lived, when the sun came back last week; wearing vest tops and shorts again seemed kinda liberating after months of being cuddled up in warm layers.

Now, a week later, I am back wearing a fleece top, trousers and warm socks, with a blanket over me! What the actual.....???

What a different a week makes....
Freezing fashion in Wales wearing rainbow puffer, trackpants, Vans & That Thing beanie (left)
summer vibes in Bristol wearing kimono from Zara & shorts by Tail End.(right) 

In the brief heatwave,  I thought to myself, whilst rummaging through my generous wardrobe, 'I haven't actually got many summer clothes' but in truth, I think, I have just forgetten how to style up my existing wardrobe to work for summer, a problem I seem to face at every seasonal change! 

In the colder months, I wear warm layers of mostly bright coloured streetwear pieces, from jumpsuits to hoodies to printed trousers- fun, winter outfits- but when the sunshine comes, things really start to get excitiing, as you are not hiding your amazing outfits under a coat!

As I've said before, I'm not one to pack away my winter/summer wardrobe as the sessons change, I dont have the time or a place to put it all, if I'm honest! As things are with the UK weather lately, we need to keep all of our wardrobe at easy access, all year round! I was right all along!

A trusty oversized hoodie will warm you up after the surf!

As soon as the sun is out, so are my vest tops (usually cropped) and my shorts (often patterned and/or made by an indepepndent designer). I've not been much of a summer dress wearer over the past few seasons but an unexpected new obsession can pop up at any point for me, so I never rule out the return of a fashion item, that may already be in my wardrobe.

The No Debutante summer staples

Vest tops
Crop t-shirts
Cotton trousers (tapered or rolled up)
Slip on Vans (the easiest summer trainer that took me years to discover!).

The No Debutante Essential transitional weather extras

Hoodies and sweatshirts
Long socks
Wellies (camping & festival essential)
Wrap scarf
Beanie hat

ND wearing Carny Valley cape and Duvet Days trousers in Bedminster, Bristol

One thing that we must not get into is buying a whole new wardrobe at the change of every season, this is supporting fast fashion, which has a negative impact on the planet and in your pocket! Updating your wardrobe is fine but do it at a slower pace. Everyone likes buying new stuff, just consider these three rules when shopping.

Do you really need it?
Do you really love it?
Does it look good on you? 

I have been following these rules for the past few years, I admit, I still get it wrong occassionally, but if you consider these rules as a guide, you are on the right track!

Finally, as always, the No Debutante blog is keen to promote and support independent designers, many of whom are also supporting sustainable, slow fashion.

Enjoy the summer when it finally arrives and rethink your wardrobe!

Did you see my rainbow hair??  Perfect for summer, eh?  (Hair by Girl on Curl)

Top image - No Debutante in full on summer flow vest top and shorts whilst Djing on her radio show
 This is Radio Bang with 1020 Radio.
Listen here

Monday, 25 March 2019

Independent women in fashion

Hey fashionistas! It's been a month (or so) of repping independent designers, and mostly Bristol ones too! From upcycled vintage fabrics from Balulu and Duvet Days to having a bash at a zip front fleece for my own slow fashion brand Fruit Salad, it's all about the independents, and independent women at that! 

The amazing Mickey Mouse co-ord by Bristol brand Balulu
Print clashing it up in Duvet Days stripe trousers and matching reversible crop top paired with a Lazy Oaf  oversized shirt. 

More Lazy Oaf and Duvet Days Mash up!

Time for me to pair my own creations with Duvet Days stripe trousers - Pastel fleece by Fruit Salad

Streetwear styling with a That Thing beanie and joggers 

Close up of Fruit Salad zip front pastel fleece

These Duvet Days trousers just go with everything! 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

No Debutante X Jolanta Valeniece

It's here! The No Debutante X Jolanta Valeniece photo shoot collaboration!   

Jolanta is a photographer who works in both Bristol and London, capturing reportage style photographs of clubbers to edgy streetstyle photoshoots. 

This fun female collaboration took place on the same week as International Women's Day and was a great way to celebrate female empowerment! 

Thank you so much to the amazing and inspiring Jolanta xx

Location - Dean Lane Skate Park, Bristol

Photography by Jolanta Valeniece  
Styling & Model No Debutante

Boilersuit  - Lucy and Yak
Rainbow jacket - Primark
Trainers - Nike Air Force One Jester XX
Catsuit - Mannerswear
Mesh dress - Monki
Earrings - Tezla Designs
Beanie - That Thing

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Shaker Makers - Shake Bristol

A few weeks back I attended my first Shake zine fair at Rough Trade here in Bristol.

I am a massive zine fan, it's on my to do list to make a zine but I honestly just over think things! One day, maybe!

Shake Bristol put on zine fairs and events celebrating illustrators and zine makers around the country. The fairs focus on comics, t-shirts, zines and prints and encourage illustrative makers to join their colourful and creative events.

Attracted to the bright colours and fun, wobbly Spongebob meets skate artist Jim Phillips characters with more than a wink to gruesome/surf album art from bands like The Cramps, yeah, they got my attention with their poster!


The Palentines Day Shake art fair poster 

From traditional tattoo artworks, comic book characters to Memphis style and handmade jewellery by the lovely Sophie Filomena, there were plenty of goodies to get my attention but I am always sucked in by the zines! 

Local artist Sophie Filomena with her artworks and statement earrings at the Shake Art Fair. 

I love the shortness and straight to the point-ness of a zine, illustrated characters (that are often an alter-ego or reflection of the artist) and downright honest topics. 

A zine will take you into unknown worlds and scenes, normalising everything from self doubt to mundane life moments and personal experiences, using illustrations and (in most cases) words too. 

The DIY element to zines is always super inspiring and a great way to share your artwork and thoughts. Zines are good for the soul! 

Fun at the Shake Art Fair

I could personally of hung out at the Shake art fair all day, chatting with the artists and looking at all the artwork but sadly my teenage sons attention span and excitement for art crashed way before mine! Before they removed me from my zine fair/ record shop haven we did end up with a few goodies from the day including.....

The Shake haul!

A Space Wolf comic by William Powers

A fun comic series, with the hero of the story being Space Wolf. My daughter Sylvie is keen to get her hands on more copies of Space Wolf at the next fair! 

Boring Comics and Sorry I missed your gig zines by Emma Thacker

These are real sweet and honest zines about the difficulties of fitting in and motivating yourself to go do the things you like! Truly inspiring comics by London based illustrator Emma Thacker

Shake Bristol also have a website with lots of own brand arty products up for grabs from t-shirts, tote bags, stickers, pins and patches to comics and zines. 

The Shake Mag is not to be missed as it features lots of illustrators and artists from around the world who have collaborated with Shake on a chosen theme, the most recent being The Wrestling issue. For a mere £8 you get 152 pages of illustrations by 52 artists and a free sticker and a bookmark too?? Wowsers! 

Artwork by Sophie Filomena as featured in the Shake Mag - Wrestling issue


No Debutante totally recommends going along and supporting your local artists and zine fairs, there is so much happening and to explore!

Go check out Shake Bristol and all the illustrators mentioned here today and do get in touch with Shake Bristol if you are an illustrator who wants to collaborate!

Warning no dweebs.....

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

This is Radio Bang

I'm going a bit off the fashion track here with a post about DJing and radio shows! But hey! It's my blog and I need to promote my new venture! 

One of my sidelines from being a blogger/journalist and mother is that I DJ. You may or may not know this already. I have been repping female DJs for 17 years, since I started spinning vinyl sets with, my (now) husband, Phil, in a Bristol pub back in 2002!

No Debutante DJing at the Bang club night
 at To The Moon in Bristol, Nov 2018

By 2003, after a lot more record collecting, we, alongside my brother Mike, had started up our very own club night Bang, which has just celebrated it's 16th birthday! We pride ourselves on playing all vinyl sets from a mash up of genres from northern soul to electro to post punk to alternative 80s, to name a few of the many genres we might drop in one evening.

The one thing we wanted to do was to play the music we loved and make people dance. Bang is a fun, small underground club night that has a cult following of Bangers that want to party hard! Who knew our lil' club night would last this long and we'd have such an amazing group of people support us!?!

Last year, I wanted to try something new. I started seriously thinking about presenting my own radio show, something that had always been a bit more of a dream than a realty. I hadn't considered that I could actually get my own show right here in Bristol, on a local independent radio station. I was pretty much clueless.

I was offered the chance to try out a pilot show as part of the SisterWorks residency on 1020 Radio. I was terrified but just went with it, I even spoke! I planned out my own little - all vinyl - show and played for an hour, mostly female artists and female fronted bands to rep women in music, and, I was hooked....

I literally enquired about doing my own show at 1020 Radio during my set and a month later I was signed up to start my own monthly residency! They liked me! I am sooooo excited!!

My brand spanking new radio show is called This is Radio Bang and is goes out live every third Sunday of the month from 1pm-3pm. The first show starts on Sunday 17 February, on 1020 Radio, which is also a digital radio station, so you can listen to it live from wherever you are!

I shall be representing the Bang club night but also putting my own spin on it, with a few surprises thrown in. Please tune in and leave me messages and support on the 1020 forum and on social media and share the love!

Listen to No Debutante / Emma Bang 
This is Radio Bang show Live on 1020 Radio
Sun 17 Feb

Listen to my set on the SisterWorks radio show on 1020 Radio, I play the first hour of the show. It's pretty obvious when it's not me anymore! 

For people local to Bristol, join me at the next Bang club night at Bristol's legendary music venue The Louisiana on Saturday 30 March.

Top image courtesy of Nitelife Magazine with Photography by Ania Shrimpton 

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