Firstly apologies for the lack of posts recently – my life has been taken up with the manic preparation and organisation of Style Birmingham LIVE. I’m more than making up for it in this post, with a rather lengthy write-up about my experience and photos to give you some visual breaks 🙂 (please note that Craig Holmes took all of the following photographs). I’d love to know your thoughts about the show too so please do leave a comment below…
You may have seen my article in Style Birmingham Magazine, detailing all my tasks behind the scenes in the run up to the event but now the show is over and to be honest I’m a little sad. Admittedly it was such hard work, and now I feel like I could sleep for a week – choosing all the stock from retailers, arranging it to be delivered, booking it all in, the lengthy task of writing up the exit sheet by hand, then typing it up for the program and making sure all the preparation on my side went smoothly and then the actual event itself, but I loved every minute.
On the 24th September, 16 gorgeous models from the likes of Storm and Models One (I thought I was fairly tall – until I saw them), ourselves, the Production Team, the build team and 16 hard-working dressers from Fashion:Lab at Birmingham Metropolitan College, made our way over to the grand Town Hall to commence with hair and make up demonstrations, dress rehearsals and set up for the weekend of shows to showcase retailer AW11 fashions.
Excitement filled the back stage areas, followed by apprehensive and anxious models and dressers who were nervous that our special VIP night was only one day away.
The MAC make up girls did a beautiful job on the make up, injecting colour onto neutral faces with bright red lips, and the team at Benjamin Ryan straightened, crimped and styled the model’s hair in a modern yet sophisticated look.
Come 12pm on the Friday, the lights dimmed, the music boomed and the gorgeous George Lamb made his way onto stage to introduce what was a fabulous first show. The show included 9 different scenes and was finished off with an audience Q&A with celebrity stylist and Visual Manager at Mulberry, Bradley Taylor. The audience loved it and I was ecstatic everything had run to plan. The styling was spot on too, which is crucial for a commercial show like this.
The shows that followed were no different and with up-and-coming local solo artist, Clare Maguire, singing on the VIP night, the Head Office industry professionals and press were no less than impressed. She was absolutely amazing and sang with a hauntingly beautiful voice.
My colleague Kim and I also hosted a blogger’s event before this show to give like-minded fashionable style writers a chance to network and ask Bradley Taylor some probing questions about his job and his views on the fashion world.
A few glasses of champers later we were ready to enjoy our hard work dressed in our new outfits – I wore tiny little Topshop black shorts (which felt rather like I was wearing underwear), black tights, a raspberry coloured silk Topshop tank top and burgundy mega high heeled Gucci boots. My colleague Kim looked very on trend in black platforms, and a long sleeved leather and material black panelled dress from Oasis. After watching the show and mingling with colleagues and friends old and new, we headed on out to the VIP after party, held in the penthouse suite of the Loft Lounge, hosted by Harvey Nichols.
It was so much fun, probably too much in fact – especially when alarms went off at 8am the next day for a busy day of shows. No time to hit the snooze button.
A sneaky McDonalds in our dressing room sorted us out for the day.
George Lamb was a huge success with the ladies, especially during his meet and greet after each show – thousands of George’s photos are now clogging up many a people’s newsfeed on Facebook – I too am guilty for this! (Apologies everyone) The one below is a personal favourite for obvious reasons, and which we had taken in the photobooth of the Harvey Nichols beauty hub… Sitting on his lap was a rather awkward moment I have to say.
Gosh – my eye bags are the size of Great Britain…
I loved every bit of the show but my favourite scene was the atmospheric and dramatic Harvey Nichols one. Oke, the Choreographer, introduced a Russian theme emphasised by amazing music and some Russian style dance moves by the models. The clothing represented this well, with plenty of soft beautiful fur from Karl Donoghue, autumn chunky knits from Burberry and sturdy boots from the likes of Jeffrey Campbell.
And further scenes…
The last show ended at 3pm and I was really sad for it all to be over. I loved every second and I got to work with some really talented people. The dressers were great, all working so hard to gain experience for their portfolios – to be honest, rather a lifesaver, God knows what I’d have done without their help!
I also received some good news on the last show day, the Production Team, have asked me to do some freelance work for them in London on further shows, so I can continue to do what I love and we’ll be busy at Retail Birmingham uploading looks onto the Facebook page from the show, along with details of where you can purchase each item from…
Hopefully now everything has calmed down, I can update this blog a little more with fashionable finds, style news and little snippets of inspiration.
I’ll also post about my new boots; which should hopefully arrive tomorrow – I spotted them on Arabella, one of the models, and instantly fell in love. They’re a little treat to myself!
Please note that all photos used have been taken by the talented Craig Holmes – please contact me for his contact details should you wish to enquire about his photography.