Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Bear Necessities

A few weeks ago I decided to give myself a 3-month clothing challenge of ditching high street brands and buying only from local boutiques and independent designers. So far, it's been pretty easy. Mainly because I'm incredibly skint and haven't bought anything at all. Not even lentils. But after I received a few shiny pennies for a writing job I did yonks ago, I thought I'd dust off my debit card and see what local gems I could discover.

Bristol's a wealth of creative talent and many of the city's top-notch graffiti artists and illustrators also have their fingers firmly caked in various fashion industry pies. Gloucester Road's new hip-hop paradise Avalaan, Park Street's My Yard (formerly BS8) and queens of urban patchwork, Shop Dutty, all stock pieces from local creatives as does a number of the city's smaller galleries, like Weapon of Choice.

After a lot of indecisive flailing, I finally invested in a sweater from Bristol label Grizzly Nights. Their gorgeous current collection features delicately penned line drawings of some of nature's most fearsome creatures... and some pretty birds. Menacing tigers, open-jawed bears and a rather mashed looking owl were all up for grabs but in the end I settled on two wolves howling at the... well, at my face. I love their simple but charming designs and thanks to their online shop I'll be back for more, even after the London move.

Whether I can afford to explore Bristol's indie threads any further in the coming months still remains to be seen but one things for sure - I won't be crawling back to Topshop.

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